This weekend I was reminded that navigating our daily lives means learning and employing resilience to manage the inevitable hurts that come our way.
Yesterday my husband and I took our granddaughter Clara to the library and the playground – two of our favorite Grandma, Papa, Clara time activities.
Now, there is something about the carpet at the library that seems to have the uncanny ability to make Clara trip and fall every other time we are there. I’m not sure what it is. It’s not like anything is sticking up or torn. She just seems to have a 50/50 chance of stubbing her toe and falling on any given visit.
Walking goeth before a fall.
Yesterday was one of those visits. As we walked across the carpet of doom, from the children’s area to the checkout desk…WOOPS! Down she went! We paused to gauge her reaction and so did a gentleman working at a table in the nearby Wi-Fi area. She popped right back up and kept going, we breathed a sigh of relief and received a thumbs up from Wi-Fi man.
Our next stop was the playground, which of course, contains equally unlimited possibilities for fun and boo boos. We were having a surprisingly uneventful visit. Clara navigated all the climbing structures and slides with ease and went from area to area until she settled on being pushed in the swing for about 20 minutes.
The Static Electric Slide
Post-swing, we followed her to another climbing area with bigger slides. Papa went up to the top with Clara and Grandma stayed at the bottom to make sure she didn’t come whooshing out too quickly. Clara loved this slide. Up and down. Up and down. Hair standing straight up from the static electricity it generated. She couldn’t get enough.
All went well until one little boy decided to run up the slide causing a minor fender bender with Clara and another little boy. She bumped her cheek on his head and began wailing as soon as I picked her up to check. A few hugs and kisses later, she was fine, and we decided we’d had enough playground time for one day.
Today, we saw Clara again and just before she left to go home, she hit her cheek (the same one!) on the corner of the couch as she went to run by. Like the carpet at the library, the corner of this couch has a devious habit of reaching out and sucker punching people less than 36 inches tall.
This one hurt my grandma heart almost as much as it hurt Clara’s cheek because hitting the same spot was like adding insult to injury. I grabbed her favorite butterfly icepack. She gingerly touched it to her cheek and announced she was ready to go home to “Mommy and Daddy’s house”.
I didn’t choose the tough life…
While I realize falls and bumps and bruises are normal for toddlers, they can still take their toll. I thought about how physically demanding toddler life is. Trying to learn how to navigate all the obstacles in life and how to bounce back and keep going time after time.
Our adult lives aren’t much different, although for most of us, the hits are most emotional than physical. Relationships, health, work, finances. The list goes on and on.
Some days we stumble and fall and are able to pop right back up on our own and keep going.
Other days we need comfort and love from others but recover quickly and move on.
Yet other days, when the hits just keep on coming, we need to retreat, lick our wounds and get ready to fight another day.
I get knocked down…
How about you? Do you feel like life has just been battering you around for too long and you no longer know how to protect yourself? Are you struggling to get back up again, to take care of yourself or ask for the care you need?
Like that toddler, resilience can be learned (or relearned) if you have a few simple tools you can pull out and use in various situations. As a life coach, I can help equip you to stand up and face life head on again. The bumps and bruises of life won’t magically stop, but your response will make all the difference in the world.
Betsy is a certified life coach, running coach and blogger who helps midlife women find satisfaction where they are now and inspiration to go after their big goals.
To learn more about working with Betsy, click here.