I drove around the inlet today. The narrow winding road makes it hard to see what is coming in the other direction, so I’m always careful to be on the alert. It’s a journey I make often and it has not been without its challenges. I’ve previously written about one of these on my blog. If you want to read the short article about my adventure with the amazing flying upside down car: click here.
Anyway, back to my story. Despite being fully aware of the driving conditions, I was taken aback to turn a corner only to be confronted by a small pilot vehicle bearing a large notice warning that there was a WIDE LOAD FOLLOWING.
My immediate response was – ‘oh great, how am I supposed to go to get out of the way?’ On one side of me was a steep drop down to the water and on the other was mostly a sheer cliff face. And the narrow road has quite a few twists and turns which make it difficult to navigate when something large and a little frightening is bearing down on you. All I could do was take a deep breath, slow right on down, and concentrate on the basics. I knew I had to keep safe. I knew I should keep as far to the left as possible. I also know it was imperative to hopefully not collide with the oncoming truck and its imposing cargo of earth-moving equipment.
I think that life can be a bit like this too - at various times on our journey a challenge approaches us with very little warning and even less time to allow us to respond. All we know for sure is that there will inevitably be a ‘wide load following’.
When this happens:
* sometimes we have plenty of room to manoeuvre and the problem passes us by with little impact and few consequences
* at other times we stop and take a deep breath, slowing right down to concentrate on the bare minimum basics, dealing with the problem as best we can
* occasionally our pathway is restricted and all we can do is brave out the coming collision while doing what we can and hoping for the best
All of these are good and appropriate responses given the various circumstances we face. Due to a number of conditions in my life at the moment I feel like I am in the middle stage and some of my clients and friends have told me that they are as well.
Most people can relate to the type of thing I am talking about:
* coping with ill health (your own or a that of a family member)
* assisting ageing parents
* dealing with the impact of a reduced income
* trying to find a new job
* worrying about all the things you feel you need to do
I want to encourage you to take a deep breath and gently release some of the tension you are feeling. You have absolutely everything you need to get through this, even though your choices may seem limited at this point. Doing the best you can is all that is necessary. You may not be able to see what is around the next corner, but your task is to concentrate on the basics for now. Be assured, there will be plenty of time for your horizons to expand, so take courage and wait for the ‘wide load’ to pass.
One of the essentials that we tend to disregard is looking after ourselves when our burden becomes heavy. But self-care is even more critical at times like this, so be kind to yourself. I try to find encouragement in the little moments of joy and beauty that can be simply appreciated in the midst of chaos. Stopping to listen to the song of birds flying by; looking up at the clouds floating overhead; deeply breathing in the scent of the blossom trees; sharing a short conversation with a friend; hugging someone you care about – all take such a little time but they feed our souls and leave us with a lighter heart.
So next time life confronts you with a sign that there is a ‘wide load’ on its way, take a deep breath, slow right down and attend to the simplest things that are important to keep you going. Gather your strength, remembering that you are definitely up to the challenge and eventually this too shall pass.