For the past two weeks virtually everywhere in the UK has had some snow. Usually most places in the UK do get some snow in the winter, but this time everyone got a lot of snow and some places had more than one day of fresh snowfall. In fact plenty of us have had more snow fall in our areas for at least ten years. Snow can be nice to look at when you’re inside your house in the warmth; but if you have to go out in it, especially in the car it is not so nice. On that first Monday I had to go to London in the snow. I went by train, rather than car, catching five different trains during the day. In one of those curious twists of synchronicity, I didn’t have to wait longer than five minutes for each train I was catching. That was in spite of the fact that many trains were cancelled, yet thankfully for the trains I caught, their drivers had managed to get through the snow somehow to the depots and get those trains running. Even the usually regular red London buses remained in their garages that day and many people didn’t make it into work. This scene was repeated all over the country over the next few weeks with many of us finding our daily routine upset by the snow and ice.
Yet on the other side of the world in Australia, it has been the complete opposite – soaring high temperatures and deadly forest fires. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more have lost literally everything – all their possessions and their homes burnt to ashes. What a devastating experience that must be. One minute having everything and the next….nothing.
It got me thinking about how easily we fall into the trap of living in that comfort zone of our daily routines. We expect everything in our lives to happen as we expect it to. Yet when something different comes along – in this case heavy snow – all our expectations of what is going to happen are thrown out of the window. One thing that happened to me last year was this. It was a Sunday evening about seven o’clock and right out of the blue we had a power cut. Luckily it was still light, so we were able to get a supply of candles ready, but as it got darker, I started to realise how much we take electricity for granted. The most obvious thing we didn’t have was light, so we needed candles to see in our houses. Then we couldn’t watch the TV programmes we were expecting to watch. Nor could we read or play board games, as the light the candles gave out was pretty miniscule. Then as the darkness came, we started to get cold and fed up, as we were missing all that we took for granted. Our routine had been shattered. In the end we all went to bed much earlier than normal because there didn’t seem anything else to do. Of course the electricity came back on the next day and we got on with our lives in the way we were used to.
But what if we loose something in our lives that we “take for granted”. Obviously a major event is when loved ones pass over. Or on a lesser scale, when our children grow up and move out to live by themselves. We eventually have to accept that they’re gone and get on with our lives. What about material things? A car for example. Here in the Western world we rely so much on our cars that many of us wouldn’t be able to cope if we didn’t have them. Yet one day oil and petrol will run out. What then? We would have to start walking or get on our bikes. Probably make us much fitter and our lungs would be cleaner. Basically we would have to adapt, as human beings have done so throughout the ages.
Just recently we have had so much in the news about the “Financial crisis”. The value of money has drastically shrunk. Banks and individuals have lost billions of pounds overnight. Yet again it is something that all of us just have to get used to. With 2012 approaching more and more changes are taking place in the world and in our own individual lives. Are you ready to cope with them?
“Expect the unexpected” is a phrase that keeps popping into my mind. Whenever something happens in the future that you don’t expect to happen, how are you going to react? Are you going to panic? Are you going to bury your head in the sand? Are you going to be fearful and afraid? Or are you going to be adaptable and recognise that changes to the world are coming. We might like not the things we have taken for granted going, but are you able to be positive about whatever happens? Can you be adaptable and get on with being you, whatever comes your way? The key is being adaptable to whatever happens and not being afraid of the future. Look forward to the future and avoid fear.
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