Remember the phone call, the one you will never forget that changes your life forever?

Maybe it’s the news that someone died.

You got the job.

A baby was born.

Someone’s getting married. Maybe it’s your son or daughter.

Someone’s done something so awful they are now metaphorically dead in all aspects of this life.

There’s so much toxicity the poison needs to be cut out, disavowed, and of this, we will speak no more, but it plagues your consciousness and the pain tears at your heart.

And, you do speak about it privately to your most trusted confidant or to yourself in the bathroom mirror as you get ready in the morning wondering how it should be so different.

Your life is going to be changed forever in a phone call, but we don’t use the phone as much as we used to. Perhaps it’s a text, Snapchat, FB post or message, a Tweet, or a pic on Instagram.

If you haven’t received the call yet you will, someday.

That’s the call I received today.

My husband sent me a text with this pic.

Clay Akers’ picture, used with permisssion

That’s my daughter’s lunch in the back seat of his car after the kids have been dropped off at school and he’s just arrived at work.

Can you relate to the sinking feeling of what one small act, forgetfulness, carelessness, unpredictability does to ruin all you have planned for today?

Worse yet are the planned surprise sneak attacks that wound relationships forever. Things that love and understanding can shelter.

All the meetings, calls, tasks, events you have on the calendar immediately have to be rearranged.

The unwelcome distraction causes stress, anxiety, and changes.

Does it change your life for better or worse?

Instantly I close my eyes and take a deep, calming breath.

Breathe in slowly, hold it while counting to ten, then slowly exhale.

Most distractions are unwelcome, but I want this one. I want to see her for lunch and brighten her day. This will be an extra special treat because it’s her birthday.

Laser-light focus

My priorities are refocused in about 30 seconds.

This can move here.

That can move there.

This doesn’t matter at all.

Nothing that doesn’t have to happen will happen today. If it really matters it will happen later.

I haven’t had a workout yet. Glancing at the clock I run for my keys.

Take care of yourself

Too often I fail at self-care. When I fail to take care of me I become cranky and irritable. I can still get a workout, but it’s different than I planned. We start the day eating birthday cake and I will be filled with regret if I don’t counterbalance the effects. Interactions with those I love most will be tainted.

I need an intense workout, fast.

Faster, harder, raise the heart rate quickly and keep it there as long as possible.

HIIT me, baby, with a high-intensity interval training session.

I know what to do I just need to do it fast.

Gone, like the wind I am.

By the time the workout is over, I’m almost back on track, but there’s still a lot of traveling to do.

Travel by making time and space

Travel doesn’t always mean from one location to another. Sometimes it’s looking back and seeing growth personally, professionally, or in some other way.

When you look back at how and where you’ve traveled you can chart growth.

I traveled through the shower with the speed and aggressiveness of an exfoliating cleanse. The passion of an ancient Korean body scrub is an adequate equivalent.



My writing deadlines still have to be met. Can you imagine the speed with which I type?

Photo by from Pexels

Don’t just inspire, but do it quickly and do it right now.

No time to think.

Just act.


The clock is ticking and people are counting on me and my work to show up on time.


There’s still her lunch to pick-up as well as some travel time. She enjoys it when I dress up so I throw on a dress and I should have opted for a hat.

I arrive with a few minutes to spare.

Nicole Akers’ pictures

We make faces and take selfies.

Most importantly, we get hugs and special moments we never would have had otherwise.

“Mommy!,” she screams when she sees me.

Followed by, “For me?!” as she looks at the lunch in my hand.

She jumps, offering the best bear hug in the whole world and my heart is happy.

She doesn’t need to know what I went through to be here. She just needs to know that she matters.

And, the best-unexpected benefit…

My productivity soared.


My whole focus is changed. I complete more work in this day than I usually do in two days put together.

The necessary tasks for today are complete.

Productivity and output increased 2X or 3X.

Focus is laser-light and productivity is maximized.

There is no time to question or overthink:

  • Am I good enough?
  • Can I really do this?
  • What if…?

When we knock the cobwebs out of our head, put our nose down and work, we can accomplish anything.

I wish for more days like today.

What about you?

How do you thrive when your world suddenly changes?

Think about a time when you received the one phone call that changed your life for better or worse.