There are some circumstances in this life that we simply cannot control. Acid rain from Japan’s nuclear fallout, which is now affecting the milk supply in my state is one of them. There’s nothing I can do about that. The moat in my backyard, which is only now slowly seeping into the ground in anticipation of the next big rain. Beyond my control. Times when I find myself in between projects, or my husband finds himself between clients … waiting for work to land. We used to stress about weeks like this … wondering if being independent contractors was worth the stress of going without work some weeks.
When I was in college, a wise woman once told me to never use the term “Under the Circumstances” to describe a situation. She would ask “what are you doing UNDER those circumstances? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on TOP of those circumstances.” I’ve carried that bit of wisdom with me through the years, and I can honestly say I’ve never used that phrase again.
Besides, experience has taught us that there is always another project or client waiting around the corner. Now, instead of stressing, my husband spends his weeks “between clients” on the golf course. And I find myself sitting in a coffee shop blogging or exploring a book store looking for my muse. That’s where I read a quote yesterday that said something like “Appreciate the little things, because someday you will look back and realize they were the big things.” That really resonated with me. While I spend my time spinning my wheels, trying to find the “next big thing,” perhaps I need to just take a deep breath and realize that “little things” like building LEGOs with my son, or helping my daughter dress her dollies will have far greater impact on our relationships–and their characters–in the long run.
Some circumstances are simply uncontrollable. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to find a solution to our problems. You know I’m a problem solver, right? But, once we’ve exhausted our means, we simply have to let go of the situation and focus on the moments of freedom we have in between.
Because the people who wind up with ulcers and stress-induced health conditions are the people who unsuccessfully try to control the uncontrollable. Give yourself permission to just let go of your troubles. Indulge in something you love. Love yourself. Minimize your stress.