I love baseball. When we moved to Honduras we splurged on a full season subscription to MLB-TV so we'd never miss a Nationals game (hold your comments, their implosion is for another blog.) With this kind of devotion, imagine my devastation when my night is centered on watching a game and there is a rain delay. Disappointment. Confusion. A vague feeling of, "well, what now??"
This was not the autumn I expected to have. I spent the better part of this summer preparing for my hospitality students' return to the classroom. I expanded the curriculum, took a two-week certification course (in Iowa!), and worked on creating unique networking opportunities for them. Back-to-school night was a ridiculously happy moment in my life. I don't think there was a teacher in the Western Hemisphere who was more delighted about seeing her students.
And then there was a lump. And a biopsy. And surgery. And now we're putting together a chemo plan. And all of this is taking place in the capital of Honduras, four hours away from my students.
It's been quite a rain delay.
We don't have to experience rain delays quite as dramatic as cancer in order to have feelings of disappointment, confusion, and that vague feeling of, "what now?" So how to handle it? Obstacles are going to come along with every goal we set. It's okay to take a pause and gather your thoughts. But it's not okay to lie down and call it a day. Rest, reflect, and reframe = yes. Walk away defeated = no.
Rest. Whatever your rain delay it, it's helpful to take a moment to gather your thoughts. Chances are there is a lot of adrenaline in your system that has to go somewhere. Go to the gym, take a long walk, meditate, take a nap, cry, stare out the window. Give your body a chance to adjust to the fact that a new normal is coming down the pike.
Reflect. Be realistic about your situation. Whatever has happened is no doubt disappointing and frustrating, but it is important to stay optimistic. This does not mean floating down the river of Denial. Make a realistic assessment of your situation and look for ways to choose a positive course of action. Not surprisingly, people who are hopeful and optimistic tend to adjust more quickly to changes in circumstances. That's not to say it will always be sunshine and puppy dogs. Keep a healthy perspective so that your emotional response will take both aspects into account: feeling overly worried, upset, or preoccupied is not helpful, but neither is feeling overly cheerful, complacent, or optimistic. By neither dwelling on nor denying your fears you can reframe a more realistic and healthy goal.
Reframe. I have had to pause a number of things during my current rain delay. This blog was one. Teaching was another. But I knew that I would still need to have something to work on, so my reframed goal was to not miss publishing the private blog I write for a client and to coach the teacher who is subbing for me. As your situation changes, reframe the goal again. I've added this blog back, albeit once a week. Bit by bit you'll be back on track to where you were before the rain delay.
If we look at adversity and disappointments as rain delays rather than season-ending occurrences, we may actually find a better path to our ultimate goal leaving us stronger and wiser in the end.
(photo credit: espn.com)