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Surprises need not cause stress

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There’s nothing like a busy life. Many of us crave it, some of us abhor it, but if you live in the city, work, have a family, no doubt you feel it.





It’s our Canadian urban lifestyle — we have to work to earn a living, enough that we can afford to live the way we choose. And following so closely on the heels of tax time, we’re now even more aware of how much we need to earn in order to take home the bare necessities.





So we do it. We get up early, fight the hustle and crowds, and head to our jobs. For some, that simply means getting up, out of the house and grabbing a coffee along the way.





For others, it can mean waking an entire household, getting several children dressed, fed, out the door, and dropped off to wherever they need to be, all before your own day starts.





Single, married, or responsible for dependents, we urbanites have had to learn to juggle our dance cards. But every once in awhile something happens, like the straw that broke the camel’s back, and we lose control.





In order to prevent drama and disaster, we need to learn to be prepared for the suddenness of change. Surprise events are what happen when we’ve got our lives organized and scheduled — it’s inevitable.





Take my story, for example: months ago, my mom and I were asked to give a mother-daughter speech to a woman’s group in Chicago this past weekend. We agreed and started doing our research. We read the necessary literature and started writing our respective speeches.





We made plans, had flight, hotel and dinner reservations, and had even discussed what to pack for the event. We were both looking forward to the quick getaway and the chance to spend some time together.





Two days before our scheduled departure, I was informed by my insurance company that it wouldn’t cover me for any problems or issues regarding my pregnancy.





At eight months pregnant, I couldn’t take that risk.





I had to call and cancel.





My bags were packed, my speech rehearsed, my husband prepared for his first night alone with our son, and I was really looking forward to not waking up to Dora The Explorer on TV.





Hormonally imbalanced and exhausted, this disappointment initially threw me for a loop.





But before I allowed myself to fall to pieces over it, I remembered my own advice: Take the words of the late John Lennon — “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” — and learn to roll with the punches.





Don’t let the little things get you down — figure out a way to turn a disappointment into something productive. In this instance, I forced myself to switch gears and managed to accomplish some chores I’d put off on the excuse I couldn’t help but be late. Instead of Chicago, I did my taxes.



relating@metronews.ca

 
 
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