Best laid plans.

bouncing back mental stamina Jul 19, 2023


Every one of us could entertain a campfire crowd of people with tales of how our plans went awry. Memes are devoted to it: You make a plan, and God laughs. Plan is a four-letter word. Anything about the pandemic. My point is that it's a universal experience to have plans fall apart, so the focus should be on what we do next.


What plan of mine recently fell apart? Oh, thanks for asking (LOL). Most notably, I was excited to give a mindset seminar in Massachusetts. I fought Friday east coast traffic to arrive at my host's home in time for a delicious dinner and settle the dogs. Woke up the next morning to birds singing while I let the dogs out, fed them, and started getting ready. Within minutes I was in excruciating pain and begging Dr. Google for the cure.


We were all thumbs. She texted a nurse-friend who gave us more educated guidance, while I kept hoping Dr. Google would respond more optimistically. We were soon on our way to the hospital, hoping speed limit enforcement folks were still sleeping. I groaned out "valuable" information between my pitiful (and loud) wails of pain. "There are Flexi-leashes in the car because my dogs might not listen to you." Along with incredibly obvious questions. "Did you tell everyone in the seminar?" I remember apologizing a lot, too. It was a hot mess made bearable by the unwavering sanity of my new bestie (because surely we would be forever bonded from this shared ridiculousness).


I'll spare you the long version and cut to the punch line. It turned out to be kidney stones, and the ER Doctor told me she kept me longer because of how bad I looked upon arrival. Fair point.


So what's the lesson?

Even in my panic, I quickly found gratitude for not being alone. As someone who lives alone, there are a number of worse scenarios, including having to get myself to the hospital or not having a proper place for my dogs. I was very quick to find all the upsides to my crisis, and I let my mind focus on those.


I was surrounded by "proper professionals." (movie line callback) My friend was super chill, and she had her friend talking us in. The staff was calm and seemed unfazed by my howls, and I gave over trust to all of them. As an independent person, it was amazing to count on help.


The seminar community was incredibly understanding and flexible. While we were all disappointed, everyone responded graciously as we worked quickly to find a plan B.


I was also grateful for my dogs, who I'm sure were thrown by the day's events but rolled with it.


And finally, a sense of humor for the win. Whether it was me attempting a  joke, the seminar peeps offering puns, or my new bestie realizing humor was exactly what was needed, humor gave the day the right perspective. 



So, how quickly can you find a new, more constructive perspective when your plan falls apart? I don't believe in glossing over that which needs to be felt or healed, but we do get to choose HOW we go through it. Gratitude and humor are my go-to's, and I'm glad I found them easily in this drama. Grace was not on the list this time (haha) as I flailed and wailed. That's okay, maybe next time! At least I know I thanked everyone who lent a hand.


How do you want to navigate unexpected events? Do you want to be the graceful competitor who stays and claps for others through your own disappointment? Do you want to be able to laugh it off or make a joke? Do you want to be grateful for the pieces that went right?

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