I think surrendering is probably one of the things I am still not very good at.
I’m getting better.
But I have a long way to go.
On the other hand, I am building up a collection of experiences that I can draw on when things don’t go the way I envisioned or wanted them to go.
I tell the women in the Empowerment Academy to stop worrying about shit that may or may not happen all the time.
It’s so easy to spend tons of brain power worrying about something that might not ever happen down the road.
And when you do that all you accomplish is tiring yourself out and wearing yourself down.
Today I got some news that wasn’t exactly news I wanted to hear. It wasn’t a part of my overall plan.
LIKE NOT AT ALL.
I spent a good three or four hours unable to think about anything else because I was freaking out internally about the fact that something I had banked on happening might not happen at all.
I know it’s annoying that I’m being vague, but it really doesn’t matter what the problem is.
This happens to all of us all the time.
What matters is how you respond to situations and circumstances in the moment.
After a few hours of having racing thoughts about things that were really beyond my control, I drew on an experience I had fairly recently.
A couple years ago I was an assistant coach for a swim team my kids were on. I really liked coaching there.
About a year after I started, one of the full-time coaches left the program. At first her position wasn’t filled as the team tried to figure out how they were going to move forward.
A few months later, I got a call from the head coach. He told me they were restructuring the program, and asked if I would be interested in a full-time job.
He explained what the job entailed, which kids I’d be working with, that I’d have benefits, and that he was still trying to figure out if my kids could possibly swim for free as part of the package.
So maybe he wasn’t directly offering me a job, but that was how I perceived the conversation.
When I told him I’d love to accept the position, he replied with, “Okay, cool.”
He told me he’d be in touch with more info.
A week went by and I didn’t hear anything.
I saw the head coach every day at practice, but I didn’t want to ask him about anything while we were on deck. It wasn’t the time or the place.
Another week went by, and still nothing.
I started to get a not-so-good feeling.
My gut told me something had changed.
At the time, my marriage was already in big trouble, and I was looking for full-time employment so I’d have financial independence and options.
I emailed the head coach and I didn’t hear back for a couple days.
It was clear something was going on.
I could tell he was avoiding me.
And then, eventually, he told me a former coach who had taken maternity leave a few years earlier had applied for the job, and when she took leave she had been told she was welcome back at any time.
And so they made the decision to hire her and not me.
I was devastated.
I had already envisioned the freedom I’d have with the consistent income and how that would affect my life and my options.
And then in an instant it was gone.
And so were my options.
Or so I thought.
Now this isn’t about the coach. I respect him a lot.
And the coach he hired instead of me?
I really like her and I was still coaching part time (literally right next to her) and we became friends.
But then a bunch of things happened.
I filed for divorce.
My mom was diagnosed with cancer. She and my dad helped out a lot with driving to swim practice. I wouldn’t have that help any more once my mom started treatment.
And although my parents didn’t mind helping out, it was added stress, and I didn’t want to put that on my mom.
That’s the last thing you need with a cancer diagnosis.
Then the pandemic hit. And swim teams were shut down for three months.
And you know what happened to that coaching position I desperately wanted?
It was eliminated!
The job I wanted so badly wasn’t even a job anymore!
And right around that time, the woman who had “taken” my coaching job discovered Zyia.
And she had a party.
And she invited me.
And I tried the clothes and I loved them and I was like, What the hell! I’ll try Zyia too!
And I became a rep.
And now I’ve been promoted from rep to junior rep to senior rep to director!
And the woman who “stole” my job who then became my friend who then lost her job is now my Zyia mom!
Thank God I never got that job! It wasn’t the right thing for me.
I just couldn’t see it at the time.
And so this potentially big disappointment I might experience in the next few days that had me unable to mentally function for part of the day today?
Well, if it doesn’t go the way I want it to, then it’s because there’s something better around the corner or down the road.
And this is why having challenging times is SO important for us.
Because they teach us things we can draw from in the future.
And now I feel better.
I mean, if things don’t go the way I want them to go, I’ll be a little — okay, maybe a lot — disappointed.
But not forever.
Because that means there is something better waiting for me.
I just can’t see it yet.
And either way, everything is going to be okay.
As long as I keep surrendering and reminding myself that sometimes what I want isn’t actually the same thing as what I need.
Anthony Saracino says
Ever changing, always growing, never to old to learn…thats why I say always TRY to put your best foot forward…not a manditory thing but…people r ALWAYS watching, like yourself, compiling info in the backgrounds of their minds so R u, weather u realize it or not…..CONSCIENCE(my little Jimminie Cricket on my shoulder) is what motivated some of us NO?? OBLIGATION & RESPOSIBILTY,Morality R alway there 2, more in some, not so much in others, its what I feel defines us, even now, some day more than others but….
Dietz Beth says
Love you and your message is timely as my compny laid off 500 people off.
Fran Eckman says
It’s great that you could see that perspective from past experiences. Staying positive and putting positive thoughts out to the universe really work!! I experienced it first hand last week.