Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Unexpected Turns

We all meet unexpected turns in the road. Sometimes those turns are small and mostly insignificant, and other times those turns are greater and much more significant. No matter who we are, these turns occur.

How do we meet these turns in the road?

Although unexpected, we have to recognize that unexpected turns in the road, though not typically the norm, are inevitable life events. These unplanned for and unexpected events occur.

I think it's best that we take pause and think about what these events mean for us: How do we feel? Why do we feel this way? What changes do these turns mark? How can we best meet these changes? In a sense, how can we rightfully and positively change with these events no matter how promising or devastating they may be?

As we think, we have to plan, we have to mourn the life these unexpected events may interrupt; we have to think about who is traveling forward with us and who is left behind; we have to celebrate and mark what is gone in a way that matters, and plan for the new path ahead.

These unexpected turns in the road of life can occur in our personal lives, professional lives, and lives of our community, country, and world too. When they occur, we need to be realistic too--how do these changes big and small truly affect who we are and what we can do. Sometimes a change that seems really big truly has little affect on our day to day lives, and a change that is somewhat small actually changes our daily living a lot. We may exaggerate the change when we see it only through the emotion the change causes rather than the real-life impact that change creates.

As I think more on this, I'm thinking of changes that sometimes occur in my professional sphere--changes that seemingly upset good plans or preparation, yet by taking the time to dissect the change and deal with it, the truth is that the change usually upsets little on the day-to-day front of teaching and learning, and instead has much more of an emotional impact than a real-time impact.

So when those unexpected turns happen, take time to ask the following questions:
  • What am I feeling?
  • What do those feelings say about who I am, what I want, and how I should meet this change?
  • Make a plan for meeting the change, a plan that matches who you are, how you want to live/work, and where you desire to go forward in your personal life, professional life, community, nation, or world. 
  • Commemorate the past dreams and direction by including those in the next leg of life's journey or memorializing the past events or dreams in a special way.
  • Move forward with renewed and revised direction.
Unexpected turns in the road happen all the time. It's part of life, and as with most things, it's the way you handle these changes that truly matters.