How You React is Key When Life Throws You a Curveball

off-track

So the name of my blog, Riding the Train of Life, is an analogy to illustrate the concept of us coasting through life always striving to better ourselves and fulfill our goals. But the path is never always a smooth one. Like an actual train, sometimes there are going to delays, or diversions from your normal route and you need to be prepared to adapt to the situation.

Today was an example of that.

The weekends are usually my time to get my errands done and do my regular ‘Saturday’ stuff. So today was no different. I was in my car driving along on a bright, sunny day when one phone call threw me right off course.

It was a family member whom I had just seen a few moments ago. I thought nothing out of the ordinary because sometimes I get a call asking me to grab something from the store so I figured that’s all it was. But not this time. My relative suddenly was not feeling well and needed a doctor immediately. I could hear the desperation in their voice.

So what started off as a normal day, suddenly became a race against the clock. I immediately went into rescue mode and took the first turn back, dozens of thoughts going through my head: Are they okay? What happened? I think it’s important to note that although I was worried and quite concerned, I made sure that that wasn’t reflected in my driving. The last thing I needed was to get a speeding ticket or worse in my haste to get back.

When I got back to the house, I picked up my relative and went straight to the ER. I couldn’t help but ponder the fact that within about 20 minutes time, I had gone from driving along going about my regular business, to being in a room surrounded by doctors, nurses, and patients. It was quite surreal.

I was surprisingly calm, cool, and collected throughout the entire ordeal – because I had to be. My relative really needed some comforting and I had to be the strong one to make the decisions and make sure they were well taken care of. A couple of years ago, I don’t think I would have handled myself in a situation like this nearly as well. Instead I probably would have had a panic attack or two and only have added to an already stressful situation rather than trying to mitigate it. Of course, we are all human, and stress is a normal reaction to a difficult situation, but managing that stress in a way that doesn’t break you is key – especially when you are the only person at that particular time that is being relied on.

Thankfully, my relative ended up being okay, but was told that the episode was likely due to stress and that they needed to take it easy. So after a full day at the ER, most of which was spent waiting, we came home and I ordered them to just rest and not exert themselves. (Read my related post on managing a hectic lifestyle)

So my point in sharing this story is to reiterate that how you react to a potentially alarming situation, especially when it’s unexpected, makes all the difference in how you handle yourself through it. Excessive panic only clouds your judgment and leads to poor decision-making. When you’re calm, your mind remains alert and focused and you are able to reason and make wise decisions – which becomes more critical when dealing with a crisis anyway.

Sometimes these things happen to also remind us of what our priorities are. My plans for the day got derailed, but that’s life right? There’s always tomorrow. Things will never always be hunky dory so when a curveball is thrown your way, catch it with grace and confidence and you will get through it faster and stronger than ever.

 

The image in this post can be found here.

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