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Expecting the Unexpected…

Running through my local park on Wednesday we saw a stunning sunrise and took a photo. It was a picture of serenity and calm albeit the clouds did look like they were brewing up a storm. Whilst driving down to Northants for a meeting I could feel that the wind had picked up. However, heading home later that day was a very different experience.

The M6 was littered with debris in places where tree branches had been blown onto the motorway. Then, about an hour from home, traffic was brought to a standstill and I found myself sat in the same spot for the best part of 3 hours; it took me a total of 6 hours to get home.

What was interesting to me is how I felt about that situation and how I reacted to it. Time-wasting is one of my pet hates and I could easily have been irritated by the loss, in particular of those 3 hours waiting to move forward. What I noticed, however, was that I didn’t react emotively at all. And believe me; I used to swear at people in my rear view mirror with the best of them!

I was calm and I found I had choice about how to pass the time. I could have read a book (which I always carry around with me in case I’m kept waiting); written an article; closed my eyes and reflected, to name a few. As it happens I made a couple of calls and then listened to a children’s story on the radio followed by the football commentary as the team I support happened to be playing.

Periodically, when I glanced at the estimated arrival time on my SatNav creeping up and up, I reminded myself that they were clearing the 3 fallen trees off the motorway as fast as they could and knew that they would have us moving again soon. Moreover, we were all lucky to be sat way back from the fallen trees and not under them!

This story reflects daily life; the constant change and unpredictability of it all. So, how do you prepare? What can you do to make the best of an unexpected situation? I had the choice to read or write because I’ve been caught out in the past and I prefer to feel like I’m being productive. It also means that I’m focusing on something positive rather than watching the time pass. What would work for you?

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