Has an unexpected event ever confronted you in life hits you like a ton of bricks? Did that something seem to come out of nowhere and put you on your backside? What are you completely caught in a vulnerable position with seemingly no options to choose from to pull yourself out of the rut that it caused? I think that after this pandemic we can all safely answer yes to that question. If you hadn’t encountered an unforeseen difficulty in your life before March of 2020 then you certainly have now.
It isn’t a matter of if bad times will come across your doorstep here and there it’s more of a matter of when those bad times come. When they do come, it is then a matter of how you and your family react to them. The whole “making lemonade out of lemons” concept applies here. What would you do and what are you capable of doing when hard times find you? The easy analogy would be to point to “The Three Little Pigs” and to see which pig you resemble the most.
Be the “Third Pig”
The first strategy that I would implement in a life-changing or life-altering circumstance is to apply my reasoning and analytical skills towards understanding the significance of the circumstances in front of me. In other words: do you even recognize how important the challenge is that is staring you in the face? When it comes to my involvement in the lives of people just like you who live in our community I am time and again surprise that the two main reactions to difficult family loss circumstances are either no reaction at all or something close to defeating before the battle has even begun.
This will be like treating every situation as either a zero or a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. While there are circumstances in life that are zeros and R 10s in terms of importance most of the things we face in life are somewhere in between. Even a divorce or child custody case is not the same as facing a cancer scare in your family or something like that. You need to be able to train your brain to identify the severity and the significance of certain circumstances and then to act appropriately. A family law case is very important and you should take it seriously. However, to treat it like it’s the end of your world would be a huge mistake.
Once you have properly contextualized and identified the challenge that sits on your doorstep the second strategy I would begin to implement is to act appropriately and in a timely fashion. I like to think of this as being the third pig from the children’s story the Three Little Pigs. We all remember that story, don’t we? The Mama pig sends her three baby boys out in 2 the real world to fend for themselves. The youngest son builds himself a house out of the straw in a quick fashion. The middle pig takes a little bit longer to build himself a home out of sticks. While the oldest brother takes longer to build his home but it is more solidly built out of brick.
Life came at those Three Little Pigs quickly thereafter. The big bad Wolf knocks at their door and blew down their homes. At least, he blew down the first 2 pigs’ doors. those two pigs were left scrambling and begging their older brother to let them in their home. The generous and caring Big Brother allowed his 2 younger brothers inside of his house where they were safe from the Wolf. My point in bringing this story up is to not refresh our memory of children’s stories but to encourage all of us to be that third pig.
It may be too late for you to suddenly change course and develop the qualities of that third pig want a divorce or child custody case lands on your doorstep. At that stage, you may think that action is needed more than a change in philosophy. However, I would encourage you to do both. Begin to organize your life through organizing the most important aspect of it: your family. Interview attorneys, develop a strategy with that attorney, and then use your family law case as a basis to organize the rest of your life.
Many people look at a family law case as being the end of their life as they know it. In the same way, many people are still viewing this pandemic as the end of their lives as they knew it. However, as my Gran father used to tell me: all things, good and bad, come to an end. You can decide to cause you’re unorganized in hectic life to come to an end. Why not use a sudden life event like a family law case as the springboard t0words feature successes?
Act with intentionality so you can minimize feature surprises
The third strategy that I would recommend to you when facing a hurricane of life’s events and struggles would be to act intentionally to survive and thrive in the future. What does being intentional mean? To me, it means having a purpose and an end goal in mind when you make a decision or perform an action of any kind. I do my best, both professionally and personally, to be driven by goals and endpoints when I do something. We all have those moments were in the middle of doing something we ask ourselves why am I doing this again. My point is not to eliminate all instances like this, although that would be nice, but rather to minimize the times where you are acting in a rudderless or meandering fashion.
When a life event hits you like the loss of a job then you should develop a strategy to counteract that job loss. For instance, that could look like applying for unemployment benefits or any other resources that are available to you through the government. This will help with your immediate need for income and build pay. After that, you should consider your job search and how best to look for employment. Do you have resources in the community who could help you find a job? Do you have Internet access where thousands upon thousands of jobs are available at your fingertips? Do you need to go back to school or recertify in a particular field?
These are the sort of questions that you can ask yourself that allow you to take real, concrete steps towards accomplishing goals and getting over this transitionary phase in your life. Do not underestimate but she can accomplish simply by having the end in mind. Not thinking ahead and not being intentional with your actions will increase the chances of your having problems accomplishing goals and getting over temporary setbacks. Even with the pandemic, the most pessimistic forecasters out there would not tell you that this period of our lives was going to last forever. It would have been a mistake for you to sit in a pool of your sadness and not act intentionally. Utilized your instincts, your desire to no longer be in a position like this, and your future goals as a means to act intentionally to pull yourself out of these transition times that are upsetting or painful.
Surround yourself with the support system of people you trust
Being a family law attorney in writing on a family law blog it is a natural assumption for me to make that you are reading this blog post because you have family law-related matters that you are facing. If this is the sort of transition that you are having to make in life then my recommendation is always to interview and eventually hire a family attorney whom you think would serve you in your family’s best interests. It pays to have someone in your corner who is experienced and knowledgeable in this area of the law.
For a short time, relatively speaking, the family law attorney will allow you to accomplish your goals more readily. However, that family law attorney is there because he or she is being paid to be with you. Otherwise, I would not count that person in your group of support or your support system more generally. With that said, you need to have a support system in place during transition times in your life. Like anything else, it is best to have those folks in place for when bad times come rather than to search out these folks when bad times are already here.
For many of you, your families will serve as a great source of support and guidance during transition times. For others, a combination of family and friends may be just what you need to bridge the gap between 2 good periods of your life and over a transition period that you would rather forget. Social groups through your community or your church or other great places to begin to seek out a support system if you do not already have one. These are the folks that will be with you through thick and thin but will also offer you advice and perspective that may not be always easy to swallow. This may be the 4th strategy I’ve shared with you today but could be the most important when all is said and done in terms of your quality of life.
Exercise and get yourself moving
The 5th strategy that I wanted to share with you in today’s blog post would be to get yourself and keep yourself active from a physical standpoint during transition times. You will become what you do consistently. If you consistently sit on the couch every day after work and don’t move an inch until bedtime then you will end up becoming a couch potato. However, if your balance works in life and finds yourself every opportunity for physical fitness that you have available then you will become a person with a good balance and level of fitness in your life.
I’m not telling you that you need to become Mr or Mrs. Olympia. What I am telling you is that it is very easy to become bogged down and docile, lost in your thoughts during a transition time or a period of stress. However, what I find in my own life is that the more active I am the more active I will be likely to stay. Once I am up and moving during the day it can be difficult to get me to sit down. Likewise, if I spend time on the couch for some time it can be just as difficult to get me up from the couch. Exercise and physical movement are incredibly important to your outlook and attitudes. I can think of no better time to develop a habit of physical fitness than during a transition time.
Your day to day schedule may change depending on the sort of transition you are experiencing in life. Why not take that opportunity to create a new routine for yourself when it comes to finding time to be active and to pursue some very basic fitness goals. Find someone in your support system to hold you accountable and to exercise with you. Go out and purchase a very inexpensive step counter and have contests with yourself to see if you can best your prior days total of steps.
These are not overly time consuming or expensive suggestions. Based on your circumstances these are reasonable and beneficial steps, no pun intended, that you can implement to better your life in the short and long term future. If your life is already changing why not create a change for yourself that is desirable? Setting yourself up for fitness in the future may be a change that you’ve been meaning to make but have not yet done so. Don’t let that Golden opportunity pass you by to make these sorts of changes.
Change your attitude and change your life
the simple act of smiling can cause you to be in a better mood and be happier consistently. Go ahead and Google that claim I just made. You will find studies and news articles where researchers have discovered that by simply smiling more you can change your perspective and attitudes consistently. Nothing in your life will have needed to have changed but for your willingness to smile more.
This is my sixth piece of advice on how to positively handle the challenges that life throws at your doorstep. Much of our lives are within our immediate control. However, a great deal of the things we face is beyond our control. how you deal with those challenges, the ones you can’t control will determine the course of your life and your mental health. If you wallow in the mud of your failures or challenges then you are more likely to become the kind of person that wallows in the mud all the time.
on the other hand, if you take small steps to improve your attitude in outlook daily then before you know it you will have become a positive and optimistic person. Some of us are positive and optimistic nature. Others of us require more effort in this area to become positive and optimistic. Anyone can possess an optimistic attitude just like anyone can be positive and how they approach life. The simple act of acting as if you are positive or optimistic, even when you’re not feeling that way, will eventually translate into your becoming the person you want to be. Fake it till you make it, as they say.
Life will improve even if you believe that it won’t
the seventh piece of advice that I can provide you with is more or less just an observation that I have made in my own life. If you are the type of person to always look back in time and wonder what happened to the good old days or to mourn the loss of a life that you used to lead then you can count yourself among many of us who are that way. However, the reality of our lives is that you can never perfectly recreate a prior event or set up circumstances.
What we are left with is a life that we may not have completely chosen but it is the one we have. Take heart in knowing that we as human beings tend to adjust without much fanfare or notice towards our current circumstances. You may think you could never be happy in the life that you anticipate leading in the future but you will be surprised to learn that we adjust on a mental level two are circumstances in find our equilibrium. Even though you may think you’ll never be happy living in a smaller house or seeing your children less often I can almost promise you that you will find meaning and happiness in the midst of changing circumstances. this is an evolutionary and survival-based mechanism that we all possess.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by a child custody or divorce case.