28

Jan

GOTTA LOVE THOSE BUMPER STICKER, SITCOM MOMENTS…GRRR!

Sometimes, despite best-life practices, technologically-forward-thinking apps, and planning, life just happens, stuff just happens and, as the bumper sticker reads, “sh*t,” well, “just HAPPENS.”

And that’s just before noon. You want to slink back under the covers, turn off the phone ringer, and maybe even find a large and heavy rock to hide under for a while. I can most certainly relate.

One might think that in the World of Coaching and Positive Psychology, life would be all roses, quinoa, and yoga. Oooh no; one should think again. Human life is human life, and it can sometimes put anyone to the test.

Take my day, for instance. My husband, who usually gets the kids up and ready for school before starting work, left today at 5:00 a.m. for an appointment in New Jersey, leaving me to the kid-duty. I set my alarm clock on my phone (which has never let me down), and proceeded to turn off my ringer – quite by accident as, whenever he leaves the house early, he always calls around 6 a.m. to wake me; it’s kind of my oversleep insurance policy.

And then…holy insomnia. I was awake most of the night, and finally fell asleep around 4:00 a.m. This was not, in and of itself, the problem – I’ve become accustomed to grabbing some zzzzs when I’m able to turn off my overactive head – the PROBLEM was that the alarm didn’t go off and, because my ringer was turned off, I didn’t hear my insurance policy call, and call, and call another nineteen times. My daughter, whose phone was next to her bed, had turned her ringer off, as well, and well, alas. At 8:40, she had already missed a midterm, and my 11-year-old son had missed his favorite before-school activity – his Wednesday morning sign language class. All of this with my raging cold, and after being under-the-weather for the last couple of weeks. Whoops.

But just wait; it gets better. After driving my son, and then my daughter, to their respective schools, signing them in to the attendance office, and finally getting back into my car, my ‘low fuel’ light went on. Grrr. My husband usually fills the tank – double grrr. And then two clients missed appointments. And the list goes on.
These kinds of moments are frequent. Sitcom moments, I like to call them. And they are like sitcoms, because when you take a breath, calm down, and look back (usually pretty soon afterwards, too), they are actually quite humorous; the perfect storm of situational uh-ohs, comedic mishaps, and FUBAR – edness. (If you don’t know what that WWII expression means, you truly must Google it. … Got it? Quite fitting, yes?)

Are these sitcom moments serious? No. My daughter will take a makeup exam, thanks to the generosity of her most amazing Italian teacher (thank you, Professoressa M!), and my son will catch next Wednesday’s class. Luckily, I made it to the gas station in one piece for gas, and my clients rescheduled.

Life happens. And, yes, sometimes it does all seem to coincide on one day – or week – or month. I get it. But, as my remarkable, and remarkably wise, mother says, “This too shall pass.”
Can and should you laugh it all off? YES! And sure, maybe get a tad bit irritated; we are only human, you know, but if one can’t laugh off, or at least shrug off, life’s little snafus and sitcom moments, how will one deal with life’s serious, true grit- and resilience-testing ones? The REAL ones, when one’s very health and well-being, or that of a loved one, is on the line. The more one is able to let the sitcom moments go, or even (dare I say) learn and grow from them, the more resilient in general one will become, and the better off that person, and his/her family and friends, will be when the REAL ones DO happen.

Yes, we are all human. We most certainly do act as we see fit, at the time, in the moment. We do also tend to overreact much of the time – on the whole, as a species. Let’s save the big reactions for the big things and try to keep the little things in check. Look forward to those roses, that quinoa, or that yoga, or whatever it is that floats your boat, as often as possible. The things that make us smile, keep us balanced, and help us stay healthy are life’s little sitcom moment rewards.
In the words of another wise and incredible woman – my mother-in-law – “nothing’s a problem unless you make it one.”
Flower shop, quinoa salad, and yoga mat, here I come!
And tonight, a glass of wine might follow.

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