Things Rarely Turn Out Like We Think–You Be The Judge

By Patrick McNerthney

If you’ve never been to Kansas you should go. The barbecue is great, they have chicken fried bacon (elegantly battered, perfectly crisp, perfect for a BLT with fresh tomatoes), really fresh tomatoes (it’s hard to get a good tomato in Seattle for some reason), and I once paid 25 cents for a coffee.

That’s right, 25 cents. Granted, it was at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere, but it really wasn’t bad. The last time I paid 25 cents for anything was approximately 1989 and even for ‘89 standards, it sucked.

(25 cents.  Honest. I mean it.  Cross my heart…)

Speaking of the middle of nowhere, Kansas is one of those rare places on the planet that turns out to be exactly  what we expect. Brown dirt fields in the winter that brim with wheat, corn, and sunflowers in the summer until it gets too hot and turns them into brown fields again. Perfectly flat. Low puffy cumulus clouds hanging tight over the horizon. Stifling hot in summer, piercingly freezing in winter. Small towns with the occasional bigger small towns mix(plus one large city). There’s virtually no deviation from what you’d expect to find. 

This is a rarity in life, diametrically opposed to the supreme rule of the universe:  the more common phenomenon of Things Not At All Turning Out The Way We Expected Them To. A phenomenon that exists largely due to the fact that the map of the world rarely matches the map  in our heads. 

(That’s actually a really cool map.)

That’s why when we go on vacation we can be disappointed by things like bad service, bad weather, a crowded beach, or even that one restaurant in Kansas that serves vegan food instead of chicken fried bacon. Or why we can start a project (i.e. my various struggles with home repair including our deck, sewer line, putting in a new toilet) and find ourselves frustrated and lost (and angry! Grrrrrr) in an instant. Our expectations are simply way out of line with reality.

Same goes for your work as a caregiver. You likely had this idea of “how it would go” as you dedicated yourself to serving your residents and loved ones. But my guess is the map in your head didn’t quite match up with how it’s laid out in real life. 

So what do you do? 

Whatever happens, whether things turn out as we expect them to or not, we can prepare ourselves. We can decide well ahead of time how we’ll respond.

It’s not about being all doom and gloom or hopelessly (unrealistically) optimistic. It IS about knowing that life is unpredictable. We can’t control how Kansas looks/feels/is, but we CAN control how we behave when we get there. How we navigate our journey through Things Not At All Turning Out The Way We Expected Them To is 100% up to us. 

Over to you. 

How do you best help those you care for as they combat the effects of social isolation?  

What can you do about something as powerful as anxiety and depression? 

When things get really hard for the elderly, children with challenges, and those needing help with life’s daily tasks, they undoubtedly weigh on you. How will you behave? 

Fine Art Miracles (FAM) can help you choose the right path: 

  1. They use the power of creative expression to help underserved populations reconnect with their self-worth, mastery, confidence, relevance to the outside, and straight up happiness.  
  2. Their engagements shut off parts of the brain where the destructive stuff (anxiety, depression, hopelessness) comes from, and turn on the parts where the helpful stuff comes from (joy, laughter, pride). Note – this phenomenon applies to all of us.
  3. FAM can set your residents or loved ones up with Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance and Movement Therapy, and Drumming Exercise Therapy programs (plus like a million more) today so the benefits can begin right quick. 
  4. Having these programs in your back pocket means it’s much easier to decide (in advance) to be optimistic, self-assured, delighted, and (maybe most importantly) INTEGRAL to making positive change when you show up — especially when things get hard. 

So what are you waiting for? Give FAM a call, or drop them a note, they’re ready to help!

Guess what? I have to pack. That’s right, we’re going to Kansas in two weeks (yes, my wife insists on packing well in advance — that’s how organized she is). Even though I’ve been there before, I haven’t quite figured out how I want to introduce the whole family to the “don’t bother to show me I’ve seen it in my head already” state. Oh wait, I know: hunger! I’m telling you, the barbecue and chicken fried bacon are so great, the boss, er, wife will just go nuts… 

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