How flexible are you?
I’m in my late 30’s, and I can tell you I’m less flexible now than when I was in my 20’s. Simple yoga poses hurt, not to mention it takes me some time to get my heels down on the floor in downward dog. I know I need to be more intentional with stretching and finding time to do it, but it isn’t as much fun as going for a run or a hike (for me, anyway).
Now, on to my next question for you: How flexible are you in your day-to-day life? I’m not talking about being flexible physically, but mentally—being flexible with your attitude, your plans, and your will, especially when things don’t go your way.
For example, I’m a mother of three children. I currently volunteer with the Financial Readiness Program, working toward my certificate as an accredited financial counselor. To do that, I need 400 volunteer hours. I usually go to the office for two days a week to earn 15 hours per week.
It’s great; however, now that flu season is here, it knocks on our door and my kids open the door wide. They didn’t even ask, “Who’s there?”
How rude of them!
Anyway, a stomach bug also visited us this week, and I had to stay home with two out of three kids (hubby not counted).
My plans to volunteer and earn my hours changed; this week I earned zero hours. That’s okay. I had to change my plans around. Instead of moping around in self pity (like I did in my past), I’m using this time to prepare for my examination—reading and test-taking. Plus, now I have time to clean out the clutter in the kids’ rooms since they’re too weak from sickness to argue with me about what’s staying and what we’re donating.
My pastor always says, “Blessed are the flexible, for they do not get bent out of shape” (Dr. Larry Lamb).
It’s easy for me to be flexible with the things I can control, like my schedule; however, when I need to adjust to bigger, life-changing events like a PCS move (or not moving when I want to), a deployment, etc., I have to take some alone time to digest those changes so I don’t allow my feelings to control my mouth and my actions.
For instance, we knew we were staying in our current duty station for 11 months, the duration of my husband’s school. However, our orders changed and changed and changed, and now we’re here for another year or two. Who knows?
It’s hard for me to be flexible and stay positive in those situations, especially since I’m a planner and like to plan out our next five to 10 years. But as you know, plans change, and we need to learn to stay flexible, so we don’t get bent out of shape and lose ourselves.
I want to encourage you to be flexible with your life, your goals, and your plans. When change happens in your life, be open-minded and positive, even if it doesn’t appear to be for the best at the moment.
Being here for another year or two has worked out for the better for our family. My children have a little bit more stability and have made some really good friends. I have built friendships as well as focused on my developing career.
Remember: Like with stretching your body so you become more flexible, with practice you can stretch and become more flexible with your attitude, your goals, and your dreams.
Just stay positive and don’t give up.