Today started off well – I was excited to lead the coaches meeting I run; I was looking forward to the networking as well as hearing the speaker, whose topic was getting through the holidays conflict-free. Things went well, except for the ‘ping’ I heard in my car. I made it to the meeting, which went really well. But, an unplanned event happened, which could have ruined the day if I allowed it.
So on my way home, I was on the interstate when I noticed my temperature gauge on Hot; the car was driving fine but I knew I needed to pull over. That is the dilemma – do I pull off of the interstate, with whizzing car speeding by, or wait until I got off my exit. That is is the option I chose, but I was only able to pull part-way into a store parking lot. I was really trying to remain calm about what to do now.
Luckily, a man on a bike was right there and helped push my car out of the way so I didn’t get hit, and then proceeded to try to help. I was so appreciative, especially since he was waiting for a bus to take him home which is about 30 miles away. He told me he had come to visit his sick sister. I did give him money to pay for his bus fare and get something to eat and off he went. Luckily (I may say this several times), my nephew was not working so he and my brother-in-law came to help. I broke down luckily near an auto parts store where I bought parts we thought would take care of the problem but it turns out a belt broke. Luckily I have AAA, who towed my car to an auto repair not far from where I was.
As of now, I am car-less and may have to take a taxi to work in the morning but I’m very grateful as it could have been worse. The mechanic found that the water pump is going bad and the power steering pump is as well, which rubbed on the belt causing it to break. As bad as it sounds, the mechanic is very fair and the parts are not as expensive as they sound, luckily.
I’m sure many of you have similar stories of starting out the day well but then unplanned events happened. It is during these times that we can either look on the negative side of ‘why me?’ OR we can be thankful for the sun that is behind the clouds. Here are 3 steps you can take during these challenging times:
- Breathe – when I first noticed the gauge on Hot, I had to take some really big breaths so I didn’t get to the panic stage. Deep breathing helps to open the red blood cells and allow the cortisol, which is our natural stress chemical, to go throughout the body and do its job of calming both mind and body. It also helps you to think clearer as to how you will handle the situation. I took a lot of deep breathes on that ride home.
- Self-talk – in order to not let my emotions get the better of me, I had to tell myself that it would be ok and that I would make it home. I didn’t get that far but I made it to an area that was close and I was safe. Using positive self-talk vibrates throughout your body, which will create more positive emotions which you can then act on. I kept telling myself that the situation was going to work out fine, which it has (so far).
- Be grateful – there were so many positives from this – the fact I could make it as far as I did, the guy on the bike, my nephew being off, AAA membership, the fair mechanic, the money to pay for his services. I feel blessed that this happened when and how it did as I could still be stranded or at the mercy of an unfair tow truck. Gratitude takes the focus off of what we don’t have and allows to see all that we do.
The next time things don’t go as planned, remember to take deep breaths, talk yourself to a more positive mood and be thankful; if you can’t see any positives look for them. You’re still alive and breathing; you’ve made it through other tough times and you will again. If you need help being on the positive side, contact me at http://www.cyscoaching.com as I’d love to help.