Sunday, 24 June 2012

What to do when things don't go to plan...

One foot in front of the other
(And a good excuse to show off my
awesome shoes again... ;) )

Things don’t always go to plan in life, that much we all probably know.  Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things just don’t work out how we hoped or expected. 

In other words, ‘Shit happens.’

I’m a big fan of something I heard Tim Minchin, the comedian, say once.  He was talking about the times things go wrong in life, when stuff happens we don’t want.  He said the temptation is to always ask why: ‘Why me?  What have I done to deserve this?  Why has this happened?’

But he said: ‘When bad stuff happens, the right question is never “why?”.  The right question is almost always, “What now?”’

It’s a phrase that stuck with me and I find myself asking the question often: what now?  What am I going to do now this has happened? 

Sometimes I don’t have any answers, at least not immediately, and I scrabble around feeling a little lost, to say the least.  But as I think about it, I usually come up with some possibilities, some way of moving forward.  They might not be complete ideas, they might not solve the problem immediately, but it’s about beginning to plot a new course, a new way through the quagmire this life can sometimes feel like.

It’s about finding a way to take the next step.  You can’t finish a race, a marathon, without putting one foot in front of the other.

I’ve not quoted this song for a while, but it struck me again yesterday.  Unfortunately the band has removed their video from YouTube (Why?!!  Or should I say: ‘Okay, what now??’) but Flight Brigade’s song A Girl Who Loves Her Smoke and Wine has the lyric: ‘Even though it’s a long, long way from Hollywood, at least it’s a start, it’s a start.  And you can end up places you never thought you could, if you make a start, so just make a start.’

(Found it here. If you’ve not heard it, it’s well worth at least one listen...)

When life gets you down and things don’t go to plan, and you can’t see a way to get to where you want to be, maybe the answer lies in just making a start.  Plan one step, take that step, and then you can think about the next one. 

In doing so, you may yet end up places you never thought you could.

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