Monday, April 22, 2013

When the Going Gets Tough . . . the Tough Should Slow Down

-Excerpt from chapter 8

As the temperatures dropped and the snow swirled around our car, I began holding my breath, only to catch myself taking a gulp a few seconds later. The winter storm was upon us in full fury as we drove across the barren plains of Wyoming. I could only hope my tires were up to the slushy and icy challenge. As the storm intensified, we chose to slow down and be more cautious. We knew that at our current speed, which was the speed meant for perfect weather, we had little traction and little control. We watched, horrified, as a truck flew by us and plummeted straight into the snow bank, followed by another car driving too fast for the weather conditions. After making sure the people in both vehicles were okay, we continued because our mini-van was incapable of pulling them out. We knew it was going to take longer to get to our destination at our turtle speed, but unlike the many cars nestled in the snow banks around us, we would make it to our destination long before they would.

Whenever the storms of our life roll in, we can only hope we are prepared with good traction on our tires, lots of windshield wiper fluid, and functional wipers. However, even when we are as prepared as we can be, sometimes we must slow down and even alter our course. If we had continued our journey at full speed in such uncertain and stressful conditions, I have no doubt that we would have crashed or become stuck like the many cars around us. Life is not always filled with sunshine and blue skies and when we try to race through as if nothing has changed, we often find ourselves crashing, burning, and taking longer to arrive at our desired destination than we would have if we had just slowed down. 

If you feel like you are being blown about in a blizzard, throw out the excess in your life and trim down your expectations. Sometimes this means setting even important things aside in order to take care of the most important things. I know this may seem impossible as many of you have your plates overflowing with responsibility. Try prioritizing a list of the things you need to do. Start at the top with the most important things and work as far down as possible. When the day is done and you have not finished everything on your list (which I have learned from experience is usually the case), learn to be happy with what you have accomplished and tell the rest of that list to take a hike till morning. 

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