When Life Kicks You in the Ass

Five Things I’ve Learned

We have all gotten our butts kicked at one time or another by life. It is inevitable. Things just simply don’t always go as planned. Sometimes, even tragedy strikes. Today marks the two-year Anniversary since my life-changing automobile accident. I won’t go into the all the gory details, but there have been countless obstacles and challenges over these past two years. None of this was planned. Even after it happened, I had no way to predict the latent effects.

I have learned a lot. I have had to learn patience, acceptance of the unknown, I have had to learn things don’t go as planned or as I want them. I have also had to learn that things don’t move in Jacqueline time. They don’t even move at ½ Jacqueline speed.

People ask me all the time how I do it. I am not really sure I have much choice. I get a lot of comments on how I am inspirational or strong. Truthfully, it is hard for me to see any of that as I feel like I am a mess all time and am having to constantly to adapt to my health limitations.

Some would say it is not in my DNA to give up. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean that some days I don’t feel like giving up. I have had to be super open to learning, and using some new life tools in order to not to be in an eternal state of losing my mind.

Even when I’m scared, I can show up for life

I am scared all the time. Scared of the unknown, scared things won’t go my way, scared that I won’t get better. I am human. But I have learned to show up in the face of fear. Maybe things won’t go away, maybe I have to leave early, maybe I say or do something dumb, maybe I hear bad news, maybe things will never be the “same” again. Doesn’t matter. Feeling scared doesn’t have to have impact my actions. It is human nature to go into avoidance mode, when faced with fear. Unfortunately, avoidance rarely solves the problem.

It’s OK to say no

I have had to say no to everything from business meetings, to trips to friend’s birthday parties and everything in between. I have missed out on a lot. I probably have avoided just as much as I have missed. It was so, so hard for me to do this at first – it still is. I want to say yes. The simple truth is, that right now, I am just not able to. Some people have been disappointed – None more disappointed than myself. That’s OK. My ego has been hurt. That’s OK. I struggle with it daily. That’s OK.

Self-care is not selfish

I have to take care of myself. I can’t take care of my family or my business if I don’t. This is so hard for to me to justify to myself. Every single time I ignore self-care, I end up in a worse place than I would have been if I just took care of myself. This may mean sleeping in, missing an event, exercising, meditating, a quiet lunch with a girlfriend, a hobby, a good cry in my bed – whatever it is, I have to do it. For me, it is mainly rest and restore. I have to shut down – it is tough when I feel like I am already missing out on so much due to health issues. I sometimes believe that “being sick and injured” counts as me time – IT DOES NOT.

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness

What? Now you are talking crazy. I should be able to handle it all; run a company (or two), grow a company at warp speed, run a family, be a good Mom, wife, and friend, keep up with my health and exercise, – oh and write a weekly BLOG. It goes on ad infinitum. I was FORCED to ask for help and I hated it (still do). But I have learned that asking for help gives others an opportunity to stand up. Asking for help means I don’t have to go it alone. Asking for help means I am …. human. Asking for help means I am strong.

Even when I don’t know what will happen, I can still just do the next thing

So it turns out my magic eight ball doesn’t work (the toy kind you shake and gives fortunes like “the future is certain” you who were thinking otherwise). I have no idea what is going to happen in the future – nether do you. I do know, that I can show up and do the next thing in front of me. I can tackle on small thing at a time and focus on the action rather than result.

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