When I was contemplating how best to stay sane while juggling a busy schedule and still having time for family, hobbies and fun stuff, I came up with the term "formable." The next time your life becomes crazy, be formable!
What does it mean? It's actually an engineering term, but by omitting a few of the words I can make this word mean what I want it to. Check out my definition, below:
Formable (adj.), "able... to adapt to changes... without flaking or cracking."
My personal definition is a combination of the words "formal" and "flexible". Set a formal schedule for yourself, but be flexible. Life comes up with spontaneous happenings that sometimes decide your schedule for you. Baby cries during a workout, and you have to quit early. Car breaks down the week of a job interview, and you have to cancel.
The fact is, there is very little we are in control of, with one exception. We are in control of how we react to a situation. That's where formability comes in. Some people also use the analogy of a willow tree and an oak tree. The willow bends in the storm, but the oak breaks, so try to be the willow!
Adapting this concept to your life takes some practice. Four years ago, I was at Reagan National ready to fly out to Seattle to train with my fitness coach for my new routine. I'd paid about $1,000 for the flight out there, plus canceled work for the day. Well, massive storms hit the Ft. Worth area, where my connection was. All flights were canceled. Before I knew I couldn't reschedule my flight, I was at the airport trying to work it out. People were acting like animals, yelling and fighting, selfishly trying to gain ahead of others like three-year-old children. It was an eye-opener to me. I prayed and tried to stay calm, realizing that I couldn't control the flight schedule and had to just deal with it as best as I could. I talked to several airport staff to find out what was going on, then headed home for the day and called my coach to let her know the news. She was upset because she'd canceled her clients for the day, plus we had to reschedule in the next few weeks and rearrange our work plans, so we both lost money and time. Despite this, I was okay with it and it all worked out. This was the first major instance in my life where I didn't react with my initial emotional instincts. It served me much better to remain calm and try to work out the problem. Those other people that were acting like children were stressed, angry and red-faced, and it didn't get them any further than my actions got me!
So, the next time life throws a surprise your way, remember to be formable.