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Living with the Unexpected


I am sitting at my desk with a fan whirring back and forth, it is very distracting! I wasn’t quite expecting 30 degrees in June but then again, I wasn’t expecting a lot of things that have happened this week.

Life is full of the unexpected. How can we best deal with it?

When I lived in South America nothing ever went to plan and people seemed to take it in their stride. At one point, we waiting three days for a flight into the jungle. (it never came!) I remember thinking I will never complain about a couple of hours delay in Europe again but of course that wore off fairly quickly and I am back getting annoyed at a five-minute delay on the tube.

It seems to have something to do with how our expectations are set up. In South America, you know there will be delays, they become part of life so you find yourself waiting patiently. I wonder what it would be like if we didn’t expect things to run smoothly and accepted interruptions with more ease? What difference would that make in our lives? My aim is to go more with the flow, although I don’t always quite make it!

I was talking to my daughter, she had experienced a particularly bad day. She is a photographer and was lining up a shoot and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong almost to the point of disbelief, one catastrophe after another. In her profession, she has to be ready for anything and things often don’t go to plan. I asked her how she coped with this particularly shoot and she made an interesting comment: ‘I had to just move forward through it, working with it and find a way through. Giving up was not an option.’ I thought of all the times I had battled through things insisting they work a particular way, my way, getting more and more frustrated and imagined my daughter so young but already learning the art of acceptance.

It is often the unexpected that pushes us to grow and develop, otherwise we stay put and stick with the easy option. Life is very fragile we are not in control but we can work with what we have got and learn to live with the unexpected.

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”

George Orwell