The unexpected can throw us for a loop, especially if you are anything like me and enjoy the comfort of routines. It’s easy to think about those unexpected events that hurl a curveball in our direction and throw us off course. Sort of like the curveball(s) that caused this post to be over a day later than my self-imposed Tuesday morning deadline.
But what about those curveballs that bring excitement and energy? You may cross paths with someone who changes your life. A new acquaintance today can become a best friend down the road.People who are married initially crossed paths with their spouse at some point in the past. In this day of social media, connections and networking, a person you meet today could change your career, your income, your options.
Any unexpected turn of events could bring positive changes in your life. An idea with a friend over coffee could turn into a new business. A lost dog or cat arrives at your doorstep with no collar, and failed attempts to find its owner add this pet to your family. Acknowledgement of successful tasks at work become a promotion.
What about those curveballs that throw us off track and bring us down, and cause us to ask ourselves, “How could I not see this coming?” and "What am I going to do now?" Unexpected positive events are great because they enhance our lives immediately. It doesn’t matter that we didn’t see them coming. Negative curveballs hurt. Initially, yes. However, even being thrown off track can point us in a new direction or eventually help us uncover a new perspective, or force us to adjust and adapt.
Getting fired? That may finally get you out of a toxic environment and open a door to a new job opportunity for which you wouldn’t have been available before. Yourself or someone you love getting injured in an accident? That may help you readjust your priorities and feelings about what is important to you. Plans falling through at the last minute? That may assist you in avoiding a worse curveball, or allow you to be available to a positive unexpected event elsewhere.
Good news usually makes us feel better. But what about bad news? It makes us feel down, sad, or otherwise disappointed, right? I’ll throw in some of my personal regulars: irritation, frustration, anger, disbelief, exasperation with society and what this world is coming to. You know, things like that. Regardless of the news, its impact on me, my level of agreement or satisfaction with any turn of events, I am provided with an opportunity to decide what I’m going to do next and how am I going to react.
When we get thrown off track by anything, we instinctively work our way back on track. We may not get back on the same track. As we walk beside the track figuring out how to get back on, we are in a state of readjustment. Changes are usually necessary, for if we get back on the original track and continue along the same way, we may well find ourselves knocked off the track again at the next fork. It may be necessary to change our perspective, goal, and/or priorities to the point where we jump on a completely different track.
Those curveballs that threw me off my Tuesday morning deadline were gifts in disguise. Several derailments brought with it new and exciting possibilities. Others were negative, or sad in a way, so those areas need time, attention and planning before I take the next steps in those areas. As a result, this post became a Wednesday night post. It's OK. Moving on….
While negative curveballs do hurt, sting and even injure at times, they provide a means to change and grow in a new, positive direction. Sure, the opposite can happen – we can jump tracks and continue down a negative direction. How we react to unexpected events sets the stage for the next steps. We can ask for help. We can react in ways that are impulsive and reflect our immediate emotions, or we can respond in more thoughtful ways that reflect our true core values, beliefs, desires, and hopes for the future of the world. The choice is ours.
Embrace the unexpected. Find your track. Spread the joy.