When Life gets in the way…

As seen on a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “Reality has a way of intruding into one’s life.” (Joe Biden) Vice-President Biden recently lost his son Bo to brain cancer and has suffered other   big losses in his life.

I often use the little phrase “life gets in the way” as a way of explaining why I didn’t get something done or why I had to change my plans. Life is reality and reality is life and they do have a way of intruding and changing one’s plans.

We all tend to live in our own little worlds of hopes, dreams, plans and routines and very often all of those things are put man rushing
on hold when reality (life) gets in the way. I don’t know about you; but I tend to get annoyed if I’m late for some appointment or commitment. For me it seems important at the time to be on time; however, many times the thing that I’m rushing to get to or do isn’t really all that important and my wife will bring some reality into the situation by saying something like, “why hurry; what have you got to do for the rest of the day?” She’s usually right; whether I’m there right on time or a few minutes late will make no difference. Life gets in the way.

The other thing that happens often is that all of the careful plans that I may have spent hours worrying about go out the window if there’s even one small change or thing that I didn’t consider (which is often the case).  Over planning or over thinking situations is an unfortunate character trait that I seem to have passed on to my son. My wife is much more laid back, with a “whatever” attitude about most things in life (as is his wife, thankfully). I surrounded by sharksjust have trouble letting go of any perceived control and “going with the flow.” Life gets in the way.

I think the biggest problem that most of us have with the intrusiveness of life is the fact that we’re trying to live life as if we did have some control over it. At best, we have control over how we react to the things that the reality of life throws at us. It’s sort of like we’re over here living in our own little bubble (our perception of reality) and things (real life) keep poking at our bubble. We can choose to ignore some things (the things that don’t make it through our protective bubble); but some things break through and demand our attention. We have to stop what we were contentedly doing and deal with this new reality. Life gets in the way.

The things that may not make it through our protecting bubble could be things like racism or prejudices. We may think woman in a bubblethat we can ignore them and look the other way and continue to be content in our own reality. For many that seems to work as a day-to-day way to live their lives. Refusing to acknowledge that there are problems for them means not having to confront and deal with them. Occasionally one of those problems may break through because they hit too close to home – a racially motivated incident in our own town or perhaps witnessing directly the hate that can accompany prejudice. In those times we must react and find our own way to deal with the intrusion of this new reality. Life gets in the way.

I suspect that the main difference between those who might be called “regular people” and those labeled as “activists” is that the activists have dropped the pretense of life in a bubble and seek to confront and affect change in the realities of the life that they see around them. They have found that they cannot ignore the injustices that they can clearly see and have decided to take action. They have decided that when life gets in the way, they will find a way to change reality rather than just accept it. You have to admire that.

woman boxerSo, what will you do when life gets in the way and when reality intrudes on your life? At a minimum, you are in control of how you react and deal with the intrusion into your bubble. Will you try to turn away and ignore the intrusion, in hopes that it will just go away; or will you decide to take action and change the reality that you face. If you start each day with the attitude of “bring it on, I’m ready for whatever you’ve got”, you’ll be much better prepared for when life gets in the way.

Have a great day, but be ready for when life gets in the way.

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