Rolling with the Punches

“I think it's an amazing quality to be able to roll with the punches and not be totally ruined as a person because life's been rough for you. That's a really admirable way to go through your life.” - Anna Paquin

Is it possible to "over plan?" In my experience I've found that any task or series of tasks run smoother if each step has been carefully planned and subsequently executed. This realization has made me a bit obsessive. I make a detailed plan for each day. I estimate how much time each stop in my day will take factoring in drive time of course. In a perfect world all of my fretting and planning would result in a calm productive day. Most often it's the exact opposite because we all know that this is not a perfect world. We walk out the door twenty minutes late because my son knocked over a lamp and now there's glass all over the floor. Once it's cleaned up my daughter has to go to the bathroom. Why does twenty minutes matter so much? Leaving twenty minutes later than the plan means that we get home twenty minutes late for lunch. Hungry children (and adults) break down. So I'm panicking at 9 am about the tantrum I think will happen at 12:10 pm. My anxiety makes me irritable so I'm rushing everyone and creating an uncomfortable atmosphere which leads to a stressful day.

Yes. I admit it. I can't roll with the punches.

The phrase roll with the punches is an American idiom that means to be able to deal with unexpected difficulties. The phrase originated in the early 20th century when referring to boxers angling themselves in certain ways to help soften the impact of incoming blows.

I would love to be that calm person who handles chaos with grace and rationality. I am not. But I'm really working on it. When my son breaks the doorknob and locks himself in the bedroom I try to convince myself that if I don't laugh I'll cry. So I'll take a deep breath and figure out how in the world I'm going to get him out of there before he shatters another lamp. Progress. But I still have a long way to go. I'm learning that you simply cannot plan for the unexpected problems that may arise in an ordinary day. Kids (especially toddlers) are exploring their world. Often this exploration leads to broken lamps and locked doors. To be honest writing this makes me smile because I'm so fortunate to have a healthy child. For many people rolling with the punches means staying positive through another major health set back. I think that the best way to roll with the punches is to practice gratitude. Obviously trying to plan away mishaps is not working. Instead of panicking because the day has gone off course try to remember who is important and how happy I am to have them in my life. Or at the very least remember that it could so totally be worse.