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Wrenches in the Trenches

Wrenches in the Trenches are not your average, every day kind of hiccups in life.  It’s when you’re on a streak of them that they become wrenches in the trenches.  The last couple weeks of mine have been definite wrenches in the trenches and it’s not ready to stop just yet.  I’m going to share some of this with you only as example, not to be hugely negative.  (I promise to end on a positive note!)

My Wrenches This Last Week

My husband and I own a business and while I’ve stepped mostly away to build up Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, I’m still pretty involved.  Nothing at that business happens at a convenient time.  For example, let’s have our production manager quit without notice and then all of a sudden all of our clients need their orders yesterday.  Then two days later your part-timer calls in sick and the day after that your other one does as well.  Because this business pays ALL of our bills right now, that means that not only do my husband and I drop everything to keep it going, but my daughter as well.  Talk about a family business!  And it hasn’t stopped.

My daughter has finished high school, finished a vocational school and only has two mock state board finals to complete before graduating and then taking the state boards on April 3rd.  She called the school admin and set up two dates, but that admin didn’t tell the other admin and her dates got taken.  Even though we had set up everything with everyone to be there so now we are scrambling to get her a new model (thermolysis – permanent hair removal – have to bring your own model) on the only two dates they have left and one is the day before state boards meaning that if she doesn’t pass, can’t take state boards.

And then there’s the rain.  I love rain!  But not when it has the possibility of bringing flash floods to recent burn areas or cancels our mountain bike race for the weekend for our local high school mountain bike team and we are scrambling for practices or possible spin classes.  That also means canceling hotels, changing plans, re-booking hotels for the next race, etc.  I got most of my money back, but others refused a refund.

Last one…then there’s my dumb thyroid and the needle biopsy that hurt like the dickens and bruised my neck only to have the results come back inconclusive and being sent out for genetic testing that will take weeks to get those results.  Not freaking out, but definitely a wrench psychologically to have to wait.

Combatting the Wrenches

When life throws more than little hiccups your direction and there seems to be a steady stream, those are your wrenches in the trenches moments.  Here’s what I do to combat feeling despair during these crazy life wrenches:

  1. I do the best I can.  I make a list and that list is filled with more stuff than I could ever accomplish in a day and I know it.  I then write the numbers 1-3 of the things that are the most important and I start there.  If I finish those three, I make another priority of the next 3.  And then I let it go.  Oh, I’ll get stressed, but I try to do my best and let the rest go.
  2. I find at least one thing to be grateful for daily.  There is something in every day and I write mine in a 5-year journal I keep at my bedside every night.  Focusing on something good, writing down, and then I get bonus points if I share it with my hubby cause talking about that good thing makes me happy.
  3. Look for the silver lining or the lesson learned.  I truly believe that things happen for a reason.  While our business is still struggling to get caught up, we are grateful to have hired a wonderful new production manager and am embracing the fact that we have lots of work to do which brings us monetary blessings like paying for our mortgage and eating.  Kinda important things, right?  My daughter was able to find a model for tomorrow and I firmly believe there’s a reason why her schedule got re-arranged.  Maybe in finding the new model she’ll meet someone new.  Maybe it will be good to do a mock final the day before her state boards so it will be fresh in her memory.  I can’t always immediately see the blessing, but I’m on the look out for it!  And the rain with the races?  Turns out I only lost $6.84 cents for my hotel.  I won’t be attending the re-scheduled race because my oldest daughter and my two grandbabies are coming for a visit and that fact alone will save me 6 hours of driving.  That’s a blessing!  I’m praying that we will not have flash floods, but I am grateful for the much-needed rain in California.
  4. Last, but certainly not least.  If all else fails, give up.  Oh, I don’t mean permanently, but sometimes you need to just set everything aside, grab your favorite food and chick flick and zone out.  Those problems aren’t going anywhere.  Tell them all to take a time-out, re-group yourself and come at it fresh tomorrow.

Wrenches in the Trenches are inevitable, but they do pass.  If you’re in one now, I feel ya.  The struggle is real.  Take heart, this too shall pass.

Please leave your comments below on this article.  I would love to hear from you!

Practice Smiling

Practice Smiling
     When I was interviewing Jo Ellen Soesbee last week for my podcast, she said something towards the end that I couldn’t stop thinking about.  She was driving along and happened to notice that she could see the driver in front of her in his side-view mirror and she thought, “Does that mean that others can see me in my side-view mirror?”  

     Apparently, the gentleman in front of her did not look very happy.  In fact, he looked downright grumpy by all accounts.  That’s when Jo Ellen decided to practice smiling.  She didn’t want people to think that she was grumpy!

     This practice served her well when a client called and said, “I hired you because when I saw you in your truck, you were smiling.”  Wow!  Landing a job because you smiled while you were driving!
Jo Ellen has practiced smiling so much that on a recent girl’s weekend her friends accused her of even smiling in her sleep!  Now that’s some serious smile practicing if you ask me.  🙂

     I decided I would try it out and over this last week I’ve simply tried to smile while I was driving.  Honestly, I felt pretty silly at first and if I knew someone was close enough to see me I acted as if I was listening to some funny comedian on the radio and laughed out loud!  

     While I am not perfect at this smiling while I’m driving thing, it has changed my attitude while I drive to be a little more polite and a little more understanding of others while they drive.  

Smiling matters!!

     I will keep practicing, Jo Ellen!  To hear more on Jo Ellen Soesbee come on over to the podcast, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand on iTunes by following this link:  Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Positivity Podcast  I bet you won’t be disappointed!
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