Is that why the unexpected is unexpected?
Dealing with this unexpected change in temperature reminds me that life is not straight-forward.
Yet here I am figuring out how to get all my geraniums and Boston ferns inside. And the climbing Mandevilla vine is already in a huge planter on the porch with a trellis attached for it to climb. I’m going to need some plastic or a blanket, even though it is under the porch overhang.
In a minute, I will be Googling what to do about my strawberries.
Do they need to be covered? Will frost destroy the tiny strawberries that have popped up by the hundreds in my 48′ X 2′ strawberry patch. After stringing netting to keep the birds from eating the strawberries, now I may need to cover the strawberries.
We have survived as a species because we can adapt and change to our circumstances. Sometimes we can change them. I think of the levees built in New Orleans and elsewhere. Sometimes we must change our conception of what is possible. COVID-19 and the Pandemic jump to mind.
So how can we prepare for the unexpected?
I have a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) that gives me clues about my mental state. It can be a crisis plan or just a reminder of what unhelpful thinking is trying to sneak into my consciousness. The tools I have learned over the past year are designed to help me understand that I have choices.
I don’t always see it, but I always have choices.
Since November, I have been writing about my morning routine. It really sucks. I tell myself I need a full 8 hours sleep, then beat myself up when I sleep for eight hours. As I try to get out of bed, I beat myself up for not already being up. And the more I read about ways people start their days, the more frustrated I am at myself for not being able to “just do it.”
Each morning, I go through a huge rigmarole to finally get out of bed.
It’s always a surprise to me. Going to bed, I rarely think about the fact that I will need to get up in the morning. Even on those rare occasions where I remember what I must do in the morning, I still am dragging out of bed when I finally get up. The first hour or so is a fog so thick, I can hardly see the coffee mug in front of my face.
Yesterday, I took new steps to address my getting going in the morning.
I confirmed my appointment with a new, insurance covered, Psychiatrist. This has been a drag on me as I thought I had made the appointment a month ago but did not write down the date on my calendar. So, I thought I had done it but wasn’t sure. Finally, after ruminating about it for over two weeks, I just picked up the phone and called. Now I know my appointment is June 11, at 1:15 in the afternoon.
When I woke up yesterday, I did not know I would make the call.
But doing it freed my mind in many ways. It reminded me that I have been taking steps to understand my body and my physical wellbeing. And it gave me the confidence to move on to other sticking points. Even as I do that, I am looking to the future and am back to seeing possibility, not a wall.
Life is unexpected in the way it unfolds.
I have remembered that at times in my life, and have been frustrated by that fact at times, too. There are so many parables, adages, and quotes about this idea. Even the few I have learned would fill up many, many pages. The point of thinking about this, for me, is to remind myself that I get to decide how I will think about what happens. I can oversee and control my attitude towards these unexpected events.
When my auto insurance company unexpectedly sent me a check because drivers are staying home more, I didn’t react with alarm.
I took the modest check and deposited it into my checking account. I didn’t think, “why are they doing this? What is happening?” But if they had sent a letter saying they needed that small additional amount because of the pandemic, I would have reacted differently.
I cannot control the weather, but I can control my attitude towards it and what I do about the information I have.
So, I will bring in the hanging plants tonight and cover the ones I cannot bring in. Life will go on and I will put my plants out again after the freeze is over. And I will use this as a reminder that I should expect the unexpected.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
Your comments are always appreciated.