We’re All Just Rolling With the Punches
You know when it seems like everything is going great–or even just pretty okay? You can pay all your bills, your relationships are pretty great, and you feel pretty good about life. And then for no reason at all, challenging things start happening. It’s like that mean kid who shoves a stick into the spokes of your bicycle wheel and you fly over the handlebars. You were having a great day and all of a sudden, you’re on the ground with scraped knees and elbows. You think, “How did this even happen? I didn’t even do anything wrong.”
Sometimes life is like that, and mine is no exception. In fact, just within the last month, one thing after another seems to be breaking for no ding dang reason. One of the A/C units at the bakery went out. Then one at the house went out. The garage door opener quit. The water heater started leaking. My washer refuses to drain. The check engine light on my SUV just popped on. The button on my favorite pair of jeans came off. And one of my cats has almost killed himself three separate times. I’m going to start calling him “Crispy” because of his love for plugged-in phone chargers. When I say it’s been a month, I mean it’s been a MONTH.
I’m sure many of you can relate. This kind of thing happens to everyone at some point. Now, I’m not talking about the super challenging and painful things. Those deserve their own post. This is really about those inconvenient things that make you ask yourself, “Why me?! Why is everything going wrong?”
It’s not because you were a bad person. In fact, I detest the tired trope of good things happen to good people. That’s complete crap. Bad things happen to good people all the time and it isn’t always their fault. Just reject that notion right now because it’s oftentimes a lie and it’ll just make you feel worse. No. Strike that.
The truth is, it just happens. Things are cyclical. Seasons of life change either in smooth transitions or abruptly without warning. Whether you know it from the Bible or The Byrds, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose, under heaven.”
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heavenThe Byrds (1965)
So what do we do, exactly? How do we get past the crummy seasons and onto better ones? We learn to roll with the punches. Whether you’ve seen an action movie where the hero has to jump from a moving vehicle, or you’ve simply heard it from someone, you’ve got to tuck and roll. But, Sarah. HOW?
Really? Acceptance? Yes, really. Whether you’re in the thick of it currently or it happens at some point down the road, there is a 100% chance that if you own something, it will break. A car, a house, a body, a blender, or even that bowl you made in college ceramics class. Earthquakes and cats do not care about sentimental value. They just don’t. However, learning to accept that your stuff will probably break is like shock absorbers on your stress level. Things don’t feel quite as painful when you accept that it’ll happen.
Now this comes with discipline, which is honestly something I struggle with. Real talk, I’ve been described by my doctor as the absent-minded professor. She is not wrong. However, once you know that things are bound to break, setting expectations and boundaries can help in a major way. This might be in the form of a “go bag” in your car with extra clothes and snacks. It could be a repair fund that you keep tucked away so that if multiple things break, the punch hurts less. It could be having extra ingredients, so in case it takes you 5 tries to get your lemon meringue pie to set properly, you have them at the ready. Totally speaking from experience.
Ask for Help
If you’re like me, you hate asking people for help. I can do it myself! Not always. While it takes practice being this kind of vulnerable, it’s okay to let people know you’re struggling. I did this a lot with the bakery. I didn’t want to admit that I needed help when I felt like I was drowning. I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t Super Woman. In the end, I really believe that if I had found a way to set down my pride and let people in on how I was struggling, even just talking about it would have made my life that much easier. There is no need to suffer in silence.
Help Someone Out
Sometimes it’s not just you who has these issues. Sometimes it’s your neighbors or friends, even if they won’t tell you about it or ask for help. Thoughtfulness and just taking the initiative to help can totally make someone’s day. At the shop, we had a customer who came weekly to mow our grass. I don’t know if he saw we were struggling, or if he just wanted to do it, but J.D. said he wanted to support us and we were so grateful for it. We never would have thought to ask for help in that way, but it was such an unbelievably kind act of service.
Now not everyone can take over lawn duty for someone. That’s a huge thing. But maybe someone in your life could really use a day to herself without kids. Or a few hours to just get a few things done. Or maybe you have a friend that went through a very tough life event or they’re struggling so hard with depression to even bring themselves to eat. It’s one thing to say “I’ll pray for you,” and an entirely different thing to say, “Hey. I see you. Let me take the kids for a few hours and feed them, so you can grab a shower and have a moment to breathe. I brought you coffee and an everything bagel.”
Seriously, you will make their whole day. Maybe even their week.
If you take anything from this, then please take this one little nugget. You’ve got this. Whatever you’re dealing with is temporary and you will get through it one way or another. And whatever season you’re in be sure to either ask for help or ask how you can help. It’s that sense of community that will make us all a little bit stronger.