Life throws unexpected curves when most of us directionally challenged hitters expect a predictable pitch. We swing late, observe the pitch as foreign, unable to explain its strange, arching movement, and wonder why and how the curvature is possible. Witnessing several pitches, we start to recognize, interpret, and draw added meaning to the throw headed our way. After considerable practice and experience, when a ball arcs in our direction, response time shortens and the ability to swing and make a direct connection occurs. Along the weight loss journey we learn that life, filled with curve balls, requires resilience to react successfully.
Yesterday morning started with an excruciating, eye-opening revelation. Opening one eye, grinding pain reverberated through me. Surprised yet aware that my contact lens was the source, I removed the guilty party. Hoping to restore pain-free equilibrium, zero change resulted. Replacing contact lenses with glasses, my left eye’s faulty vision remained impaired. What else in my life was blurred and needed clarity? Sometimes a pain and lack of vision offers lessons for greater understanding for journeys ahead. What if this was always true and the lens of clarity requires learning in order to proceed?
The first email catching my eye was from an acquaintance asking if I had sent a Google Doc, and if not, to change my password. Next, a private message on my screen showed another asking the same. My response to both was an emphatic “no” and my morning went into reacting to a computer virus that left my entire contact list vulnerable. With years of added contacts, sending an immediate email to warn of the potential danger to all contacts seemed the correct course of action. With the help of a technology-savvy spouse, his morning and mine were turned inside out, time spent mediating this disaster. Passwords were deleted and rewritten, emails were sent at Internet speed, and my blog writing time was eliminated.
With painful, blurry vision and a computer virus, my day took a turn, teetering out of control. To add to the dominoes, a snow day had been called, and my young children were now stumbling out of bed, awaiting attention and breakfast. Additionally snow shovel removal waited at the end of the driveway by our mailbox to ensure the day’s delivery. Ruckus set in as the kids responded negatively wanting attention, my eye pain and blurred vision steadily continued, and my inbox began filling up with mail delivery rejections from all obsolete contacts. Over two hundred emails snapped back with a statement of non-delivery. My offspring adjusted eventually to the slow breakfast delivery, yet arguments ensued as each made their way to help with snow removal. Tears streamed from my children’s eyes as the frigid temperatures and early morning mishaps gathered steam. None of it a pretty picture, yet somehow manageable.
In time, I called the eye doctor and scheduled a “fit-you-in” appointment at noon, ignored my full email inbox, made myself a cup of tea, and told the kids to steer clear of me as my top might blow off my head should anything else darken my day. I began to contemplate the blurred vision, the computer virus, the unscheduled snow day trapped inside, and the clarity I could not capture from an array of curve balls thrown my way. I sighed, imagining the metaphor of mishaps in my line of view.
Perhaps I was just being hit by pitches, reacting only upon direct impact. What did it mean to have blurred vision; would my eye heal and see again through a clear lens? Would I clear the virus or continue to subject others to my fate? My meal plan was set off on a tangent as the events unfolded as well, skewing my dietary success for the day. Is it wrong to eat a brownie by 10 AM? I recently consoled another on Facebook with the phrase, “The ability to succeed is the ability to adjust.” How resilient was I in the face of adversity, unscheduled avenues, and the unexpected events thrown my way? Had I not seen clearly until now?
By day’s end, I had a diagnosis of ‘abrasion’ to my left eye, and must wear glasses for three weeks until healed, or if worsened, a virus potentially could be the cause. The computer virus I addressed with the giant send-out to fellow contacts, a scan of my computer, and an update to my contact list. Mail was delivered by the postal service in a snow cleared mailbox, my food plan eased back into balance, and I sat aware of a successful comeback after a day of alterations to the ‘norm.’
Our reaction to curve balls decides our fate. Should we choose to acquiesce to their aim of striking us out, our vision will remain blurred, out of focus, and deteriorating like an out of control virus, spreading like a contagion let loose into the wild. Instead the downward spiral slows long enough to catch a glimpse of the rotating sphere in order to hit the ball, allowing us to run freely and access some clarity. It is within these “still” moments we are able to see clearly, feel an energetic twist of change, enabling response time to quicken and access contact with incoming curves.
When life throws us a curve, examining the pitch long enough to take aim for a clear reaction is crucial. Today served me well to practice positive reaction, resilience and recovery. No one travels through life unscathed by the curves that derail each of us from our center. Equilibrium is achieved by reframing the situation, slowing time by living within each moment, gaining clarity as we swing in reaction. Recognizing the valuable lesson internally taught is useful along life’s journey. Learning to achieve resilience is one’s best bet against the mighty curve ball.