When Life Throws You Curveballs

  
We all go through life hoping that it will run smoothly. We have this idea that the path to whatever we want will be easy to follow, streamlined, and void of any hurdles. Okay, sure, we might expect hurdles on a cognitive level, but most of us probably have this desire that maybe just for today life will run smoothly. When it doesn’t run smoothly and when we run into problems that seem like monsters, it can catch us off guard. I’ll list some of these monsters and then discuss ways to tackle them. The point of this post is to plan ahead in case these happen. You will invariably experience bumps in the road, and you need to have a plan for how to manage them.

1. You lost your job, got fired, or decided to quit. This one is a curve ball that many people have encountered. Obviously, these three are quite different from each other in terms of their circumstances. One of them might be expected, and the other two can completely blindside you. Scenario A: Your company decided to cut several employees, and you are one of them. You’ve worked at the company for a while, and it just doesn’t seem fair that they would cut you. Scenario B: Or, you could have made a mistake – or several – that cost the company. It may not be typical of you, and it surprises you that anyone would see you as that employee. Scenario C: You decided to quit your job because you found something that fits your dream journey and that better sharpens your skills and passion. What surprises you about it is how quick the change came about.

The common theme in dealing with these is that you have to be your own boss, your own HR person, your own brand, and your own company even when you are working for the other person. You need to get to know yourself and learn how to advocate yourself. What are your goals, dreams, and visions? What are you passionate about? What do you want to see when you get to the end of your life and look back on your work? You also need to have your own brand as a person. Obviously when you work for a company, you are expected to maintain the company’s brand, but you need to have a sense of who you are as well. The company doesn’t own you. Make a list of companies you would like to work for, network with professionals in those companies, keep your resume current, and even write cover letters ahead of time. Keep them in a file in your home. Even if you rewrite the letter at the time you apply, you at least have something to go by when you sit down to write them.

2. The class you need to register for in order to graduate is full. The way to avoid this one is to take the required courses early in your degree plan. If there is a course that everyone in your program has to take, go ahead and take that one early. Sometimes programs require you to take a certain number of elective courses, and all programs have specific courses that are required. If there are certain electives that are only offered during certain semesters, pay attention to that and plan accordingly.

3. You’re late for a doctor’s appointment, and you can’t find a parking space. To avoid this one, leave the previous place (whether it’s work, home, or lunch) in enough time to arrive to the appointment 10-15 minutes early. If it’s a new doctor’s office, you might find it helpful to drive to it a couple days before the appointment so you can get a feel for the parking setup.

4. You’ve moved to a new state and can’t stand the people. You know that you have to move. It’s a new job, a move for your family, a new place to live. There’s not really a way to know if you will like the people in the new location, but you can plan ahead for how to deal on those days that you just can’t stand the people. Not everyone in the new place will be the same. You can meet different personalities, which is a good thing. Even though there might be some people that annoy you, not everyone will be bothersome. Also, our level of tolerance for some people depends somewhat on our mood for the day. If we’re having a bad day, a lot of people may bother us that normally wouldn’t on a good day. Find those people who will be solid friends, and find them sooner rather than later. These are people whom you can talk to and not be judged or ridiculed. People who get you and don’t impose their opinions on you. (Granted, if you move to the South, people speak their minds pretty openly.)

5. You arrive at the gym at the only time you can go, and the workout machines are all taken. This might be one for Captain Obvious, but you might want to choose a different time to go to the gym. If you’ve just arrived to the gym and notice that all the machines are taken, don’t rush out the door just yet. Most gyms have mats where you can stretch. Do some stretches and take your time. You have to stretch anyways, and it might be that someone is almost done with one of the machines. By the time you finish stretching, one of the machines is bound to become available. You can also walk or jog on the indoor track, or you could pick a different type of exercise machine.

6. The pharmacy where you’ve had your prescriptions filled for the past several years no longer takes your health insurance plan. Health care is a beast. While it can be quite daunting to find the right plan, you also feel very accomplished when you have conquered it. Before your prescription runs out, make sure you have refills available. Call the pharmacy ahead of time and ask them if they take your health insurance plan. Also ask if they keep your prescriptions in stock. Plan to fill them at least a week before you run out.

7. Your new health insurance plan doesn’t cover the same doctor you’ve used forever. Call your provider and ask what doctors are covered by their plan. Do this as soon as you select the plan that you want. Once you have confirmed who is covered, go ahead and call to make an appointment with the new doctor. This will help you get established as a new patient. Fair warning, though: if your new doctor is thorough in his or her practice, he or she will ask you just about every kind of question they can about your health, including things that might be uncomfortable to talk about.

8. Through a series of complaints and interviews, you discover that a trusted colleague has betrayed you. This can be really tough. When trust is betrayed, you feel violated and deeply hurt. You try to think of how this happened and run through possible explanations, but you only end up feeling angry and bitter. While it is necessary to get to the bottom of why or how a conflict arose, it’s also healthy to restrict yourself from thinking about it too much. When we overthink things, that is usually when we come up with false explanations. This is when it is good to have a friend, mentor, or counselor to talk to, someone who won’t gossip about your situation, someone to whom you can vent about the situation. You might could benefit from conflict resolution skills and assertiveness training. At some point, you will need to have a conversation with that colleague, as long as you feel safe doing so. Make a list of all the things you want to say, run it by your mentor, and make sure you cover all points on the list in your conversation. You don’t want to leave anything out, because you don’t want bitterness and resentment to develop.

9. The new job you just got doesn’t allow long enough breaks for your appointments (doctor’s, counseling, etc.). Plan to take a day off occasionally and schedule all of your appointments for that day. Ask the scheduler of your appointments if there is any penalty for being late.

10. Someone steals your credit card. This one definitely makes you feel violated. One way to conquer it is to carry cash on you, or especially to places where your information could be compromised. Places that are vulnerable to credit card fraud are gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores, etc. Plan to bring cash with you and pay that way. You can also keep a prepaid card on you to use. This way, the card isn’t connected to your bank information, so if the number gets stolen, only the amount that’s on the card could be used.

25 thoughts on “When Life Throws You Curveballs

  1. workoutwithdi says:

    Ooooh good list! I admit I don’t deal with change well, and that can lead to a lot of stress. Hence my word for 2016 is Aloha, learning to live the Hawaii style and just take things as they come, slow down and chill out

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kacie says:

    I love #10! What a great idea! I had never thought of using a prepaid card to avoid having to use a debit or credit card at those places. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hodge Podge Moments says:

    Curveballs are such a big part of life! I’ve definitely faced a few of the ones you’ve mentioned. I’ve found looking for the good in a bad situation to be super helpful! Thanks for the great tips – I hope they help someone who is currently in one of these situations.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenna @ A Savory Feast says:

    This is great advice! #5 is not really significant, but it’s the most common one for me. It can be so frustrating to not be able to workout the way you were planning to! But that is great advice to do some stretching and take your time warming up so that machines will open up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Heather says:

    This is quite the list! I hope no one has to go through too many of those at once! I have been trying to roll with the punches lately. No matter how hard I try to plan for everything, it doesn’t always go my way – or even often! I guess that is life with three little ones, always in for something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Skye says:

    It is so easy to get defeated when you get a bunch of stuff thrown at you that you weren’t expecting! I love this post and the way you turn it all around! It is true that you can’t handle what happens to you but you can handle how you react!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. littlemisscant says:

    Sheesh that’s the list of curve balls! I was scrolling down your list and mentally checking off each and every one of those but and you can totally delete this if it’s inappropriate I believe that God will use those “curve balls” that come our way and work through them for His greater good. My hubby was laid off for 8 months but at the end of it their relationship was strengthened and renewed to a place we never dreamed possible🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Katarzyna says:

    I’ve experienced few of those and I agree it’s good to be prepared. I’m not a panicky person, usually I keep my cool in stressful situations, but it doesn’t mean it’s all so easy for me. What I like to do when I face the “curveballs” is to ask: “Will it matter next year?” and many times it won’t. And whatever happens, it’s not the end of the world, just a little turn on your path. We’re given only trials we can handle, even if it doesn’t seem so at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ana De Jesus says:

    Being let go from jobs can be hard-it has happened to me- and you always question what you have done wrong and that your not good enough but it is important to not think about it and move on. As for betrayal of trust we need to be more careful about who we trust in life and that is something I need to work on!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mdw4christ says:

    I can relate to quitting a job twice, both were in the context of a local church for the purpose of preserving unity. One church had issues with the fact that my ex-wife left, and the other had issues with me remarrying.
    I can also relate to moving to another state twice and hating it. The first time, I stayed six years. I did not blend well in an extremely rural environment, but I endured and left very loved by the people.
    The third situation is betrayal. My ministry mentor who is 19 years older had a 3-year affair with my wife of 13 years. They are now married.
    It is definitely difficult to understand what God might be doing despite these things. However, my experience has been that I can minister to more people because of these bumps in the road. Everyone should realize that God can use their mess and turn it into a ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. tonyadenmark says:

    Losing or quitting a job is probably the big one in this list and one that really does throw a curveball. Ultimately, it’s how we react, whether planned or not, that determines our course.

    Liked by 1 person

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