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Daily Journal
     October 9, 2020      #93-283 KDJ

Gary Moore: Unexpected twists and turns part of

By Gary Moore

Life is rarely as we plan it. What we expect often turns out differently and we are reluctantly forced to adjust accordingly. Riding the waves of life is what we make of it. It can be waves of frustration or we can allow those same waves to take us on a fascinating journey.

I didn’t plan on spending the last few days in the hospital, yet here I am. So, I’m writing this column on my phone rather than my laptop. I’m doing so, the old-fashioned way, without the use of my usual editing program. I’m horrified how this may be received by your newspaper but, hopefully, we can take it all in stride.

If you are a regular reader of my column, you know I’m fighting Stage 4 stomach cancer. It’s not what I expected. This isn’t what I planned. Lying in this hospital bed using one finger to type my column on a phone certainly isn’t what I anticipated happening ... but it did.

So, what do you do when life unexpectedly changes your plans? You can react to the problem or you can respond. You can react with anger, sadness, frustration or depression or you can respond with courage to overcome the adversity. You can use your intuition to guide you. You can harness thoughtful and logical creativity and act to overcome the unexpected obstacle.

I’ve written about this before. There is a difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is usually a knee-jerk reaction that usually compounds the problem and makes it worse. Always try not to react.

Responding is different. When we respond, it’s usually with calmness and courage to face the situation. Face the issue and always respond.

It also makes a difference in how we label things. We can call them problems or situations. Problems are nasty, headache-causing circumstances that usually cause a reaction. A situation insinuates a circumstance that you can resolve. Label all your obstacle and unexpired circumstance as situations and not problems.

So, I’m choosing tonight to respond to the situation of being in the hospital rather than reacting to a problem that’s out of my control. I can make this a problem or situation. I choose it to be the latter. Either one true. This newspaper may fire me over this problem if I can’t resolve it. I instead choose to overcome this situation with courage, careful thought and logic and not disappoint the newspaper that relies on me.

Think about interchanging these words ... react vs. respond and problem vs. situation. We can look at the same event and react to a problem or respond to a situation. How we label it determines what we think , and what we think determines how we view the obstacle. And again, how we view it determines if we react or respond.

I’ll admit. The fact I’m being contained in a hospital without my computer caused me to momentarily react and become frustrated, but I took a breath and said out loud, this is a situation to be solved and not a problem. Once I thought about my options, my phone was it, and I resolved my situation and began typing.

As I began this column saying, life is never perfect. There will always be unexpected events that destroy our carefully laid plans. The only choice you have in those moments is to label it as a situation rather than a problem and respond rather than react.

I always choose to respond.

Will you join me?

P.S. — I’m going to be fine. I had a bowel obstruction, which is resolving itself. I hope to be released today.

Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker, and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with

the Enemy.” He can be contacted through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com.

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