May 21st, 2024

All Psyched Up: Planning for the unplanned

By Linda Hancock on April 27, 2024.

This week, despite the arm injuries from my escalator accident, I got spring fever and decided to get the patio ready for outdoor living. Washing all the patio furniture and ornaments was probably pushing it a bit too far but I got it done. Fortunately, my monthly cleaner had enough time to wash the deck. My grandson and partner had set up a screen to block wind and all the cushions were in place.

I was soooo excited and was dreaming of upcoming warm days when I could lie in the sun.

A few planned appointments took me away from the condo for some time. When I arrived home, I was shocked to realize that the umbrella had fallen and knocked over the heater which knocked over the metal screen which tipped the planter causing dirt to be spewed all over the newly washed deck!

I couldn’t lift anything but fortunately my grandson came to the rescue with rubber straps and a smile!

Life often happens like that. We think that just one more bill and the credit card will be paid off. Then the car breaks down. Only a few days until the flight leaves for our anticipated hot holiday. Then there is a death in the family. We think of all the things we will be enjoying. Then we fall down an escalator and find out that treatment will take months.

So, what can you do to plan for and recover from the unplanned:

1. Spend less than your income so that you can set up an emergency fund for the unexpected. And pay all your bills on time to avoid interest and penalties.

2. Build a good support group that will be mutually beneficial. Help them when they need it knowing that the favour will be repaid when you need it.

3. Have enough insurance to help you but not enough to drain your funds too much. Health, travel, house and vehicle coverage hopefully won’t be needed but will be desperately missed if not available when they are needed. Also, read the fine print to ensure that you understand exactly what you are getting for your premiums.

4. Develop relationships with professionals who you can trust. It doesn’t help you when you have had an accident or problem and don’t have a doctor, banker, lawyer or other experts to whom you can turn. Much better than having the extra stress of dealing with lineups and being handed tons of history forms to complete.

5. Seek advice about how to install items before you purchase them and learn about wise strategies to prevent harm. (Not a good idea to leave the patio umbrella open during a windstorm or to not weigh down the bases of heaters, screens and planters. I learned all about these gems).

6. Balance your humanness with realism. It might help to cry for a few minutes to relieve the pressure but going on for hours doesn’t help the situation and will make you feel worse.

7. Get out of your ego! Things are just things which can be fixed, replaced or even considered to be unnecessary in the future.

8. Check your attitude. Those who are positive heal faster, are a pleasure to encounter and attract positive outcomes in most arenas.

9. Learn to laugh. I sure wish that I had a video of the domino experience on the patio. It’s those type of incidents that make great television, movie and internet fodder. Also, would be fun to share at the next family gathering.

10. Give thanks for what didn’t but could have happened! There could always be something worse!

Finally, think about your expectations. If you truly think that life will always be wonderful and that things will go off without a hitch – think again.

Life is full of interesting adventures – planned and unplanned. Expect and be prepared for both!

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com

Share this story:

20
-19
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments