Wow. December. How did that happen?! A second ago we were sipping pumpkin spice lattes and now we’re ready for eggnog.

If you’re a regular reader, you might have noticed that you didn’t get a November newsletter. That’s because I didn’t write one.

I’ve really just been off my game. In October, I had an amazing time visiting San Antonio and attending the VA Connection LIVE Conference: Step Into Your Power! But I returned and developed a problem or a flare-up with TMJ Disorder. To say it’s been a challenge is an understatement.

So this month, I’m writing about how life happens. And how to get back on track when it throws you off your game.

If you know what I mean, read on! I hope you find some great tips below.

All the best,

Kristine Schroeder
Chief Solution Seeker
Schroeder Administrative Solutions

Dealing with The Ups and Downs of Life and Business

Life has a funny way of throwing unexpected hills our way, both metaphorically and, as I learned in my youth, quite literally. I’d love to share this trip down memory lane and explore the winding roads of life and how sometimes, we end up further complicating even the most difficult path without even realizing it.

When I was younger, my family moved just a couple of miles down the street. I was grateful that the change was minor and as I got a little older, I tested my wings by venturing to my old neighborhood. I had been going further and further on my ten-speed (If you’re a youngster, a ten-speed is a bike with, well, ten speeds. They were all the rage in the 80’s.) Anyway, my favorite route was what I fondly named “The Big Hill Way.” It was a scenic journey that included a challenging, hilly route that tested both my endurance and love for adventure.

Little did I know, this route would serve as a metaphor for the twists and turns life often throws our way. Sometimes, we choose the harder path, not realizing the ease of the alternative. Of course, in my case – the straight road to the old neighborhood might have been easier; but that would have been boring. And besides, I wasn’t allowed on the busy main road. So instead, I crossed to the other side and went through the sprawling subdivisions. As I reflect on those carefree days of cycling through life, I can’t help but draw parallels to the choices we make today.

One vivid memory stands out from those childhood rides. On one daring [read: stupid] escapade down “The Big Hill Way,” I found myself contemplating a question only a curious kid would entertain: Could I pedal as fast as I was going downhill? As you might guess, the answer was, and is, a resounding no.

In my attempt to match the speed of gravity, I ended up a scraped and bloody mess at the bottom of the hill. The experience taught me a couple of valuable lessons — sometimes, the hard way isn’t the best way. And sometimes coasting is better than working really hard and killing yourself! Life often throws challenges our way, and while it’s essential to face them head-on, it’s equally important to recognize our limits and note when we’re needlessly making things difficult for ourselves.

Last month, life got in the way. I was off my game. Miserable with a medical condition that was completely out of my control. Instead of pedaling as fast as I could to keep up with a force of nature, I coasted. I didn’t write my newsletter and I cut out the things that weren’t essential. When the setback finally abated, I discovered that it was a lot easier to recover from a rest than it would have been from doing more than I could handle.

As we navigate the hills and valleys of life, let’s take a moment to reflect on our journey. Are there areas where we’re unknowingly trying to pedal down the “Big Hill Way” when gravity could do the job for us? It’s okay to embrace challenges, but it’s equally crucial to discern when we can make things a bit easier on ourselves.

So, dear readers, let’s pedal through life with wisdom, choosing our routes thoughtfully, and remembering that sometimes, while the scenic route is worth the extra effort, it’s ok to let the laws of nature pull you along. Here’s to navigating life’s hills with grace, resilience, and the wisdom to appreciate the beauty of the journey. (And also brakes, bandaids, and laughter!)

Wishing you a smooth ride ahead!

If life has gotten crazy for you, here are some tips to get back on track!

  1. Reflect on Your Path: Take a moment to reflect on your current situation and assess whether you are unnecessarily complicating your journey. Consider if there are areas where you could take a simpler, more straightforward route. Reflecting on your path allows you to identify areas where you might be pushing too hard or choosing a more challenging course without realizing it.
  2. Recognize Limits and Prioritize Self-Care: Acknowledge your limits and prioritize self-care, especially during challenging times. Life can throw unexpected challenges your way, and it’s essential to recognize when you need to coast instead of pushing yourself to the limit. Just as I chose to rest and cut out non-essential tasks during a difficult period, recognizing when to take a step back can be crucial for your well-being and overall resilience.
  3. Embrace Coasting Moments: Understand that there are moments in life where coasting, or taking a step back, is not only acceptable but beneficial. Instead of constantly pedaling against the challenges, allow yourself the opportunity to coast when needed. This doesn’t mean giving up or avoiding responsibilities, but rather finding a balance between effort and rest to navigate through difficult periods more effectively.
  4. Prioritize Essentials: When life gets overwhelming, focus on the essentials. Identify the critical tasks and responsibilities that need your attention and energy. Just as I cut out non-essential activities during a challenging month, streamline your priorities to make the recovery process smoother. This approach helps you concentrate on what truly matters and prevents burnout from trying to manage everything at once.
  5. Appreciate the Beauty of the Journey: While facing challenges, maintain a positive perspective and appreciate the beauty of the journey. Life’s ups and downs contribute to personal growth and resilience. Remember that it’s okay to take detours or face difficulties, but maintaining a sense of appreciation for the overall journey can provide motivation and strength during tough times. Approach challenges with grace, resilience, and a mindset that values the learning experiences along the way.

These tips encourage self-reflection, recognizing personal limits, embracing moments of rest, prioritizing essentials, and maintaining a positive perspective to navigate through life’s challenges effectively.