The “XYZs” of Life

A couple times this last week I had the following things told to me,

 You are very adaptable.

How do you adjust so well?

Aren’t all the inconsistencies in your life overwhelming?


Everyone’s life has variables, un-predicted moments, ruined schedules, inconveniences, moments that make you panic slightly because you have no idea how it is going to work out. Sometimes one backs away from those moments but other times you jump right in regardless of what it may mean or all the “XYZs” life throws at you.

Growing up “XYZs” were a part of my life. My father works for the Railroad which gives a new meaning to “on call”. Zero scheduled days off, never knowing if/when he would make school events, any holiday or family gatherings. Ruined outings and disappointments were just a part of life, and big surprise, it didn’t change with adulthood. After moving out on my own there were still “wrenches” in life, then I married SCM and of course the Army has it’s own special set of inconsistencies as well, add children and everything else life holds in the mix it can really send a person in a tailspin.

Being conditioned to it as a child I pushed hard against the variables of life, but that didn’t make them go away. Finally I learned to start thinking about them in a different way. Variables don’t have to be the bane of your existence no matter how difficult they may seem.

  1. The schedule is changed again because of work/school/ or some other pain in the rear unexpected reason and you don’t have your spouse for the day/week/month/year you thought you did.   
  2. Finances are tighter than normal and unexpected bills keep popping up. 
  3. You or your child/ren were really looking forward to an event where XYZ will be present but they can’t make it.

These are just three of the many XYZs that pop up in life but my strategy(s) to them are pretty easy to do.

  1. I take spouse abandonment as a chance to get to do things “my way.” Even if I want to pull my hair out at first I look at it as a chance to get my projects done that maybe I can’t do with SCM home. Watch my girly shows. Be a bit lazier than normal. Play with the baby all day. I take it as some down time. Even if that down time is full of running after children. Look at it as a positive chance to do something/s for yourself and to have special bonding times with your kids (even if there are days you wish you could trade them for a really old lazy dog.)
  2. Always something that makes you want to cringe. If you have any luck at all 1&2 will happen at the same time and really test your insanity skills. I have learned to combat this with planning and list making nearly ad nauseum. I make a plan to overcome or get through the struggle or the current struggle if their are many. I take it one step at a time to keep from becoming overwhelmed. If you have any luck at all 1&2 will happen at the same time and really test your insanity skills. Now that plan doesn’t always work but it helps free the mental stresses. Then I take a break from it. Take the kids to the park, send them outside while you drink a bottle of wine, take a long bath and start a new book. Do something that reminds you there are still good things in life then each day tackle parts of your list.
  3. Always a rough thing especially for kids and is one of those not so fixable ones as well. But, if it’s a kid that will be suffering the letdown, prepare them and then be sure to follow up and make a time for that person and the person being let down to do something different together. One of those times where someone is sick and can’t make a show they were promised? Reschedule for a different event (this works no matter the age). There will still be let down but the preparation and reparation always help. As an adult sometimes let downs can be harder and more intense but try to take them as life stages. Is this the 3rd time your friend has ditched you? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate that influence and if it’s one you want in your life. This is also a good one to default to a hobby. Read a book, learn something new, while indulging in your favorite drink. It won’t make the sadness vanish but it helps reset.

I guess all in all my big “secret” to adaptability is just that I try to not look at it like a negative event. Even if it is one. Finding the positive or a solution to a variable that is tossed at me is to me what keeps life interesting. If there were no variables things would be rather drab. XYZs keep us on our toes and allow us to see the better things in life.

So the next time a variable is thrown your way ask how it will make you a better person when you overcome or combat it. What it can teach you. Not how it will ruin you.


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