A few days ago, I had a meltdown. No, it wasn’t my typical hair-smoking, eye-twitching, someone-better-call-the-paramedics variety, but it was close enough. Between a computer virus, a broken water pipe, and steamy temperatures, I ended up boarding the Meltdown City Express, and that’s never a fun trip.
In fact, the Express had just passed the outskirts of Overwhelm and was speeding towards Meltdown City when I noticed that no matter which window I surveyed the landscape from, all I could see was mile-after-mile of gloom and doom. A mountain of repair expenses loomed in the east, shrouded by a mist of impending deadlines and unfinished blogging tasks. To the west, a desert of defeat stretched into the horizon. I shrank against the seat, my mood as dark as the gathering clouds.
Lucky for me, it was right about then I remembered my recent blog post–the one called, ‘What Are You Doing to Yourself?’ As the words from that post echoed in my mind . . . I get to decide how often to post, how many blogs to visit, and what jobs to take on . . . the Express slowed just enough for me to catch a glimpse of truth shining behind the thick clouds.
I was the one who’d hopped on the Meltdown City Express, and it was up to me to use the exit.
Let’s face it–we all take a ride on the Meltdown City Express now and then–especially when our best laid blogging plans get derailed by life’s not-so-pleasant surprises. But just because we’re on that bus doesn’t mean we have to go all the way into Meltdown City. No, we all have the ability to step off and travel in another direction whenever we choose.
Stop the bus. Stepping off a speeding bus is a good way crack your noggin, so be sure the bus rolls to a stop before your feet touch solid ground. Slow things down by taking some deep breaths, acknowledging you’ve been heading in the wrong direction, and making a commitment to return to reality.
Get your bearings. When we’re racing towards Meltdown City, everything blends together in a blur of bleakness. Once we step off the bus, we can view the landscape as it truly is. In my case, getting off the Express allowed me to explore the scope of my computer and plumbing issues and focus on viable options for getting things sorted.
Make a plan. When you’ve gotten your bearings, it’s time to set a course for moving forward. Create a map of action steps to lead you steadily from where you are to where you need to be. Be creative, yet realistic about how far you can travel in a day and what services and resources are available to you. If at all possible, ask a friend or family member to accompany you on your journey to set things right.
Start moving. Maybe your particular road is long and steep, and going the distance without a breakdown seems impossible. Think of yourself like a car traveling in the dark, focusing only on the short patch of pavement made visible by your headlights. You can cross a whole continent that way.
It would be grand if we never boarded the Meltdown City Express again, but the truth is, we will. Sooner or later–maybe even today–something in our lives will go kaboom, and we’ll be hurtling towards Meltdown City at 100 miles per hour.
That’s okay though. Because now that we know the secret to stepping off that bus, by the time it rumbles into Meltdown City, we’ll be long gone.
Your turn: Have you ridden the Meltdown City Express lately?
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