Managing life’s roadblocks


We’ve all been there: roadblocks in life, roadblocks in work, roadblocks in love. These often-sudden changes are those that completely knocks you off course, knocks the wind out of your sails, and then leaves you picking up the pieces trying to find another way to reach your goals*.

A month ago, Mr. Tucker and I encountered one of those roadblocks that affected our living situation. We have just spent a couple of weeks frustrated and scrambling and only recently have I been able to step back and see things clearly. Without going into detail, having your goal wrenched away from you by something out of your control is enraging. Still, I noticed that the more we hyper-focused on the negative part, the worse we felt. Nothing was being accomplished and our anger and sadness was only fueling more anger and sadness.

Sometimes you have to actually say to yourself out loud, “STOP.”
Stop this right now.” You need to force your brain to do a 180 and start focusing on all the positive things or else you will stay in the feedback loop where everything is miserable. I know some people who are constantly hyper-focused on the worst things, and let me tell you: they aren’t fun at parties.

So how did I drag myself out of my funk?

I concentrated on things I could control: I don’t get angry at the weather for doing weather things just like I can’t control other people or situations. However, I am in charge of managing my life in a million and one little ways. Every aspect in our lives is running smoothly, so concentrating on this one thing is giving more energy to this change and since it won’t have any effect on the outcome, it’s a poor return on investment.

Here are a few things you can control:
– What you eat every day
– How much water you drink
– How much excessive you get
– How much sleep you get
– How much time you spend with people you love

I know that self-care sometimes seems like a tired old trope but when you are low on energy or desire to do things, sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is a huge accomplishment.

I rounded up my wins: Sure, thing X probably isn’t going to happen and I am hugely disappointed about that. Still, we have managed to save over $50k already this year and are close to meeting our goal! I was recently nominated for an award a work, and I find my work fulfilling and I enjoy my colleagues. I am married to the most amazing human being who is a wonderful husband and father (and who makes my heart skip beats even after 15 years), and my children – while often frustrating in their own right – are smart, funny, inquisitive, talented and happy human beings I love spending time with.

I found journaling those wins also helps. There is something about putting the pen to paper and seeing those good things in writing. Writing it down makes it feel more concrete.

I found a workaround In many situations one path is closed off so you are forced to turn around and go in another direction. Lamenting that loss is normal but eventually it becomes wallowing. Finding another path to focus on will help ease the pain of the one you lost. Mr. Tucker and I decided that we’d put all our energy in finding a solution rather than cry over how the universe threw us a curveball

So despite how horrible the past month has been, Mr. Tucker and I are a rock-solid team and have actually found an even better solution than we’d originally thought. It’s sad that it took a lot of unnecessary pain and energy to get to this point but in the end we will be in a better place moving forward.

Of course, having said all that you will have to watch this space for what the future holds. Major change is afoot in our lives and I am excited to share all the details with you, shortly.

*Metaphor level: EXPERT.