“A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” ― Helen Keller
With all of the snow that we’ve had locally of late, making the turns and getting up the hills while driving has proven to be quite challenging. Life can get like that some times – a little slippery and sometimes dangerous. Sometimes life throws us curves that are hard to make. We may slip off the road and end up in the ditch for a while if we don’t watch out; however, those curves are not the end of the road (or of life), just the end of the road (and life) going in the direction that you were used to heading.
Life is more like driving at night and perhaps in a snow storm. You can see ahead a little ways ahead in the beams of your headlights, but not all that far and there are still things lurking off both sides of the road that may jump in front of you at any minute. Few ever see accidents coming – a patch of icy road, a deer running out from the side of the road or cresting a hill and finding a stopped vehicle in front of you. Life can be like that. We just can’t see the things coming that can be sharp bends in the road of life – an illness or death in the family, the unexpected loss of a job or perhaps an unanticipated move for work-related reasons. Things happen. The road bends; but, it’s not the end and it’s how you deal with those turns that will dictate how you feel about life.
One can see life’s changes (bends in the road) as unsettling, dangerous and frightening, or chose to see the change in direction as an exciting adventure to somewhere that you’ve never been to before. You can have fear or you can have fun. Whichever you choose, there’s no going back. Life doesn’t come with a reverse gear.
So, after you get over the “Oh, Crap; I didn’t see that coming” moment; how do you deal with life’s bends in the road? Do you shut down in fear or do you crank it up in anticipation of the new challenges and/or adventure. Do you get all depressed, or do you get organized and come up with a plan? Do you stop and say to yourself, “I can’t do this”; or, do you swing into action and say, “I won’t let this stop me”?
While it is impossible to avoid the unknown twists and turns in life or to even see them coming; it is possible to go through life with a positive attitude that better prepares you for dealing with them. You can be better prepared to deal with crises if you have already made the choice to not let FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) rule your life. You may not ever be able to change things or put them back to the way that they were, but you can choose how you will continue to go forward – how soon, how far and in what new direction.
One of the absolute keys to success in dealing with life’s twists and turns is to see them and accept them as such. Too many people spend too much time in states of denial, rather than taking action – accepting that it happened and planning your response. Once you can look at what has happened and say to yourself, “OK, it happened, what now?”;
you are on your way to dealing with whatever it was; and more importantly, to where you are now. If you ran off the road and got off into the ditch, it’s time to pick yourself up, come up with a plan and take some action. Doing something (almost anything) is better than wallowing in the ditch off the road. There’s nothing good in that ditch, just weeds.
OK, so now you’re divorced; what now? OK, so you lost that job; what are you going to do now? OK, the boy (girl) of your dreams turned you down for the dance; what now? Take note that you are still here to ask those questions. It didn’t kill you. Most of life’s curves won’t kill you; they may just cause you some temporary pain. But what now, what comes next? Do you plan to just lay there in the ditch forever? It’s time to get up and move on. Get back on the road. I wrote a post about Problem Solving 101 last year that may help you get started back down the road. The road will be taking you in a different direction now; so, there are new things to learn, new people to meet, new adventures to live; and, oh yes, more curves ahead.
Have great day on the road of life and watch out for the curves.