Life is full of surprises. I’m sure everyone has heard that, or something like it, before. Have you ever really thought about how much truth there is in that statement though? You can sit down and plan out every detail of your day, schedule each minute, and you’re still going to experience those unexpected, unplanned for moments that are just a part of everything existing, working, interacting, and colliding with each other. Surprises. From setting your alarm for eight and having the power go out, to getting stuck in traffic because someone else got in an accident, to getting in an accident yourself. Simple surprises like discovering that the milk you were going to drink has gone bad, or that your favorite kind of crackers are on sale this week, happen all the time. Then there are the bigger, less common surprises, like finding out there’s a baby coming into your life, or that the baseball card hiding in the shoebox under your bed since you were a kid is worth a small fortune. Winning the lottery, having a tree fall on your house, putting on your favorite shirt and it still smells like fresh laundry, any kind of weather. The unexpected occurrences that frequent our everyday lives are unavoidable, whether we like it or not. This used to bug me. A lot. I would try so hard to make my plans completely fool proof, and when something happened that wasn’t part pf the itinerary I flipped out. I stressed over EVERY detail. EVERY. LITTLE. DETAIL. My plans would fall apart, and I would give up. I was miserable during every event that I hosted because something would or wouldn’t happen unexpectedly, and I wouldn’t know how to handle it.
Then one day, I realized that while I was a mess over the things that I couldn’t control or plan for, the people around me were still having a good time. It made me pause and think for a moment. What was I actually upset about? Why? Was it really something that justified my sulking around at my own party feeling so bummed out? If everyone else was enjoying themselves, couldn’t I? I told myself to just take a deep breath and to let it go. Then I did just that. And I had fun. For the first time in way to long, I had fun at my own party.
After that I started trying to remember to take a deep breath and a long pause whenever I encountered something unexpected that would throw me off. I remind myself that it’s out of my control anyway. I will be okay. I can adapt. Just breathe, it’s all okay. It’s getting easier for me to handle the surprises that life throws at me, and while I won’t say that I don’t ever get upset or that I don’t stress at all about an unpleasant wrench in the works (I’m only human after all), I do find that I’m generally a much happier, less stressed me when I’m rolling with the punches.
The moral of this little bit of thought is that life is going to surprise you. Sometimes it will be awesome. Sometimes, it will be awful. Sometimes it will be small and somewhere in between. But in any case, it’s going to happen, and you’re going to have to face it. It’s going to be up to you whether you let it get to you and drive you to an unhappy state of mind, or whether you roll with it, adjust, adapt, and move on.