Last week I wrote about Life Rolls, and someone emailed asking: “What do you do when you’re on a life roll and have been for months, but there’s no end in sight?”
Unfortunately, life rolls like these can be extremely frustrating because they can (and do!) go on and on and on. And ON.
But when will it get better?
Two weeks, two months, two years, never?
The stress levels rise because there’s no predictability, and when there’s no target date to aim for, it’s just plain hard.
So what DO you do then
Make More Tunnels.
Any time I’m in the middle of a big life roll, I tend to smash all the stresses together into a giant ball, and there really isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel.
What if instead of one too-big passage, there were more, but smaller, tunnels?
See, not every aspect of a life roll lasts the same amount of time, and while there may not be light at the end of all the tunnels, there might be in one or two of them. And one is better than none because seeing one thing taken care of makes it easier to believe the other things will also work out…eventually.
Embrace the suck.
Being in the middle of a life roll isn’t usually a bucket of fun, but often there’s no alternative. When the only way around is through, that’s the time to “embrace the suck.
Why waste energy trying to avoid the problem? Instead, spend all your energy solving the problem. Jump in with both feet. Soak it all in. Take note of the awful, and especially make note of the not so awful (because there will be some of that, too). Pay attention to everything.
Then be ready to tell a great story when it’s all over, because nothing lasts forever, and some experiences are WAY better in retrospect
Be Your Own Light
During a life roll, it’s all too easy to focus on the negative. Sometimes I get so caught up in focusing on the fact “there’s no light – what am I going to do!!!!” that I forget I’ve got a flashlight (or at least a phone flashlight app) in my pocket.
It doesn’t pay to wait around for other people to turn on the flip the switch; instead, be the light.
Give yourself a pep talk. Remind yourself that you’ve been in difficult situations before and you’ve found solutions. In fact, so far you’ve got a 100% track record of making it through every single day — even the hardest of days.
Accept The New Normal
Sometimes major life changes come disguised as a life roll, when what they really are is “new normal.
Bring home a new baby to join your family and it’s definitely a life roll! But here’s the thing…it’s also a new normal.
Decide to pull your child out of school to homeschool and it’s a life roll, but it’s also a new normal.
The broken hip or knee replacement that starts as a life roll with a hospital stay and physical therapy is actually new normal
Be patient with yourself. It takes time to adjust to the idea that life is, now and forever, changed. Life is different now from the way it was in The Before Times.
Be honest and grieve the loss of old normal so, in time, you’ll be able to life roll into new normal and find joy and excitement and happiness there.
Be grateful. Once new normal has been around long enough to become plain ole “normal” – take a look around and appreciate it…because without a doubt there’s another life roll coming down the road a ways.
Are you going through a life roll right now?
If you are and you’d like a friendly guide to help you through, my life coaching packages are an ideal solution. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.