On 4th of July weekend, my husband and I drove up to Chicago to spend a few days away.  We felt pretty lucky that we planned the trip that specific weekend since it ended up raining almost every day at home.  With the weather beautiful, we spent time shopping, eating and just relaxing. We rented bikes and rode 42 miles along the lake.  Needless to say, the trip allowed us to relax and let go of the stressors of everyday life.


When we got back Sunday evening, I had a list of tasks to accomplish; I woke up especially early to start tackling my list.  I calculated how much time I needed to workout, get dressed, do some paperwork and then leave for my jam-packed day. I had everything scheduled down to the minute, which, as you know, is always when your life deviates from your plan.


I ate breakfast and got in my car to go to the gym.  I backed out of the drive and pulled into the street. My stereo was blasting from the last time I had been in the car. When I hit the street, something made me turn down the stereo, and listen more carefully. I could swear that I had heard a strange sound emanating from my car. Since my car was still in reverse, I rolled a little further back while listening.  Something just didn’t sound right. That’s when I caught a glimpse of the driveway.  There were dark tire marks covering the entire driveway. Confused, I pulled forward into the driveway and got out of my car.


I walked around the car and looked at my tires. My front passenger tire confirmed my suspicions.  The tire wasn’t just a little flat; it had absolutely no air in the tire! My first thought was how did this happen? My tires had been fine last night when I went to the store. My second thought was how this was going to impact my whole day. I mentally went through the list of responsibilities that I had that day.  The feelings of stress and anxiety quickly took over my body. I was definitely pushed against the wall and I felt my blood pressure begin to rise. How quickly my feelings of calm and relaxation from my recent getaway had turned into stress again!


That’s when I decided to take control of the situation.  I thought about how I wasn’t going to focus on this negative turn of events but I WAS going to be solution oriented.  I went into action and asked my husband to help me change the tire.  I planned out how I would handle the rest of the day’s responsibilities and went in the house to make calls.  I reorganized my schedule and just kept moving forward. I spent time at the tire store only to find out they couldn’t do it until the next day.  I muttered the mantra “It is what is” probably a thousand times within 48 hours.  Saying these words enabled me to move forward and not focus on how today was supposed to be so different than the way it was turning out.


It’s hard to get through life without eventually having these types of mishaps. Bad things happen when you least expect them, especially when you can’t afford the time, energy or money for them to happen. You feel a total loss of control over the situation, which then results in stress and anxiety. The bottom line is that you need to take control of the situation to feel better. Focus on taking action to solve your immediate problem, instead of wasting time and energy thinking about what should or could have been.  It is what it is. Trust me, it’s a much smarter, happier, and more effective way to live your life.

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