During the last twenty-four hours most of the United States has been hit with snow or freezing rain. It’s been a rough week here in Ohio and my back reminds me of the “shoveling exercises” I have been adding to my fitness routine. Fortunately I realized I can take credit for this in the President’s Fitness Challenge (see www.presidentschallenge.org).
I had all sorts of things planned for this weekend—a client session, workout at the gym, a fashion show fundraiser luncheon, dinner out with another couple and breakfast with my girlfriends from High School. Suddenly all of this is on hold. The roads are bad and things are being cancelled right and left. Our safety comes above everything. It becomes the highest priority and everything starts to shift into a smaller and more limited range of options. Staying put for the sake of safety gives us fresh new time to program in different possibilities. Suddenly my weekend includes candles, baking bread, simmering soup, lighting a fire reading, and getting out the cross country skis. Suddenly I am living in the present with a whole new and different day ahead. It is possible to be grateful to be snowed in!
Life is quite the same way too. We often have made some really exciting plans or have dreams for the future that require us to change. As we embark on these new and unknown things, sometimes we feel a tinge of hesitation. Is this safe? Is the environment appropriate for what I’m trying to do? Is it better to stay put and wait till the storm (or whatever) passes?
Getting into a holding pattern initially feels pretty good. It keeps us from making commitments. It shifts our attention to different things. It also keeps us from failing and experiencing danger. Staying put is certainly less work sometimes. We can make the best of staying safe at home when needed.
At some point though, a decision must be made to step out even when there is fear or danger. Do you wait until everyone’s declared the world safe and the roads clear, or are you the first one out?
I like to think I’m one of those people who will be early to emerge from the storm. I won’t do it foolishly, but I will use discernment rather than fear to drive my decision process. I’m getting better at feeling safe even in the most challenging situations. I am also grateful that I own a vehicle with 4-wheel drive.
Enjoy the present situation, but keep your sights on the bigger outside world too. Don’t let fear be the only thing driving your decisions. Let things unfold in spite of the storm and meet the challenges head on. Prepare for the possibilities rather than staying stuck in park.
As for me … I think a cup of hot tea would be absolutely lovely right now.