Everything was going great. I was walking, eating well, taking my yoga classes and getting my beauty sleep. It all clicked. It felt good. I felt good.
But then … well … life happened. I hadn’t planned on that.
I’m a writer in my real life. Most days, I am writing and editing short pieces. I put out fires and answer a lot of emails. But lingering in the background are these very long-form projects. Nobody checks up on my progress on these assignments, which is both a blessing and a curse. I love working autonomously, but I’m also a serious procrastinator. And these projects have deadlines way, way, WAY into the future. Until, of course, those deadlines are upon me. That’s when panic sets in: I chain myself to my desk (or a table at a local café), poison my insides with gallons of diet coke, fuel myself with popcorn and skittles and darn near choke on the compact-car-sized ball of anxiety taking up residence in my belly.
It happens Every. Single. Time. Yet, I’m somehow surprised by this phenomenon. I would surely shake my head with pitiful disdain if one of my kids behaved this way. “Don’t you ever learn?”
It is time that I learned. This journey called life is not necessarily a straight, beautifully paved highway, but a twisty back road filled with potholes, storm debris and a few folks with their foot out waiting to trip me up. It also has plenty of sunshine and lilacs and sweet people who will help me up when I fall. But the thing is—I have to be prepared for both. If I truly want to transform my life, I have to plan on things not always going as, well, planned. I have to have a backup plan for my backup plan.
That means stocking my fridge with yummy food that is still good for me—stuff I can grab when I have to race out the door a lunchtime to take my son to the orthodontist (again) for a broken wire. It means putting together a 10- or 20-minute yoga routine with the help of my YogaPod peeps that I can do in my living room when I really can’t make it to a class. And it means working on those long-form projects a little every day—even five minutes—so those deadlines don’t mess with my hard-earned healthy habits.
Stress happens. But if I actually plan for it, I might be able to substitute some healthier reactions here and there. Wait-what? Trade that miserable soul-sucking anxiety for a relaxing, detoxifying hot yoga class?
Sounds like a plan to me.