When Life Throws a Curve Ball

Life can be unpredictable. We work hard to plan, prepare, manipulate, get ourselves in the right place at the right time, to make things happen when we want them to happen. When things are clipping along as planned, we feel good, and it lulls us into this sense of security and makes us feel like we’re in control.

Then, BAM, out of the blue, at the most inopportune time, life throws us a curve ball…let’s us know we aren’t necessarily the ones in control. We are at the mercy of Fate, or God, or Nature, or Luck – however you choose to view it. It’s then that we find out who we really are. How we deal with a traumatic or an unexpected event shows the core of us.

We can panic, stress, try to regain control, or trudge through with an attitude. Or we can choose to stop, breathe, center, and accept the event as a gift.

This week life threw me a curve ball. I just started a new job three weeks ago. I have a home and family that keep me busy and happy. But 900 miles away, my dad got sick and was hospitalized. It only took a few minutes for me to decide to fly home to be with him and mom.

It is a stressful time, to be sure. Hospitals and unknowns are no fun. But this week I choose to be centered. I take time to breathe deep breaths, calm my mind, and accept this as a gift. I choose to open myself to the possibilities that life has something new to offer me, and I choose to discover the gifts of each moment.

I sit in the hospital with my dad and am grateful that I am able to be with him. I hug mom and am hopeful I can ease a little of her worry. I rejoice that my family and friends send their love and support in so many kind ways. I enjoy the chance to breathe cold, crisp air and watch beautiful songbirds dine at my parents’ bird feeder. I accept and appreciate the opportunity to learn how to navigate through hospital land and all that a hospital stay entails.

I could choose to worry and be afraid, but I’d rather focus my energy on being positive and fully present in each moment. So when life throws a curve ball, I reach out and catch it. Hold it, accept it for the gift it is.

I breathe, I center, I smile, and I discover that life really is unpredictable, and that’s OK.

*********************

-special thanks to my hero, Tom Crum, for sharing his centering stories in the book Three Deep Breaths!

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