Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Expect the Unexpected-Be Flexible

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Apr 13, 2014 3:22 PM

Expect the unexpected. No matter what your premonitions as you start on a new relationship, marriage, pregnancy, school, move, job, career, or any endeavor, you better be flexible. It's not going to be exactly what what you envisoned. It can't be because you're not a perfect predictor of the future, of life, of its vicissitudes and variables.

Even the "perfect" marriages I know have their disappointments, whether health, temperament, habits, values, or whatever. Folling with the punches, giving, forgiving, flexibiltiy makes them work. Even the best college contains jerks, difficult profs, and unfair situations and part of the learning is to figure it all out, like you will in whatever job or career you enter. Even the dream job changes, when the company reorganizes or realizes you aren't whom they thought they hired. Even the great parent has conflicts of interest and the best child can be demanding.

Then, there are the true surprises of life which shock and test us, such as accidents, tragedies, illness, and giving in to temptations. However, before I depress you, for every bad surprise and unexpected eventuality, there are good ones. The relationship which seemed to going nowhere uncovers a true keeper. The child who opposes rules and authority growing up, becomes your empathetic adult friend. The half-committed parent with an immature temper offers support when you least expect it. At the crappy job, you make connections which will enhance your future. The default career turns out to be satisfying.

Bad happens. Good happens. Expect the unexpected. Flexibility will serve you well.

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