This morning, I hit the ‘snooze’ button a couple of times, which I paid for dearly when rushing out the door and I noticed a flat tire. I would have been just on time, but now I have to find a patch kit and do a tire change in a rush. A flat tire is certainly not the end of the world, but it sure does start a day on the wrong foot. Needless to say, the rest of my morning felt quite frazzled.
This is not a very notable story. Some things just don’t go to plan. In this case, it was something small. A ‘bad hair day’. But the fact of life is that not everything goes to plan. There are obstacles far more significant than a delayed commute. The point is in how we prepare for them, and how we deal with them.
Of course, we can’t prepare for what we don’t know what’s coming. But in these little opportunities – my frazzled flat tire morning – there are practice opportunities. Each challenge we overcome gives us the skill to prepare for the bigger ones that may one day come. We learn patience, and practice mindfulness.
When the unplanned happens, it is easy to focus on the unfairness of it, and get stuck asking ‘Why?’. This wasn’t meant to happen. This is the time that it’s hardest to dig deep, and persevere.
If you have been challenged with the unplanned, draw on your inner strength. All the bad hair days and all the challenges you have overcome before have built your strength. Draw on your friends, family, and community, who are there for you. Don’t dwell on the misfortune – instead, dwell on gratefulness, and persevere. It doesn’t always go to plan…