Life happens. This is normal. Press forward. Use adversity to grow, and begin preparing now by assembling a good team.
Last week I realized yet again that life happens. Things were supposed to go much smoother than they did. My wife was away for the weekend at a leadership conference. The two older girls were with their mother. This left myself and Addison, my ten-month-old daughter, with the house to ourselves. We were going to hike (with Addison in the baby backpack), eat plenty of snacks, watch a copious amount of cartoons, and I was going to write. Saturday morning came, and everything was going as planned. I brewed a fresh pot of coffee. Addison was engrossed in Telletubbie reruns on Netflix. I sat down at the computer, and then everything unraveled.
Addison started fussing. I looked up, and did so just in time to watch her puke. Not the little, baby-spit-up type of puke either. It was an enormous, volcano-like, projectile vomit. Life happened, and my Saturday was shot. There were two more puking instances that day. Each reached the level of intensity that both of us had to change our clothes. This was followed by trips to the store for Pedialyte and baths.
This is Normal
Three years ago, my friend Cindy deleted her Facebook account. She told me that she was tired of looking at everyone else’s perfect life. “Everyone always seems so happy on Facebook, and it makes me feel like my life is a mess,” she complained. We agreed that Facebook is a facade. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. If, by freak accident, Facebook suddenly went offline, I would go through withdrawals. It is my drug of choice. However, it’s also not genuine. Real life rarely shows up on Facebook. Social media provides an opportunity for putting our best foot forward. This isn’t bad, but it is important to remember that when life happens, you’re not the only one. Puking babies, stubbed toes, flat tires on the way to work, misplaced sunglasses and keys–These frustrations may not make the social media headlines, but they are a part of everyday life. If life happens to you, like it does to me, then congratulations – you are normal.
I once read that most people overestimate the amount they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can accomplish in ten years. I know this is true for me, because lately I feel like I am always one or two steps behind where I would like to be. Yet, when I look over the past ten years, I am impressed with all that has taken place. Life really is good. Little steps of daily progress add up!
Likely, the same is true for you. I am willing to bet that you have learned, accomplished, and grown much over the past ten years. If so much has taken place during the past ten years, just imagine what the next ten will bring! It is not always easy to see the growth that is happening in the moment as life happens. However, if we keep pressing forward, the breakthroughs will come.
Use Adversity to Grow
Addison is ten months old. Sometimes she cries out during the night. She is growing, and growing can be painful. Growing is painful for babies, and it is painful for adults. The good news is that pain often signals that development is taking place. In fact, instead of referring to challenging times as “life happening,” we could reframe them as, “times of growth.” This weekend was a time of growth. Life hit. Addison got sick, and the next day it was my turn. Apparently, Addison likes to share.
Needless to say, I didn’t get as much writing done as I would have liked. However, I did press forward. I was able to accomplish a little in spite of all of this. I discovered that a sick dad can take care of a sick baby, and still press forward too. It’s hard for me to picture John Maxwell, Tony Robbins, Jeff Goins, Jon Acuff, or Michael Hyatt, getting puked on and changing dirty diapers between writing paragraphs, but I bet they do, or at least did at some point in their life. If it wasn’t puke and diapers, then I’m sure it was something else. Hard is normal for everyone. Those who succeed, persist.
Prepare Now by Assembling a Good Team
I’m fortunate. I have one of the best teams around when life happens. Yesterday, my wife Jenny cleaned up the house while simultaneously taking care of the baby and myself. I wanted to help clean. I wanted to work. Mostly I sat around and stared at stuff. I can’t explain it. I get dazed and go into my own world when I’m sick. I think it’s an introvert thing. I’m fortunate that Jenny thinks it’s cute. I am blessed to have such an incredible team to help me through these growing periods. The bad news is that life will happen. The good news is that we can prepare now by assembling a good team to support us when life gets rough. Batman has Robin. Shaggy has Scooby-Doo. When life happens, who is on your team?