Why Bother to Adapt to the Unexpected?

Why Bother to Adapt to the Unexpected?

A funny thing happened on the morning we were to vacate our home for a recent vacation; we didn’t go. My husband woke up with a head cold that zapped him of all his energy. He lay in bed looking like I feel when I have a sinus infection, absolutely miserable. 

As I began to unpack the truck, he said, “Maybe we can go tomorrow.” I smiled at the possibility, adjusted my thinking as well as my actions. I only unpacked the cooler, placing the meals I’d prepared for our trip into the refrigerator. I left everything else in the truck, just in case we could still go on our trip, only a day later.   

But the next morning when my husband woke up the cold had moved from his head to his throat. Though his energy level had gone from nothing to a little something, it was not enough to move him off the couch, into the truck and down the road toward our vacation destination. Once again, I altered my thinking. His recuperation would most likely take up the days we’d set aside for our travels. I finished unpacking the truck, this time putting everything away. 

      Adjust our Thinking

Is it possible to be ready for the unexpected? Can we prepare ourselves ahead of time for the unanticipated and the unforeseen? Since life is full of the unpredictable as well as the unplanned, how do we get ready for the unimaginable? 

I can’t help but recall how I used to think and react when crossing paths with the unplanned and the unexpected. In my younger years all I knew was how to throw a tizzy fit. But, those tizzy fits only drained my energy and shut down my thinking. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Being  the slow learner that I am at times, it took a few sessions with self defeat to learn how to remold  my thinking when confronted with the unpredictable.

 First, I observed that reacting with anger, remorse, cynicism, or pessimism automatically shuts the doors to exploring any other ideas and possibilities. The more I realized this, the more I wanted to modify how I thought about the unscheduled events that popped up in my scheduled events. Now I’ve learned to put into practice a practical piece of advice; to leave a little bit of room in my thinking for what can never be predicted. 

Secondly, see the unplanned as just that. It is something we did not plan on happening and instead happened. It’s not karma, nor is it the universe blocking our path to progress. It is simply how life goes sometimes and now we simply get to adjust. It’s really that uncomplicated.

Why bother to adapt to the unexpected? We can expect the unexpected, so leave a little room for it and accept its presence with graciousness.