It’s 7:14 PM, and I haven’t left the house today. I didn’t leave the house yesterday. This COVID-19 time is strange and surreal—it feels like a dream. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and upset with what life has handed us.
The unexpected life. Nobody dreams of having a divorce, a sick child, financial difficulties, health issues, or other challenges. Nobody wants those things. Nobody expects it. But they happen. Nobody is immune to the unexpected life, whatever that looks like.
So what do we do? How do we move forward when all these things happen that we don’t want to accept?
When we are drowning with uncertainty, we can do a few things to help us feel better about the cards we’ve been dealt.
We can be sad for a minute. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to wish for something different. Processing and understanding these emotions will help us move forward. We need to be ok with the fact that we don’t feel ok with our situation. Sit with that. Lean into the discomfort and the hurt. Eat that pint of ice cream and watch a sad movie and cry. For one night. Then, move forward.
Find things to be grateful for. Gratitude is the KEY to happiness and peace. Find small things that you can be grateful for. The sun. A warm bed. The fact that you’re alive. Your favorite food. Anything and everything that makes you grateful is important and necessary to help you deal with your unexpected life.
Serve others. Turn outward and focus on others to help you feel more joy and happiness. Serving others will always help you feel better. Find ways to give back and show other people that you care about them. The happiness they feel will bring a smile to your face, and you might get a chance to help somebody who needs it even more than you do.
Do things you love. When you’re in the middle of something hard, take time to do things you love. Find a way to sleep in on a weekend. Order your favorite takeout or buy your favorite candy bar. Watch a movie you love or chat with a friend. Do anything that will give you that joy and happiness that you need in a hard time. Don’t feel bad for taking time for yourself EVER, but especially when you’re facing an unexpected twist or turn.
There is beauty in unexpected things. There is so much to learn, so much happiness to find, connections to make, and things to appreciate. There is pain in the coronavirus—families kept apart, people who have lost their lives, normalcy interrupted and shifted. But there are beautiful things too, if we’ll look for them. Whatever unexpected turn your life is taking, there is beauty among the pain. Aubrey and Maren often talk about AND—the power of the word AND. Something can be hard AND wonderful. Heartbreaking AND beautiful. It can be both at once.
The unexpected life. We all have one in one way or another. But the unexpected life could also be more than we’ve ever dreamed.
Maddy Low is the proud mama of a little boy named Graham who she is absolutely obsessed with. She graduated with a degree in communication from Brigham Young University, and works full time from home doing web content and web design. She’s been married to her high school sweetheart since 2015, loves writing, traveling, long walks through the aisles at Target, chocolate, and connecting with other moms.
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