During the past week, while recuperating from a cold/flu bug, I thought about all the times in the past when one of those bumps on the road of life suddenly attacked without warning--one of those situations that nullifies your plans, and you're forced to regroup. Like when you're ready for work and discover your car has a flat, or you receive a notice saying you didn't pay your mortgage, and you know you did, or you forgot to register your kid for summer camp, or a sudden illness puts you down for a while, etc--nothing earth shaking, but definitely needing attention.
What do you do when something like this hits? Sometimes the first thought is to panic and begin playing "what if?" What if I'm late for work; what if this ruins my credit; what if my kid thinks I forgot because I don't care. My first thought with the cold/flu bug was, what if I get really sick and can't take care of myself.
Overreaction? Of course, but it's what we do when we live on autopilot. Looking back, it's what I've done many times, and I feel a little foolish for it. My mother used to say, "Don't make mountains out of molehills." But for most of my life I did it anyway. I'm glad I finally decided to take another look at how I respond to life's bumps, big ones and little ones, and find new ways to cope, at least most of the time. I'm still working on it, but like everything else, learning is part of the journey. For me, the past week was another learning experience.
The first response should be to stop, step back, and gauge the size of the mountain. How big is it really? It might be just a little hill to step over. Size up the situation, and then create a plan. Ask, "How big is it, then what can I do about it? What are the consequences if I can't fix it? Where can I find help if I need it? Etc.
If the problem is the result of your own mistake, never condemn yourself. If you do that, you're adding a second problem to the one you already have. Punishing yourself, even in your thoughts, does nothing beneficial. So don't do it.
Take life as it comes, and meet each day knowing you have what it takes to handle whatever comes up. Enjoy your journey and go with the flow. And don't forget to smell the flowers along the way.
I wish you little hills instead of mountains.