When You Just Can’t

One of the most frustrating and difficult weekends happened to my family this weekend. After dealing with three separate and potentially scary health-related issues in my immediate family in less than 24 hours, our car broke down in sub-freezing temperatures while trying to drive home from my older two girls’ dance recital.

Yesterday, I had to take off work because I had no working vehicle. Luckily, I have a good relationship with a nearby garage and was able to arrange to have the car towed there for repair.

When you have on or more of those days where it seems like everything is going wrong, it can be incredibly frustrating, to say the least.

I’m writing this post to myself, as a reminder that it’s OK when things don’t always go as planned. But it’s one thing to plan for more failure and another thing to actually have to deal with it when it happens, especially when so much is out of your control.

How I react to failure is a test of my character and perseverance, and in this case I did not handle it very well, because I hate when I’m not prepared to deal with a problem or am not in control of my circumstances. Add to that the feeling that I was failing my most important job of taking care of my kids and I pretty much lost it emotionally. Luckily my wife provided a voice of reason and came up with a plan to get us all home safely.

At the moment there are still several things up in the air. I don’t know how much it will cost to fix the car but I know it won’t be cheap. Some of the health issues are not resolved and may not be for awhile, as there are several unknowns.

In the grand scheme of things, I know my car will be fixed and we’ll have to decide whether to keep or replace it. Most likely, the health scares will pass and everything will go back to normal. The sky is not falling; the world is not ending (yet). But losing perspective even for just a few days can certainly take its toll.

I stopped tracking my meals and was stress-eating all weekend. I didn’t exercise. I certainly didn’t work on any of my “spare time” projects. And of course, I didn’t write.

But that is my current reality. When my family needs me, I will choose them every time. Nothing else I do has more importance, and if that means it will take longer to reach my long-term goals (like self-employment and getting in better shape), that’s fine with me.

If I was going to have a “word” for 2017, it would be patience. It’s something that’s tested daily, and I need to work on it in several areas of my life.

So I’m trying to get back on track today, to find some sense of normalcy again. Whatever that means…


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