Just a reminder to my subscribers! First, you are the best. Second….

I’d really hate to miss you on my new blog site:  www.torreyshannon.com

This is now my old blog.  Sorry, I had to do it.

Please visit and click on the subscribe feature so you don’t miss out on my new content.   Thanks for all your support, wonderful comments and friendship.  I will be doing a bunch of REALLY COOL GIVEAWAYS on the other blog but you first have to be a subscriber at www.torreyshannon.com to qualify.  Here’s a hint:  Dinner (up to $100) will be on me for at least one lucky subscriber.  Don’t miss it!

See you there….thanks!

 

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Subscribers, may I have your attention please? I have news to share….

Subscribers, readers, friends… I need you to come check out my “new” digs!

The other day I asked my readers “What should I name my blog?”  I cannot thank you enough for all your responses and input!

Well, the jury has decided that it would make better sense to transport this blog into my existing www.TorreyShannon.com domain.

I got smart.  I got ambitious.  The military wife in me just HAD to move one more time!

Image Credit

What a better way to make my life simpler than to just merge the two sites?  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I now have a new-and-improved version of this blog already live on my other domain.  That means this blog will be redirected in the very near future.  Subscribers, please make sure you subscribe to the new site as soon as you can.  I’d really hate to miss you over there!

I will be adding some great features to the new site, so keep your eyes out!  I hope to have streaming video added soon.  I will also be giving you an inside glimpse of our everyday life here in the Rocky Mountains.  All of it. Particularly the funny stuff.

Think “Reality TV, except better.

I am working as fast as I can, but I need more coffee to get through this.   Lots of coffee.

Thanks so much for following this blog.  I’ll see you on the flip side!

Posted in About, Key Issues/Breaking News, Latest News | 4 Comments

Billy Mays has nuffin’ on this kid: Drake the Pitchman

I captured some video evidence for your viewing pleasure.  It’s no wonder I don’t get any sleep.

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook:

Drake, the infomercial King, just notified me (using exact script and voice inflection) that there is a cream that will help stimulate stem cells and fix all those lines (as he draws on my face) – but I have to CALL NOW! The lines are open, he says.

If you remember, Drake is also the same little guy who woke me up at around 6am to sell me a Sleep Number Bed.

Here he is in action, this time at 5:16am.  Enjoy.  😉

And here is the original commercial, for your reference:

Posted in Everyday Life, Lifestyle, Mountain Living, Video Interviews/Clips, Videos - Vlog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You pick, I choose. Help me rename my blog!

I originally posted this on one of those crappy Facebook polls, which doesn’t display the content to my satisfaction.  So, let’s give Poll Daddy a whirl, shall we?

I need a little help with this major decision.  I am typically decisive in nature, but lately I’ve had a bout of insomnia.  This affects my logical thinking, so I need you.  And sleep.  But I need your brains and opinion more than I need sleep.

So, tell me.  What should I name this blog when I move it to a hosted space?   Remember, as I build my blog I’ll be adding more content in the categories listed above – this includes video of my cooking mishaps, bloopers, travel, etc.

Thanks in advance!

Posted in Blogging Tips, Key Issues/Breaking News, Latest News, Writer's Toolbox | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Victory of little battles will eventually win the war~

Today was just one of those days, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom.  Today’s events just reminded me that I will eventually win this war.  Everyone can.

In just one day, I fought many battles that have been ongoing with the VA, the DoD, the slimy moving company that lied to us and left us hanging, a big law firm, Tricare, and managed a host of other smaller issues along the way.

All this, and I still had dinner on the table by nightfall.

Here’s the rundown if you can stomach it.  If not, skip items 1-4 and go straight to 5.  Then watch the YouTube video posted below.

Battle #1.  The VA finally gave us the appointments we had been waiting for.  I took it up the chain to get what we needed.  I received the long-awaited call today.  Sure, we have to drive 2.5 hours each way on two different occasions, but that’s still a victory in my book.  In the end, I got the appointments we needed.

Battle #2.  The DoD wants to collect thousands of dollars for our final move here to Colorado.  The moving company, who reported the “excessive weight” of our household goods for an overpayment by the DoD – and the same moving company that still has yet to replace thousands of dollars in damaged goods – are now in the hands of my state Senator.  I took it as far as I could before letting someone else fix it.  That’s another victory in my book.

Battle #3.  The big law firm is representing a bank that I don’t owe money to.  I didn’t hire an attorney to fight it.  Instead, I counter-sued on my own, pro se.  They requested a settlement from me more than once after they realized I could fight back.  They finally agreed to my terms, so I signed the settlement offer today.  I call that another victory in my book.

Battle #4.  Due to a bank merger, Tricare didn’t get payment from our new bank.  They cancelled our insurance just as I entered into much-needed physical therapy.  Unbeknownst to me our insurance was gone by then, incurring out-of-pocket expenses.  My/our continuation of care came to an abrupt halt.  Once you are cancelled you have to pay a year of premiums before getting coverage again.  New bank account in hand, I requested they reinstate the coverage retroactively if we paid the past-due balance.  Unfortunately, my request was denied after waiting a month to receive my answer.  The good news is they waived the one-year lockout as a gesture of goodwill.  My family will have health insurance come August and I can get a refill on my much-needed (ya think?) blood pressure medication.  I consider that another victory in my book.

Battle #5.  I also spoke to two caregivers who are holding on for dear life to their marriage, their sanity, and the integrity of their family unit.  Here is the heartbreaking (and inspiring) story of one such caregiver, aptly titled “Stormy nights” on the S.O.S Saving Our Sanity blog.

I’ve been there, done that — and got the lousy T-shirt.  I fought their battles before, and I still do to a degree.  She thanked me by saying:

I drove away and called the wonderful Torrey Shannon, a fellow Wounded Warrior Wife. I respect and trust her a great deal and I knew she would have some kind of advice for me.  She did, but mostly she was just calming and she listened and she was compassionate, because she has been there.  I can’t thank her enough for being there for me. It means the world.

She doesn’t have to thank me, but I was honored.  I was just glad I could be there to help.  I shared this via Facebook:

So many of my caregiver friends are struggling to hold things together when everything around them falls apart. God bless them all for sticking to it and not giving up. Most women would have run a long, long time ago. They are heroes in my book, hands down. Guys, they love you. I see it every time.

In times like hers, I consider our current situation to be an incredible victory in the end.  Dan and I were able to put our marriage back together again, despite our divorce.  We were an incredible deviation from what life had planned for us.

Wrapping up the evening, Dan and I watched the movie “The Adjustment Bureau” – if you haven’t seen it, you should.  Here’s the trailer:

Pay special attention to the lead-in of the movie:

Life is a series of events.

…these moments all happened according to plan.

If you believe in free will.  If you believe in chance.  If you believe in choice.

FIGHT FOR IT.

Dan and I particularly loved the end.  Spoiler alert!  I’ll quote invisibly in case you haven’t seen it yet:

Harry Mitchell: It says that this situation between the two of you is a serious deviation from the plan. So The Chairman rewrote it.
[he holds up the paper, it shows lines of David and Elise’s life plan moving forward together]

That described US, exactly.

After peppering the events of my day via Facebook, which included other damning issues, I received this very heartwarming message from an old friend:

You’re a real inspiration, Torrey. You’ve shown me the value in fighting for what’s right, and that the victory of little battles can eventually win the war.

That made my day and really brought joy to my heart.

He’s right.  Everyone is capable of winning the war, whatever that war may be.  You just have to FIGHT FOR IT. 

Only then will you get to enjoy the victory of all the little battles in this series of events called life.

With that said, and as if to make me find laughter and irony in the face of adversity, my backspace button just popped off my laptop and died.  It may be my most-used keystroke, but I won’t let that stop me from trying.  🙂

Posted in Caregiver Resources, Everyday Life, Key Issues/Breaking News, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father’s Day: A bittersweet reunion of sorts

This Father’s Day, I have to story to share.  It’s a bittersweet scenario that I hope will help others who have dealt with family conflict in their lives.  This will all be part of my upcoming book, but explained in more detail.  Today is just about the message that needs to be shared.

The last time I saw or spoke to my father was in 2009.  Prior to that was about two years of no real contact.  We had a lot of conflict, much of it would knock your socks off to know, but in essence we had a fallout after Dan was injured. I really can’t explain it in short form, but suffice it to say many in my family did everything in their power to undermine our marriage and our family structure.  This, particularly, coming from the patriarch of them all.

This tends to be a common theme among the wives of wounded warriors, or military wives as a whole.  Their civilian families cannot grasp the struggles of military life, and especially the hardships that come after combat.

A statement from my best friend, a Navy wife, clearly defines this problem.  She says, “I am 39 years old, and can still feel like that little girl waiting by the window….”

I sought the advice from a therapist to help me process the pain.  Due to the actions of my family and Dan’s, I was literally fighting to keep my own family together.  She listened intently to everything that had happened up to that point.  Her advice was to start mourning the loss of my family now, despite the fact they still lived and breathed on the face of this Earth. As far as Dan’s family was concerned…moving was going to be our only solution.

I struggled with that advice.  I debated on writing a letter to my father to express my feelings.  I had a lot of anger still yet to process, so I didn’t get around to writing that letter.  What I needed for myself was to get to a point of forgiveness.

Unfortunately, that plan went to hell in a hand basket.  In a rare moment of imbibing a few cocktails one night during a night out on the town, I took a late-night call from my mother.  Her call was not well received.  I just lit into her about all the pain, frustration, and heartache they had caused for me and my family.

I haven’t imbibed since.   I regret that I let my anger get the best of me.

At that point, I made a decision.  WE made a decision.  For the sake of the sanctity of our family, we had to create our own “family-ectomy” for anyone that was not supportive of our marriage or family unit.  Anyone that was doing more harm than good didn’t get the opportunity to have access to us.  We didn’t forbid contact; rather, we just didn’t facilitate it.  We finally took drastic measures into our own hands and moved to be as far from family conflict (Dan’s and mine) as we could.

At a family reunion in 2009, I was really dreading having to face the very loved ones that we had parted ways with.  Amazingly, this picture was taken during that event:

That is me.  That is also my father.

I struggled with internal conflict over this picture because it spoke so much to the love that a father has for a daughter.  It’s clear he loves me.  However, his words and actions spoke otherwise.  At least to me.  It was a true struggle of emotions to bear.

During this reunion, I remember overhearing him talk divisively to other family members about people who were not there to defend themselves or to set the record straight.  It wasn’t just me he was hurting, it was others.  Holding my tongue, I bid farewell and we drove back home.  I didn’t question my decision to extract myself from the toxicity.  This day only confirmed what I believed to be true for me, and now for others.

But this picture, dammit!  How can this picture lie?  How can one who loves you so much also be the source of so much pain?

As if to drive the dagger into my heart deeper, he didn’t call or contact us after that day.  Not once.  I would call and my mother would answer, we’d chat, but my father was noticeably absent from our discussions.  At one point I asked my mother why Dad never got on the phone.  I was told he was now “hard of hearing” – I took it for face value and let it go.

I have spent the last few years processing my feelings and hurt to a forward point of forgiveness.  It hasn’t come easily.

Today was Father’s Day.  Dan knows my struggle, so when I broached the subject of whether I should make the first move to call my father, he supported my decision either way.  Dan is the most amazing man I know.  He knows how to bring value and appreciation into my life.  I am very, very blessed.

I called.  Lord was that hard to do.

I figured that if anything, I’d just speak to my mother.  As predicted, my mother picked up the phone.  We made small talk for a bit, and much to my surprise she offered to hand the phone to my father.

I won’t disclose the content of this call, as that will be included in my book.  But I will say that for the first time in the past few years, I didn’t cry or feel regret after speaking to my father.

I guess I found forgiveness after all.

The lesson I wish to share goes out to all the Fathers of this world:  Love your daughters in such a way that there is no toxicity between you.  Because, if you do, you may not be lucky enough to have a daughter willing to open her heart to forgiveness so that you may gracefully walk back in again.

Posted in Everyday Life, Mountain Living, Short Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

You are cordially UNinvited…

I’ve had a perplexing issue come up – once more than I ever care to deal with.  The issue?  It’s the act (or art) of being uninvited to a gathering of friends or loved ones.

I say “art” because it takes real skill to be so brazen, yet feign confusion if the offenders are called out on their bad behavior.

A quick search on the internet reveals I am not alone.  For shit’s sakes, it’s happening everywhere!  And a cursory search on the Emily Post website reveals that “uninviting” people is so uncalled for, there’s no advice found for the proper etiquette in which to do it.  It only tells you how to make an “uninvited” (ie. unexpected) guest feel welcome.

Like I said, this has happened more than I care to deal with.  At first I chalked it up to hateful and immature family members.  Either that or I am the least-liked person in any group setting.  However, I highly doubt that.  If it is true, then I must have done something right to be such a threat to so many.  It must be my charm.

But really, I just think that society as a whole has lost their ever-lovin’ minds.

I’ll tell you a little about what I’ve learned through multiple scenarios.  If this happens to you, just remember that you aren’t alone.  You just have to shift your mindset a little and smirk at how ridiculous the offenders look in the end.  It’s their loss – trust me.

During your youth or teen years, it’s inevitable that you’d be hurt if you weren’t invited to a party or sleepover.  It’s a painful right of passage for every child.  It leads one to finding a more mature approach to rejection, or being mindful of who may get hurt in the course of planning adult social gatherings so as to avoid it from happening again.  In other words, the act remains in the decade in which it belongs.

Or so we think.

In my case I can’t remember one time in my youth that this actually happened to me.  It happened, yes, but not to me.  It was after I became an adult, particularly in just the last few years, is when this phenomenon started happening.

And oh-my-gawd did it hurt.  At least at first.  Now?  Not so much.  It provides some much-needed comedy relief now that I look at it for what it is.

In 2005 I was not invited to my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party after I sent $900 to help pay for it.  Pissed, I showed up anyway.  That involved one layover in Atlanta and a very expensive cab ride from Orlando to Daytona Beach.  Later on I confronted my family about this misdeed.  My sisters proclaimed they just figured I couldn’t make it; therefore, they didn’t ask me to come.

Obviously, I could make it.  And I did make it.  They sure had no problem accepting my $900 support in order to make the party happen.  Bee-otches, I say.  The “old” me got pissed and tried to change their minds that family really was important to me.  In hindsight, it was a wasted effort.

Then in 2006 I was uninvited to my own husband’s birthday party, thrown by his sister.  She made it clear that I was not to come.  I knew why.  In her mind I was still the “evil ex wife.” I was not on her list of people that her brother should have remarried.  It is my belief that she hoped she could make a connection for him with a younger version of me.  Pissed does not even come close to how I felt about this overt expression of immaturity.  Especially when my husband went anyway!  He felt she was “just being nice” to throw the party for him.  Yeah, I stayed home and plotted his punishment, I’ll admit.  It wasn’t until mid-2009 when a chaplain heard the story and gasped at the mere thought … that Dan realized just how hateful it was for his family to do that.

That younger version of me is STILL trying to woo him.  It’s utterly fascinating, yet hysterically funny.  We both get a chuckle when this since-married and now-divorced girl comes slinking out of the woodwork to see if I am still around.

I’m still heeeee-ere!

Then in late-2009 I was uninvited to a family member’s funeral.  Who the hell gets uninvited to a funeral?  I do.  In this case it was instigated by Dan’s other sister.  Thankfully by then, Dan learned that this is not cool to do.  None of us attended the funeral, and that was done by his choice.

We were learning, slowly but surely.

Now, and more recently…one of my children is now excluded from coming to a friend of our family’s home.  The whole family was invited, but not our youngest child, Drake.

Yes, your heard me correctly.  Drake.  The same Drake that literally has his own Facebook following for all the funny things he says or does.  Admittedly, he has said some colorful things in his life (most of which came from his older brothers and/or parroted and/or endorsed by them in some way), but we are talking about our sweet boy, Drake.

Who the heck tells their dear friend to leave one of their children behind or just come alone?

I’ll tell you who.  It’s someone who doesn’t “get” that Dan prefers (and needs) to have his family intact at all times, that’s who.  It’s someone who has no problem putting their dear friend in a position to choose family over their friends.  Dan may go visit just this one time, but the conditions of this visit will not be forgotten.  At least not by me.

Clearly, it is someone who doesn’t grasp just how damaging it is to THEM, not us.

So here’s my thoughts on this issue.

My family looked like total asses when they pulled their little stunt.  As did Dan’s family.  And now I have to wonder about other people too?  Stupidity has no boundaries.  I refuse to waste my time.

Some people simply have no social graces whatsoever.  Others do it for spite.  Many do it because they have simply lost their ever-lovin’ minds.

And that makes me laugh in a really sad sort of way.  I don’t get pissed any more. I just remember that you can’t fix stupid.  It doesn’t hurt us, it hurts them.

Just ask those who no longer have access to our family anymore.  They just get a glimpse of our life through the internet, and that’s about it.

The peace that comes with it is just GLOR-EEE-OUS.  I no longer have the need to persuade or convince people that we have feelings, needs, or opinions.  I just move along in my life as if I didn’t have a place or part in their life to begin with.

There is absolutely no soiree in this world that can rattle me if I don’t get the chance to attend.

So, have you dealt with this issue?  What happened?  Did you finally shift your mindset to a better way of thinking?  Are your sinister-in-laws just as brazen as mine have been?

If you take anything away from this blog entry…just remember – if it happens to you:  Laughter really is the best medicine.  😉

And if you can’t laugh, maybe this video will help set the mood for starting anew:

Posted in Everyday Life, Lifestyle, Short Stories | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Ninja band-aids and PTSD

I don’t talk much about our day-to-day stressors for a number of reasons:

A)  I try not to speak Whinese.

B)  I’d rather help others with their stress than to deal with mine.  There’s always someone who is dealing with much worse, and that makes me thankful for my blessings in the end.

But today, I am making a small exception.  I just wanted to share a wish.  Many readers could probably relate to this wish.  If you can relate, I’d love to have your feedback and comments.  If you can’t relate, I’d love that feedback too.

So without further ado, here’s my wish:  I wish Ninja band-aids would fix PTSD.

(For those who don’t have the pleasure of knowing that powerful little acronym, it stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.)

Yeah, it’s silly to think of Ninja band-aids in times like this.  But it’s true.

I woke up today feeling thankful.  I had not slept well last night, an after-effect of having horrible insomnia from stress.  I dedicated my morning to sleeping in.

While I slept, we were bestowed with a smattering of rain for the first time in more than a month.  This meant I could get a shower for the first time in three days.  Again, I don’t talk about this much, but we are lucky to have water on any given day.  What water we do have is muddy and full of sediment.  We live in our dream home – but it often has no water and it comes from bad well.  We’ve dumped all our money meant for the kids’ braces into fixing this well.  Fun times, yes?  NOT.

So, as I came out of my depraved slumber, I realized that Dan was still asleep next to me.  That wasn’t in today’s plan.  I knew it was bad news the moment I saw him sleeping in his clothes.

Dan loves to help our community whenever he can.  He had committed to going to the rifle range this morning to set up a tent for a local shooting competition.  The organizers knew he was a sniper before he was medically-retired from the Army, so they invited him to be part of the competition.  They even loaned him the rifle with iron sights in which to do it.

He arrived at the event, and that’s when he had a full-blown PTSD moment.  He had to leave.  Defeated and disgraced in his mind, he came home and just collapsed into a depression that only sleep could mask.  Sleeping helps defray the urge to have a total freak-out episode that brings further embarrassment.

I could go into all the reasons why he had this PTSD episode, and rightfully so, but for his privacy I’ll refrain from the gory details.  He just couldn’t do it.  He wanted to, but couldn’t.

And that’s where I come in.  What can I do to fix it?  Nothing, really.  I can assure him that he’s not losing his dignity by leaving the event.  I can assure him that I would have done the same if I were in his shoes.  I can let him sleep, rearrange our plans for the next few days (including any chance of doing anything for Father’s Day) and just let him come down off the anxiety of the moment over the course of the next few days.

This means I am going to have to stay by his side at every moment.  When he has a PTSD episode, his brain injury/cognitive abilities get worse.  He falls due to his lack of balance even on a good day, and falls more frequently on a bad day.  The other day I had to catch him from falling three times because the stress of having no water was just too much to bear.  Today I have his ass planted in a seat or in our bed for a reason.  I am not very good at scraping his butt off the floor.  The last thing I want is for him to hit his head.

If a Ninja band-aid could fix this, I’d buy a case of ’em.  He’d be plastered on every inch of his body for good measure.

But they don’t.  So I can’t.

But the good news is…we had just enough water to take a shower today.  And for that reason alone, I am thankful.

Posted in Everyday Life, Lifestyle, Mountain Living | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Care For a Disabled Partner

This article was originally published in the DailyStrength.org site.

Posted in Caregivers by Torrey L. Shannon on Aug 07, 2010

The stress that comes with caring for a disabled partner takes a toll on the entire family unit. Not only are you dealing with the physical and emotional recovery process for the disabled person who was injured or ill, but you and your children also have your own physical and emotional needs that need tending. The trick is to deal with the marital issues, parenting issues, and overall issues of just getting through each day with the strength to deal with the next one all at the same time.

First, accept the change you are facing, and embrace this “new normal” instead of dwelling on what could have been. You can learn more on how to create this “new normal” and accept the unexpected changes in life by reading this helpful article: What is a “New Normal” and How Does It Help Me Deal With Stress

Second, take care of yourself before taking care of others. This is probably one of the hardest things anyone can do because caretakers are often viewed by mainstream outsiders as “selfish” if they take a day to be good to themselves. This is not true. Once you put yourself first, the rest will come much more easily. Start by eating right, getting exercise, getting good sleep, and scheduling regular doctor visits to stay on top of your health. From there, you can incorporate small pleasures like going out with a friend for coffee, getting your hair done, or buying a new outfit even if it is at the local Goodwill store. Treat yourself to walks at the park, or listening to calming music if you are cooped up indoors. Learn to delegate as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to find respite in realistic ways.

Third, seek help and support through as many support systems as you can. Learn to remove negativity from your life as much as possible, even if it means removing yourself from toxic friends or family. As drastic as this may seem, it’s incredibly detrimental to the entire family if you don’t take a moment to realize just who is there for you and who isn’t. Evaluate who is worth investing your time and energy with.

Lastly, learn to pick your battles wisely. Many times marriage counseling or family therapy can solidify a marriage and family unit to help you get through the darkest moments. Other times, it can alienate the very person with whom you are trying to create a stronger bond. If your disabled partner isn’t comfortable with the therapist or counselor, agree to find another one. Always try to find one that doesn’t “pick sides,” and don’t always try to be right in everything. In addition to this, seek your own individual counseling. Many times your partner will be resistant to getting help. Set the example by getting it for your own self, even if your partner won’t. Children need support too, so find ways to help them with their own therapy or counseling. Realize that their behaviors are a direct result of the stressful environment around them. They are bound to act out and test your limits, so respond with empathy but establish firm boundaries so they feel safe in a world of unknowns.

– Torrey

Posted in Caregiver Resources, DailyStrength.org Articles, Everyday Life, Lifestyle, Veteran Advocacy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What is a “new normal” and how does it help me deal with stress?

What is normal anyway? Can anyone really have a “normal” life in all ways possible?

The Dictionary.com website defines normal as:

Normal –adjective
1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural
2. serving to establish a standard

For most people, when life is comfortable and consistent, it is considered normal. It is a standard that is established for oneself where there are limited conflicts, natural routines, and expected outcomes.

Our life is defined by creating routines. We go to work, school, social events and other activities on a regular and routine basis. We drive the same route to the grocery store, the doctor’s office, to church and to our favorite parks. Every so often we change our driving route because of unexpected traffic patterns or weather patterns. Sometimes we even have to reschedule our events because of sickness, taking on outside commitments at the last minute, or just being too tired or overbooked.

All these factors are not easily preventable. We accept those types of changes, even if it doesn’t make us happy. We adjust our day as needed and move on and get over it. Is that traffic jam really going to matter the next day when your commute goes as planned? No. Not unless you dwell on the negatives in your life and hold onto frustration beyond the course of being “normal.”

But what do you do when your life is disrupted by something bigger than a traffic jam or a sick child? What if you have to deal with a life-changing or traumatic event? The loss of a job, a severe injury, death or divorce can disrupt our sense of normal in an instant. How do you adjust to this as quickly as it presented itself?

You don’t. It takes time, and it takes practice!

When life brings you life-altering events, don’t hold onto your existing definition and expectation of normal. You will only frustrate yourself and feel a sense of ongoing failure. Instead, embrace what is called a “new normal” in your life. Accept the reality of the situation and strive to find the positive outcomes that you DO have control over. With practice, you can even evolve this tragic event into a triumph if you put your mind to it. This all revolves around the art of having patience and flexibility.

My life has been far from normal. I’ve dealt with life-altering events that seemed insurmountable at times. With practice, I learned to pick my battles wisely. I learned to be incredibly flexible so I didn’t end up getting bent out of shape. I learned to laugh at the most unexpected things, and see the blessings that came when I needed it most. And, I also learned patience and love for my own self in the process.

Practicing these traits of patience and flexibility will give you the ability to deal with life-altering events much more easily if they ever present themselves. You can do this in everyday situations such as a traffic jam, or missing a day of work to care for a sick child, or just being too tired to do more than humanly possible. Give yourself permission to be kind to your own self when things do not go as planned.

When creating a “new normal” in your life, this practice of using patience and flexibility will come in very handy. Interjecting humor into stressful events can also relieve the pressure inside when all you want to do is cry. As much as you wonder and internalize, “Why me?” or “What did I do to deserve this,” try to have faith in a bigger plan that may be waiting for you. You may not realize the positive side of a bad situation until long after you’ve gotten past the darkest moments. Use hindsight to realize there really can be a positive in every negative situation.

There was a time in my life when I put all my energy into finding my own definition of normal and making it my way of life. Now I realize that normal is never static and never the same. When I put my energy into accepting change as a way of life, normal became a very relative thing.

I encourage you to share ways you’ve learned to accept change in your own life. If you are having difficulty embracing change, we can work together and find suggestions to use in your own daily routines. With time, practice and patience, you can find your new normal, too.

Now is the time to learn to accept change. Learn that it’s okay not to have answers to all the questions in life. Learn that it’s okay to ask for help. Build a support network of people who have been in your shoes. Reach out as much as you can, and let one door open for every door that closes in your life.

– Torrey

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