It's Monday at 8:00 a.m. and the morning news is on in my family room. Winter storm warning in effect for Boston, Wednesday 6 a.m. - Thursday 1 p.m. I feel my blood begin to boil, my stomach starts to turn, and the anxiety in my chest escalates. It never fails. I have a flight at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, and in my mind, my gut, and my heart, I know there is NO WAY I am going to get out of here on time.
Stress has taken over, the worries and what-ifs are all that floods my mind, and I'm about 99.7% sure that my parents are ready to ring my neck after the nonstop phone calls and texts I've been sending their way about my potentially ruined plans. After shifting my flight to Friday to avoid this stereotypical, early March Boston snow, Thursday rolls around and my flight is untouched; the snow, much less than anticipated, had minimal impact on the airport.
Alas, I am left sitting at home, when I should be traveling, frustrated, upset, and annoyed, that this time around, things did not fall into my hands.
We have all had moments like these; some probably more than others. Here is where I take a moment to tip my hat to those who are so carefree that planning is beyond them. The stress of scheduling or frustration of an altered agenda does not faze them. Perhaps stress comes only in extreme moments. Some days, I wish I were you. On days like last week, I wish I was you.
But to those of you who struggle with this lax perspective, I want to remind you that there are so many things out of your control. Life will throw you the biggest curveball that will leave you stopped in your tracks, stunned, and stumped. It will throw you things you cannot handle, so much so that you begin to question where you are at that very moment. Life will present you with a reality that fizzles all of the hypotheticals, daydreams, and what-ifs that you've built up in your brain.
You must live with the consequences, swim through the ambiguity, and find comfort in the fact that there are many facets of this journey you are on that are far out of your control. There will be instances that you simply have no reigns on. Nothing that you could have done differently that would have altered the outcome. This seems super uplifting, right? That your life is seemingly going to stink at some moments? You totally want to keep reading.
Truly, you cannot always have it your way. It is in these moments where your patience is tested and your energy is at an all-time low that you learn how to persist, how to re-carve your path, and how to tame the worries in your mind.
Perhaps there are even moments that you will stress about the potential of things falling apart, moments that your gut is twisted and turned in a thousand knots, and it seemingly knows things are not going to go according to plan. Then and there, you must combat these thoughts that swarm your mind; they only breed worry and anxiousness, worry and anxiousness that may not even be necessary because the outcome has not even been determined yet.
It is easy to jump to conclusions.
It is inevitable to feel the pressure of revamping predetermined plans.
It is understandable to feel frustration and confusion as you reach a road that is unfamiliar.
Persist. Assess your options. Be aware that some things are simply controlled by something greater than ourselves. You cannot control everything, nor is it healthy to have your hands on everything surrounding you. Learn to live with spontaneity, trust the process, and embrace the bumps in the road that you encounter.
It's not only the mountains, but it is also valley that shape us each and every day.