One of my weekend pleasures is going to the local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings with my friends. The tastes, scents, and colors are inspiring. The company and conversations are wonderful. On a recent visit, I took photos of vibrantly colored vegetables and shared them on Facebook. One of my friends commented on the string beans photo and said, “I would like to see these organized please…right now, it’s all over the place. It makes me very uneasy.” He was joking around with me, but it started me thinking beyond the beans.
What do we need in a given day to help us feel successful? How does the organizing piece fit into that? How much chaos can we tolerate, especially when emergencies strike? Each of us will answer these questions differently.
When the unexpected happens, having some systems in place can help us navigate the surprises. Recently, I was driving home from a meeting, when I heard a loud noise. It felt like I’d hit something, although I didn’t see anything in the road. Everything seemed fine, so I continued on my mission and headed to a nearby Starbucks for an iced tea. When I got out of my car, a man approached me to explain that I’d run over something that looked like screwdriver. It punctured my tire, which made it completely flat. Not fun.
Despite this unexpected and annoying snag, I decided to get my iced tea. I sat, breathed, collected my thoughts, and devised an action plan. I took out my iPhone, which had all my contacts and essential information stored. First I called Mavis Tire, where I had purchased the tires to see if they could fix the puncture and possibly tow me to their shop. They said they could fix it, but could not get me there. Then I called AAA to come tow me to Mavis. Next I called my husband to let him know what was going on. The tow truck arrived by the time I’d finished my iced tea. Mavis was able to patch the hole, which cost me nothing since my tires were insured. In less than two hours, everything was fixed and I was home.
5 Success Tips for “Surprises”
1. Breathe – Panicking doesn’t help. Give yourself a moment to breathe, collect your thoughts, consider your options, and make a plan.
2. Care Take – Emergency situations use up additional energy. Take care of yourself so that you will be better equipped to handle the challenges. This can be as simple as sitting, talking with a loved one, or slowly enjoying a beverage or healthy snack.
3. Reach Out – When surprises strike, we often need to enlist help from others. Help can come from professionals, family, friends, or even strangers.
4. Prep – We never know when an emergency will happen or what we might need. Having contact information organized in an easily accessible manner can make all the difference between feeling stressed or calm.
5. Appreciate – We often take for granted when life runs smoothly. Especially when the unexpected occurs, it allows us another opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation for what we normally don’t stop to think about.