Coping with Life’s Twists and Turns

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

Our hot water heater died last night (Friday) at 11 PM. It wasn’t a dramatic death of water spewing all over the garage in huge torrents. I’d had a very long and busy week. When I finally stumbled through the door at eight o’clock last night, my ever-loving husband suggested that I take a hot bath. Sometime between my luxurious bath around eight thirty and eleven o’clock when my husband announced that I’d taken up all of the hot water, it expired quietly. Water dripped from it like blood and ran in a trickle along the garage floor. After fifteen years of faithful service, five of them with us, it gave up the ghost.

Naturally, when we made our discovery, questions swirled in my mind. This had never happened to us. How would we proceed? How would we do our daily tasks like laundry and washing the dishes?

“Breathe,” I told myself. “It’s not the end of the world.”

Have you ever had a situation like that when life took a twist or turn?  How do you deal with it? Here are some ways to cope.

  • Take a deep breath. Life is messy. Things like hot water heaters or job losses happen all of the time to everyone, and when they do, we need to step back and breathe.
  • Let yourself grieve. To me, grief happens anytime something big occurs, especially a loss. We all know grief comes from the loss of a relative, friend, or pet. It can also happen if you lose a job, a house, or even if you’re selling a house and moving to a new one. It may not be as intense, but I think the stages are there in situations of huge change.
  • Come up with a game plan. Before acting, think through things a little first. Determine what, if anything, needs to be done immediately and then longer term. If needed, bring someone in to walk alongside you during this time.
  • Act on the plan. Take the steps necessary to implement the plan you developed. Hopefully, this can help you work through the incident and move beyond.
  • Trust that things can and will get better. I firmly believe that when we walk through difficulties or huge changes, there will come a time of rest. It may not be when we think it should happen or in the manner we anticipate, but it will happen. The key is to live day by day.

That’s what I continue to do as we deal with this hot water heater issue. I’ve got somewhat of a plan mapped out in my head. We can heat water in the tea kettle and wash the dishes by hand. We can wash our clothing in cold water. We can seek out family and friends for showers. This will gradually fade in time. We’ll get through it. And other things will pop up.

That’s life, right?

Life can throw us unexpected twists and turns. The key is how we react and move forward. #authenticity #encouragement Click To Tweet

Question: Think about an event in your life that threw you for a loop. How did you work through it? I’d love to hear from you on your thought process.

[This blog first appeared in December 2014 and is reprinted with minor changes.]

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