Not again! Another sign, another detour, another road closed. Can’t we get through without road construction? Everywhere we turn, there are signs telling us that we have to change the way we are going because something needs to be fixed!
Even the buildings we frequent have sections blocked off for remodeling, cleaning, and repairing. Extra time is required as we walk around to another door, plan a different route, stop for the flagman, slow down for the bumpy road, or leave our well-worn path to make room for others needing to use it.
Every day, our routines are interrupted with what we consider to be yet another inconvenience and waste of time. We grumble and complain, and yet, in the end, we rejoice when the final outcome gives us greater ease of travel, more beauty to enjoy, and a smoother road on which to drive.
Life is full of road construction. Sometimes, it comes by way of a crisis. A storm washes out the bridge, or an earthquake leaves the pavement in shambles. Other times, the road gets full of pot holes with the frost heaves the ground to the point that we can’t travel without major damage to our vehicles. Just plain wear and tear over time makes cracks, groves, dips, and bumps in the road. Repair work is needed to return it to good working condition.
Each time we encounter construction, we have to vary our normal routine. If the construction takes a long time to complete, we form new habits and change our way of doing things. We make adjustments in our attitudes, behavior, and even our identity. We may find that in the long run, things actually change for the better.
If the construction lasts only a short while, we are less apt to make major changes in our lives. We see the situation as a minor inconvenience. We put off self-evaluation, thinking that there is no need. Why change if we don’t have to? Unfortunately, the problem comes around again and again, continuing to recur until a major crisis brings about the needed change.
To keep these crises at a minimum, we can be proactive, choosing to evaluate and make changes before life demands them. Having a prevention plan whereby we assess how we are doing is much more cost-effective than responding to a crisis. First days give us this opportunity on a regular basis. The first day of the week, the first day of the month, the first day of the year; each offers a new beginning.
The habits we form now will give us the power to keep our emotional health intact when those road construction signs go up unexpectedly, as they assuredly will!