Life changes all the time. I’m not sure when it happened, but I’ve been finding these changes really hard to deal with lately. I guess I’m not the carefree girl I used to be.
Who am I kidding? I don’t think I’ve ever been that girl.
Sure, before kids, it was easier to go with the flow. There weren’t as many moving pieces or giant responsibilities. Now that I’m a mom and wife (and adult?) it seems a lot harder. Actually, it’s seems really hard.
I’m not even talking about the huge life changes like marriage or babies.
I’m talking about the small ones. A kid home sick from school, a car that doesn’t start, or even a cancelled dental appointment. Or how about when your computer just shuts down while you’re typing a blog post?! After you’ve finally got some motivation to write???
Yes, all life changes can be difficult. No matter how small they have the ability to screw up your best laid plans.
So, what do you do? How do you handle it?
I’m still trying to figure it all out, but here’s what I’ve learned so far.
It’s OK to be Upset
Does anyone feel like they need permission to feel upset? Even if it’s from yourself?
Well, I do.
Here’s an example.
So, you had been planning a huge birthday dinner for your husband for weeks. The day of, you get super sick and end up in Urgent Care, prompting you to cancel the whole thing.
Ok. This isn’t a hypothetical situation. This happened to me about a month ago.
Not only was I feeling physically terrible, but I also felt sad and angry. I disappointed my husband and ruined his party. Plus, I had been looking forward to it too.
But, what could I do? Not much.
I cried, slept, and cried some more. I let myself feel all of those feelings and wallow in it for a bit.
After getting out the tears and talking it out with my husband, I was able to get some rest and start to recover.
Now, those weren’t the only tears I shed. My sickness lasted way too long, and I had to miss a ton of activities and events that I had scheduled.
When I’m sick, my emotions tend to run even higher, so I was pretty miserable (and miserable to be around!) So, it was better that I couldn’t go anywhere, and just let myself feel bad.
Come Up with a New Plan
While you can’t always make up for everything you miss, you do what you can. If there’s a chance for a do-over you need to take it!
I wasn’t going to let my husband’s birthday go by without celebrating, so I rescheduled the dinner for the next weekend. Not everyone could make it, but we still had fun.
I couldn’t recreate the events that I missed, like a writer’s workshop, book club, or a mom’s night out, but I could get healthy so I could make sure I could attend the next ones.
I made sure to mark future events on my calendar, so my husband could plan his work schedule around them.
Use Your Experience
Of course, after I was healthy, my kids took turns being sick. We had another bout of Pink Eye, Mr. B had Strep throat, and I’m actually home right now with one that had a fever last night.
Through all of these experiences, I’ve realized that I’m not good with the little changes to my routine. I plan my daily workouts, schedule appointments, and mentally prepare for each day the night before. I use Google calendar and an actual paper schedule.
I am a planner, and I need to accept that about myself. Predictable things make me happy. Change does not. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t learn to deal with it better.
When I can’t get my workout in or can’t get my car in for my scheduled oil change because I have a sick kid at home, I now realize that I do not handle it well. Not only am I worried about my child, but those life changes really affect me.
I lash out at the people trying to help me because I’m so upset with my day not going the way I had pictured.
I should know this by now, but life hardly ever goes the way we picture it.
So, while I will still let myself get upset, I need to take a beat before I talk with anyone else. I need to take some deep breaths and just remind myself that the world will not end if I miss one workout. It may feel like it at the time, but in 10 minutes, it will feel OK.
Progress when Life Changes
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again until I believe it. I am a work in progress. I am doing the best I can, and learning from each and every mistake.
My anxiety may make me dwell on things a little longer and have a stronger reaction, but at least I know that about myself, and I think that’s progress all on it’s own.
While little life changes may always bug me, I won’t let them break me.