What to do when everything is going wrong

Aug 2, 2016 | Life Coaching Blogs

Let me recap my past month for you:


  • I had bronchitis. In July.
  • I fell off my bike and broke my arm.
  • I walked around for a week with a broken arm before going to the doctor. (I have a couple of minor (hairline?) fractures. It was painful but nothing crazy like a bone sticking out.)
  • My husband and I switched agencies to become foster certified. (The first one made several empty promises and sat on, literally and figuratively, our paperwork for more than three months. No, really. She may have put her butt on our paperwork. I’m not sure what else she did with it.)
  • I was hosting a webinar to present two months of work to a group of 6 people and my internet completely died five minutes into the call. Like dead. No signal; no nothing (besides me dropping the f-bomb).
  • I had just finished hanging up clean laundry in the laundry room (i.e. old funky basement) when the whole thing came crashing down. See the awesomeness below.
  • A week after the one-year warranty ended, my dryer started making weird screeching noises and threatened to catch clothes on fire.

Laundry collapse

That’s when I texted my friend, “I’m going to wrap myself in bubble wrap and go to bed.” I had this image of myself wrapped in bubble wrap (like one of those full body casts they show in the movies after a skiing accident) with a hole for the mouth for the straw that is connected to a large cup of bourbon and ginger ale.

Lessons Learned

I’ve learned enough about how God/The Universe (whatever label you choose to use) works to know that when all this chaos emerges, something really cool is about to happen.

I’m a recovering overachiever/perfectionist/control freak. So I need the Good-Lord-Up-Above to remind me on occasion that I can’t always plan my way into awesomeness. There are many things I do have control over, but when big things are about to happen, I need to get out of my own way. And when I don’t, He takes over.

There’s a reason we’ve had a significant delay in our foster certification; we just know what it is yet. Our babies probably aren’t ready yet to come to our home.

Breaking my arm has forced me to slow down and become much more intentional with my actions (and typing!).

My internet died because I needed to learn how to give and receive grace for lateness and technology mishaps.

I haven’t figured out the reason for why my laundry collapsed. Maybe to help me better deal with chaos in the moment? Hit me up if you know!

I was sharing all of this with a coaching client and we were laughing about it. She said, “Look at all these opportunities for you to become a better coach.” How right she is. When I’m paying attention, there is so much to learn from life. It’s when we become stuck in our busyness, habits, stories, daily routines/ruts, that we quit learning about ourselves.

How to be joyful when the shizz hits the fan

While I’ve been frustrated over the past month, I’ve also felt very strongly that everything is as it should be. Here’s how I (try) to stay focused on the bigger picture:

  1. Breathe. Step one is to always take at least five big, deep breaths to stop a reaction and respond with care and grace.
  2. Laugh. When my laundry crashed down, I just laughed and thought, “This is a good time for a glass of wine.” And then I picked up the mess.
  3. “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” (Helmuth von Moltke) Remember that nothing ever goes as planned. Flexibility and adaptability are muscles that need exercised.
  4. Complain a little bit when you need to vent. Just a little bit though, like for 3 minutes. Tops.
  5. You can cry and you don’t need to apologize for it.
  6. Fix what you can fix. Be assertive, stand up for yourself, and ask for what you need and for accountability from others.
  7. Receive help. I don’t do this one well at all. It’s been nice accepting help over the past few weeks, in big and small ways, however.

During this past month, some truly spectacular things have happened as well. (I’ll have more news to share later.) But I credit my slowing down to being available for these opportunities. And frankly, I wouldn’t have slowed down if I hadn’t broken my arm. So now the Universe has my full attention to what lies ahead. It’s exciting!

Now it’s your turn.

When is a time in your life when an exciting opportunity emerged that you had never dream of?