Can Anyone Relate?

spilled milk

I am a big fan of planning. To me, it is a pleasurable exercise that helps me feel at least somewhat in control of my time. Even something as simple as knowing what I plan on cooking for dinner each night can be empowering.

However, despite my best efforts, some days do not go according to plan. It can feel like I am playing BINGO with a losing card, and none of the numbers I need are being called. By the end of days like these I am exhausted, with seemingly little to show for my efforts.

Can anyone relate?

I post of lot of funny memes on social media, many of which I caption “Can Anyone Relate?” Mostly, they are examples of common situations that run the gamut from irksome to infuriating. Gauging by the reaction to these posts, I know that there is power in commiseration. It feels good to know that we aren’t the only ones dealing with difficult or unexpected challenges.

Therefore, with the goal of making you smile, here is a list of common, unexpected situations that often interfere with our best-laid plans.

Can you relate to any of these?

  • You get home from a shopping trip and discover that the security tag, which can only be removed by a special device in the store, is still on your clothing, so you have to go back.
  • You set aside a window of time to meet a repairman. You wait the entire window, but no one shows up. You call and are told, “The previous job ran late… our guy will be there in half an hour.” Most likely, you have to be somewhere else in half an hour, and will now need to reschedule.
  • You put in a call to the doctor. You sit by the phone waiting for the call. Finally, you cave to the urge to go to the bathroom, and inevitably miss the call. You call back, but he’s unavailable.
  • You child informs you, after you are in your pajamas, that he needs a particular supply for something due the next day.
  • You turn the key in the ignition and hear, “click.”
  • You walk in the door and the carpet squishes.
  • You are running late as you approach the traffic signal. The person at the front of the line is checking his phone and wastes just enough of the green light that only he gets through before the light changes.
  • You go to prepare a recipe and realize that you are missing a key ingredient.
  • Your child starts running a fever on Friday afternoon.
  • You get the letter from school saying, “Your child has been exposed to lice.”
  • You show up at the airport, get parked, get your luggage to the terminal, and then find out your flight has been cancelled.
  • You open the dryer and realize someone left a tissue in a pocket.
  • You see the bus/train pulling away just as you are almost there.
  • Your vacation destination is suddenly in the path of a hurricane.
  • You pull out of the driveway and your toddler has a “blowout.”
  • A contact lens pops out and you don’t have a spare or your glasses.
  • You pull the lid off of a yogurt and it splatters all over your shirt as you are headed to an important meeting.
  • You realize, too late, that there is no toilet paper.
  • Your computer freezes and you haven’t hit “save” for more than an hour.
  • You receive a text that reads, “Where are you?”
  • You hit “send” on an important email and immediately realize you sent it to the wrong person who had a similar email address to the right person.
  • You unplug your phone and discover it hasn’t charged.
  • You cut off a piece of wrapping paper and discover it is too small to get around your package, and there isn’t enough left on the roll to cut another one.
  • Your child/pet throws up on the carpet.
  • You throw your back out.
  • Your spouse unexpectedly comes home for “lunch” in the middle of your busy day.
  • You have almost completed a complicated online transaction and suddenly the connection is lost or the site times out.
  • A key team member unexpectedly quits.
  • Your power and/or Wi-Fi go out.
  • You get an alert that someone is using your identity, has taken out money or charged to your card.
  • You drop your bottle of pills and they spill all over.
  • You have a sudden bout of Montezuma’s Revenge.
  • The grocery store rearranges the aisles and you can’t find anything.
  • You get stopped in a road closure.
  • Your babysitter cancels five minutes before she is supposed to arrive.
  • When it is midnight and you can’t find any cash for the tooth fairy.
  • Your Uber driver cancels after you have been waiting for 20 minutes.
  • Your hair dryer fries out and only one side of your head is dry.
  • You leave the office for lunch on a slow day and return to 34 emails, 4 missed phone calls and a post-it on your desk.
  • You arrive home after a long day and realize that though you loaded soap into the dishwasher, you didn’t turn it on.
  • You have to go to the ER.

*     *     *     *     *

What unanticipated developments have interfered with your plans recently?

24 thoughts on “Can Anyone Relate?”

    1. So true, Janine. Any situation we can fix mostly requires patience, which can still be hard when we are in the midst of the moment. The throwing out of the back can really knock our day (or week) out of whack. Now I get down and do exercises every morning to prevent as much of that as possible. It really does help, but it isn’t a fix, more of a management strategy. Here’s to a day of feeling well!

    1. We talk about that all the time in our family! Nothing going on at all, and then one weekend it seems like all of the events in my life overlap. That is so frustrating because you would like to be able to participate in them all, right? I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who experiences this:)

  1. Almost all of these things has happened to me.. I’ve also had the unfortunate experience of telling my child ‘no’ in the grocery store – he wanted something (I honestly don’t remember what). I stood my ground and he threw a major temper tantrum – kicking, screaming – as we were in the check out lane. A woman (who thought she was being kind) said she would buy him what he wanted. I told her ‘no’ also. I was young and was trying to make the point to my son that he could not have everything he wanted… It was a terrible experience, the grocery store errand took twice as long as anticipated, and I was exhausted by the time we got home.

    1. Been there! I saw a video once of a (very smart) Dad who was out in the parking lot with his daughter. She was having a tantrum. He was just filming it and talking calmly about how we can’t behave that way, and basically just waited her out. I wish I had been so smart back in the day. I usually got caught up in the moment and ended up in a power struggle. Now when I see Moms in similar circumstances I just tell them they are being a wonderful parent and to hang in there because the moment will pass LOL!

  2. I just posted a funny meme on my Insta account about not feeling like you’re truly an adult until you get upset by the grocery store changing their layout! Great list 🙂

    1. I liked your funny meme, because that one drives me crazy. Costco changes so often they keep me constantly slightly off balance LOL!

    1. Isn’t that the truth? Finding a way to stay positive and mentally strong when things are going awry is a winning life approach. Those “little” things that interfere with my schedule can really make me crazy, and I have to breath and calm myself down. Ultimately, I’ve gotta shift and find another way through the day. At least we know others are having the same experiences!

  3. What a list! Some of these have happened to me, so yes, I can relate. I guess the takeaway for me isn’t whether all or some of these have happened, but how you choose to react. The plan going “differently” can send us on an emotional roller coaster. As far as I can figure, stuff WILL happen. Meaning, the unexpected will happen, even if we are super prepared. That’s how life goes. However, I think the best we can do to navigate the unexpected is to build resiliency. Making sure we practice self-care, learning not to take ourselves too seriously, leaving white space in our days just in case extra stresses appear, pausing, and things like that. Making sure we spend time on positive activities such as spending time with the people we love, engaging in activities we enjoy, and having time for ourselves. All of these things will help us stay calmer and more responsive when the unexpected happens, and the plan deviates. While I continue to work on being more flexible, I’ve noticed that daily mindfulness meditation has helped me tremendously. I’m less reactive than I used to be and more clear-headed when the “S_HT” hits the fan.
    Linda Samuels recently posted…Ask the Expert: Felice Cohen & Thoughts About ClutterMy Profile

    1. Time in prayer and meditation really can cultivate an inner peace that serves us well when things go awry. I completely agree on having the white pace in the day is so critical. If I know I can compensate for lost time at another point in the day, I have a better chance of staying calm and making an intelligent pivot. That said, it is nice to know that we are all dealing with a lot of the same things. Developments like these are not the result of poor planning, just life “doing its thing!”

  4. Oh my goodness – yes, for sure. A lot of these. I especially hate the click of the key in the ignition, the squish of the carpet, the doctor calling back the second you’re in the bathroom, and the delivery person not coming on time!
    Also, the tissue in laundry happens like.. weekly. You would think we’d have learned!

  5. Thanks, Seana. I genuinely feel I am not alone with these situations. I think I have experienced at least 80% of this list over a lifetime. I have to remind myself not to take it personally. Sh** happens. It’s OK. Just today, I was backlogged with tasks that I usually do on Friday but didn’t get from a client, so I had to do them today plus my jampacked Monday work, hence, why I am commenting at 3 PM. lol. Hope your day is running smoothly.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…5 Practical Baby Shower Gift Ideas Momma Will LoveMy Profile

    1. On those kinds of days, I always try to focus on being thankful for having plenty of client work. Still, it makes for some pretty long days, right? Hang in there:)

  6. I have experienced many of these. Some of them you couldn’t make happen if you tried and then out of the blue they pop up and demand attention. It pays to be a plan B person but in the moment of a problem it takes a lot of strength to be calm. I can ruin a whole day and carry your upset into the evening. Life is not easy even when everything goes right but we us earn something from these experiences. I would add getting to the grocery store or card store and forgetting the coupons you carefully cut out and the shopping list as well-with company coming to dinner.

    1. Oh yes, getting to the store without the list! My daughter recently spent time picking out items to buy in her school bookstore with her remaining gift card, and then got to the counter to realize she had left it across campus in her house. Sooo… back she went!

  7. I love this list, and I can certainly relate! I’ve experience many of these things. Just in the past week: 2 roads leading to my daughter’s school had detours, making the commute there much longer, and the company I hired to pressure wash the house was running 2 hours behind schedule, so they ended up working through dinner time, so our plans to go out that night had to be changed. No matter how much planning and preparation you do, sometimes the unexpected happens!
    Nancy Haworth recently posted…Organizing a Child’s ClosetMy Profile

    1. Exactly, Nancy. Planning is great, but we simply cannot control everything. Any given day brings the intersection of many peoples’ choices, along with the normal breakdown of objects. Recently I’ve been watching news stories about those living in flood-ravaged areas… talk about a major interruption! If our problems are solvable, that is something to be grateful for, and then move on.

  8. Oh my! I can relate to most of these and they seem to come all together for me. On those days I just have to laugh and give into fate. I chalk it up to a bad day and move on.

    1. It is funny how these things tend to come in groups. Sometimes I start to wonder what is going on in the universe – am I missing some important message? Mostly though, I agree that humor is the best approach. This too shall pass:)

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