What to do when life throws you a curveball.
Ducking, and diving, riding the wave, roll with the punches, taking it one day at a time.
Whatever you like to call life’s curveballs, sometimes an almighty tidal wave swallows you whole, and you just have to deal with it the best way you can. The last year has been hard. Pandemic anyone? But then on top of that, we’ve all had our own personal stories to deal with.
As the new year rolled in, I felt energised. I was optimistic about the year ahead and fell headfirst into shiny new year syndrome. I’m not sure if that’s a real term, perhaps I just invented it – but I think you get what I mean. At the end of each year, I like to look back through my rear-view mirror, take stock of the year gone by, and plan ahead for the sparkly 12-months, shimmering away in front of me. I’m not unrealistic by any means, and I don’t have unreachable lofty goals. But I always like to have a rough draft, a road map if you will, of where I’d like to be by the end of the next year.
But sometimes, to keep us on our toes, and to make sure we don’t get too comfortable, life likes to throw us a curveball. It derails us, our wheels fall off, and we end up careering down the road over a million speed bumps, bouncing around all over the place, with no control over when or where we’ll stop. We just have to hold on for dear life, and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, most of the time, we have no idea when these curveballs are heading in our direction. Because if we did, we might be able to duck, or swerve, or hit them really hard back in the direction from which they came. But then how would we learn anything if we just hit them right back? As I’m learning from my training, it’s these difficult life events that teach us the most. Especially from a counselling perspective, we can use these personal experiences, and explore our difficult issues to learn more about ourselves, helping us to connect and empathise with others in the process.
My Personal Curveball
In March, my world crumbled around me, when I suffered a significant loss of someone close. If I’m being brutally honest, my world fell apart, and so did I. So, for the last 7-weeks I’ve taken some time out to navigate my own curveball of grief – while the speed bumps continue to throw me around all over the place. I’ve been trying to get through my final weeks of college, roll with the punches, and take things one day at a time.
How to Deal with a Curveball
When a curveball hits, when it knocks us sideways, winds us, and catches us totally off guard, we have to deal with it the best way we can and do whatever feels right at the time. Depending on what it is, this might be meditation, journaling, running, daily walks, tidying the house from top to bottom, or seeking professional help in the form of a counsellor. You might shut yourself away while you take some time to process things. Or you could cry uncontrollably while someone close comforts you. It might be all of the above. It might be none of the above. There is no right or wrong answer.
The main thing is you deal with it in a way that feels right to you. It means trying to put your wheels back on the only way you know how and getting back in the driving seat attempting to regain control.
Which is where I am right now.