I’ve been sitting here the last few days of 2017, watching the clock wind down. It’s been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks of the year because no part of planning life ever works out. This is especially the case when you have people you need to interact with, like family and friends for instance.
You’ve heard the saying, ‘no man is an island.’ I don’t know who said it, but it’s true. We may want to be an island sometimes. And those of us who are introvert homebodies try to be an island, but the fact is, we live on a sphere with almost seven billion other people. We must participate from time to time. That’s just the way it goes.
Another saying I have heard, probably loosely taken from The Bible, is ‘While we are planning our lives, God is laughing.’ Because we all know nothing goes as planned when it comes to life. The fact is, we should plan. Because there is yet another saying, ‘those who fail to plan, plan to fail.’ So, planning is appropriate, wise, and mature. But we can’t really get bent out of shape (too much) when things do not go as planned.
My suggestion: leave some wiggle room in your life for the unplanned. If you do not, you will become one of those bitter, tired, angry, sad, lonely, frustrated, and the list goes on; people that we see daily. We work with them, we drive alongside them in traffic (scary), we may even live with them!
If you maintain wiggle room, you still get to grieve loss or the unexpected left turn; but chances are you will find a way to live with your new reality. Let me be real, wiggle room can even lessen the possibility of contemplating suicide. And wiggle room can create a new platform from which to help others.
Wiggle room can save many lives—yours and those who see you struggle but make it through, scars and all.
Wiggle room does not completely alleviate stress, it lessens the stress. Wiggle room allows us to make good decisions during the stress. Think about how to create wiggle room for yourself and your family in 2018.
Here’s a tip, wiggle room goes by other names:
margin, like leaving a little bit of margin in your checking account. Having a savings account. And generally watching your spending.
grace, like not being on ready when someone offends you or cuts you off in traffic.
time, like giving yourself extra time to make an appointment.
attitude, like having a good attitude in front of your kids when interacting with another adult, no matter how you feel about that adult.
Planning, I know we talked about planning earlier. But yes, we still need to have a plan.
Thankfulness, like realizing that if you are reading this, you are doing so much better than most of the people on this planet.
Those are just a few types of wiggle room. I’m sure you can think of some more. Create a list of your own, use this list, or combine the two lists. Then refer to the list regularly during 2018.
We will get caught off guard from time to time, but wiggle room along with a positive mindset will generally allow us to bounce back faster! Create some wiggle room in 2018!