The Good, The Bad, and the Weird

The snow’s melted. All of it. Two days ago, the temperature was struggling to get into double digits and there was snow and ice everywhere. Now? It’ll be 45 degrees Fahrenheit by noon today, and all the snow melted away yesterday. Everything’s brown and green and muddy now, with tiny stubborn mounds of snow clinging desperately to life in the shadows. I figure they’ll be gone by sunset today, since none of them got particularly big.

It’s kind of strange, really. Mid-January, and once again I could almost walk around without a coat. But life does that. It comes at you from out of nowhere, from directions you would never expect, and you have to roll with it. Sometimes the unexpected is good, like reconnecting with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes the unexpected is bad, like rear-ending a car. Sometimes, though, the unexpected is just the unexpected, like… well, like 47 degree weather in January.

It’s the weird events, the unexpected things, that can test your dedication to your goals the most. If you’ve got a plan for success, you’ve probably considered what you’ll do if something goes wrong. What you’ll do if you get sick, or if there’s ice all over the sidewalks. You can handle that, because you’ve anticipated it. But how do you anticipate your cat leaving half a dead mouse in the middle of the floor as you’re getting ready to go for a walk, or your dog getting stuck inside the couch, or your child deciding to paint himself blue in the middle of the night so he can be a Smurf?

(One of those examples has actually happened to me.)

How do you cope? The same way you cope with the bad things. By having a goal, and having a plan to succeed, and staying the course. But not slavishly. Life happens, after all. That’s what it does. And if your plans are so rigid that it won’t survive having to bathe the dog after your daughter decided to bathe it in the toilet, then you probably didn’t leave enough room for life.

Your plan is a tool to help you meet your goals, after all. It shouldn’t become a straight-jacket, preventing you from living.

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