We’ve all been there: you think you have your life all planned out for at least the next year or so, and the walls suddenly come crashing down around you. What do you do when life throws you a curve?
I spent the last week completely different from what I had anticipated. It was supposed to be a pretty quiet week. The most exciting thing on my calendar was to shop for paint for my living room. There was a Tuesday bargain day movie on the calendar, an appointment with a building inspector on the heater that was installed last October, an afternoon of Relief Society presidency visits, and a missionary coordination meeting—nothing very exciting. One phone call changed everything.
Movie day with my husband was cancelled to enroll my 13-year-old grandson in middle school. He is now living with us for an undetermined amount of time. Presidency visits were cancelled. A Young Men’s activity was added to the schedule. School drop-off and pick-up times were added. A second phone call added a baby blessing to our calendar.
I had not anticipated things like homework and school enrollment procedures to dominate my week. I hadn’t expected to spend 2 ½ days in bed with a fever and chills prior to the phone call that would change my week, either. Yet, it’s been a relatively smooth week for all the changes that have come. We have adapted. The paint shopping will wait, presidency visits will be rescheduled, and all is right with the world. How does that work?
A long time ago, I learned that Heavenly Father expects us to set goals, plan, and work hard—but He also expects us to adapt to change when necessary. He expects us to roll with the punches. We are here to learn, and we can’t do that if we are set in our ways and panic every time life throws a curve. Obviously, if there were no curveballs thrown, we would end our lives on the same spiritual plane where we began, having learned nothing and having no growth.
Last October, I wrote an article called “Teaching Resilience.” My week’s activities and changes in plans are a perfect example of why we need to be resilient. Life can be “exciting” sometimes. Our calendars and planners don’t always look the same on Wednesday as they did three days earlier on Sunday. Sometimes, like this week, it’s not only our weekly plan that changes, but our whole lifestyle for a while. We went from empty nesters to school schedules and gym clothes. I found my gas tank riding on empty for the first time in years because I didn’t have time to get gas. I’m having to relearn how to interact with the school district because everything is done online these days. I raised my children in the days of lockers, paper notices from the school, and homework done with paper and pencil. Things have changed. Curveballs were thrown. Resilience was necessary. I adapted.
Heavenly Father expects us to set goals, plan, adapt, and hit the curveballs. He doesn’t want us wallowing in our problems. He wants us to rise above them.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.