“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” 

Isn’t that the truth?  This famous saying from John Lennon reflects a paradox in our lives … no matter how well we plan our lives, the unexpected can still happen to us at any moment.

I’m reminded of a week where projects and deadlines were due at the office. The rhythm of work and personal life were frenzied in a cascade of events. My daughter fractured her arm that weekend at a gymnastics meet, our washer and dryer died the next day, our truck went into the shop, our second car’s battery had a dead short and a flat tire, we had multiple light bulbs going out throughout the house, not to mention a glitch in our home security system which kept setting off the alarm at 11:20 pm and 3:20 am three nights that same week. 

One would completely understand if I’d “lost it” and exploded out of frustration. Have you had at least one day or week like this? 

Maybe it’s karma, a shift in the tides, a full moon, or it’s the balance of life.  When life’s flowing in a good rhythm, I swear these events pop up as a reminder that there is always a yin and yang to that flow. 

Yet, I surprised myself that week. Instead of becoming stressed in an anxious craze and freaking out with the “why does this always happen to us” pity party, I just found myself laughing as each new crazy moment unfolded! 

Instead of letting myself fall victim to the stress, I faced what was happening with more of a “bring it on” approach because, quite frankly, there was too much going wrong at one time to not find the humor in it.

When a string of bad luck happens, like it just did with my family,  it’s easy to fall into the mindset that we are the only people who experience such life events or that nothing like this happens to anyone else. In reality tho, we all experience days or weeks very similar to this one. 

Maybe we don’t always break out laughing to ease the stress at the moment, but boy it sure helped me that day! It broke the tension and put me in a better frame of mind.

It got me thinking about mindset and reflecting on the ability to change our mind toward the outcome of our day, no matter what is happening. The ability to look for the good in the situation if we so choose, even if we can’t see it at the time. It’s a terrific life lesson in perspective and positivity!

The reason I wanted to share this with you is to remind each other that it’s okay to have this type of day. We need to breathe through it and know we’re not alone. Days full of adverse events can be gifts. Gifts to remind ourselves of all the good things happening around us even when adverse events unfold. Sometimes, have to take a deep breath (or two) and look a bit harder to change our focus. 

  • Maybe there’s an inconvenience to being without a working washer and dryer, but we are fortunate to be able to be to replace them (and thank goodness for the nearby laundromat!). 
  • My little girl’s arm was fractured, and she missed out on the remainder of her gymnastics season, but we could spend time together after school and attend puppy training courses that she would have otherwise missed while being at team practice. 
  • The flat tire fix ended up being less expensive than the full set of tires we thought the car needed, and at least the flat tire didn’t result in an accident! 
  • Projects at the office worked themselves out.

In the end, these small things that can be quick to stress us out, are insignificant compared to the big picture of life. 

  1. My family is healthy and happy. 
  2. We have relationships & connections that fill our lives with joy and love. 
  3. Life is busy, full, and we are strong and capable. 

I’m beyond grateful for these gifts. Time and again, a simple shift in thinking from lack into gratitude fills my heart and mind with good energy and positivity, instead of allowing negativity to take hold. 

The gift in adversity is the beauty to have the choice each day to shift and up-level our reactions and perspective in life. We can train our mind to look for the positive in any situation. 

So as I continue to plan my calendar with our busy schedules, work, and to do lists, I’ll be mindful that sometimes life has other plans. 

Thank you for reading!

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Originally published at innerstrengthandbeauty.com