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How To Recover When Life Gives You A Wake-Up Call

January 15, 2017 by Diane

Stop being such an adult. Go jump in some puddles.

Stop being such an adult. Go jump in some puddles.

Last week, my old foe, panic, paid a visit. Foolishly, I opened the door and let him in. Hell, I put out the welcome mat.

I knew I needed to get a handle on my commitments. I had overextended myself with a plethora of free webinars that I watched while shoveling down my dinner, and e-newsletters that I read late into the night. I took on a challenge that wasn’t really a challenge because I was already doing what the challenge entailed. (Did somebody say challenge? Count me in!) I berated myself for not finishing up the rewrite on my short story. And I spent far too much time washing greens daily, because eating greens six times a day bathed in balsamic vinegar is good for the endothelial lining of the arteries, even though furiously pumping them dry in the salad spinner is probably bad for the blood pressure. (I know, crazy, right?) Add a strong dose of self-blame for errors at work that were not entirely my doing, and I had concocted the perfect environment for panic to thrive.

It was a wake-up call.

All of that busy work was my groovy way of avoiding the other pressing things that may have served me better.

It was time to get my life back on track.

To that end, I jotted down ten commandments that I thought would be wise for me to follow. Things like: a a daily prescription of meditation, unhooking from the internet; backing away from the computer; uncluttering my space, my life, and my mind; acting on what’s important and dumping the rest; trusting that I have the information I need (make that too much information, hence the overload), and so on.

Ten commandments. Count ‘em.

Well, you could if I’d posted them. But I decided not to.


Because if you’re like me, the last thing you need is a list of ten things to do that you already know you should do, or don’t give a fig about doing, or already do.

Because whenever I hop on Twitter (another thing to back away from), the tweets fly by:

Seven ways to…

Five steps to…

Six tips for…

How to…

How to…

How to…


Enough is enough.

I’ll let you in on a secret.

You want to know how to recover when life gives you a wake-up call?


Those ways are just rabbit holes, and they don’t lead to Wonderland.

You and I already have our answers. We don’t need to look for them on the internet, in our therapist’s head, or anywhere else, other than that vast storehouse of information pulsing between our own squeaky-clean ears, whispering behind our sternums, and swimming in our bellies.

We know what to do. We just need to do it.

So don’t scout around for advice here, delicate soul. I’m doing you a favor. Now, stop being such an adult, and go jump in some mud puddles.

Okay. If you must know, my ten commandments are here. Print ‘em out. Do the Mexican Hat Dance on them. Fold them into a paper airplane. Use them to line the hamster cage. Just don’t make them into one more thing you should, must, or oughta do to get through your days.

Unless they help you. In which case, be my guest.


  1. Tonya says:

    Amen, hallelujah! 🙂

  2. […] blogger I now consider a friend is also working herself out of an emotional hole, and posted “How to Recover When Life Gives You a Wake-Up Call“. It’s a good reminder not to get stuck in being serious all the time. Or to continue […]

  3. Pearl Allard says:

    You had me laughing at the beginning. It is so easy to overcommit oneself and then feel that panic coming. (Not a laughing matter.) To that end, my word for this year is focus. What on earth that will actually look like, I’m not sure. But your suggestions in your 10 commandments are helpful. Thanks for putting yourself out there, Diane!

    • Diane says:

      You’re welcome! And focus is an excellent word for the year. I envy people who are focused on what they want to achieve, whether that path is a spiritual one, a new career, a creative project, or building a family, and letting everything else fall away.

  4. Riley Bates says:

    Love this! Thanks for sharing your tips and writing with humor too. No mud puddles to jump in around here; I could try to skate on ice but instead I shall calm myself today with a cup of hot chocolate, a hot bath, and a good book.

  5. mydangblog says:

    I hear you. I was lucky enough over the holidays to spend some time just relaxing and writing. It was the recharge that I needed, and I am eternally grateful to Ken for just letting me do it with no pressure to do anything else!

  6. Bun Karyudo says:

    Is eating greens six times a day really good for the endothelial lining of the arteries? Oh dear, I’m definitely not eating enough of them. (I’m guessing green-iced doughnuts and mint ice cream don’t count.)

    • Diane says:

      Um…that would be no. To the green doughnuts and ice cream. Especially since you need to bathe the greens in balsamic vinegar as well. So, good for the arteries, but bad for the teeth.

  7. Sarah says:

    So, while I very much approve of and enjoyed reading this post, I now feel stupid for finishing it. Because, of course, you’re right. 😉 We do need to stop searching and reading “helpful” things because I’m pretty sure that’s not on the list. (P.S. I can’t stand those SEO keyword titles: How To…, 3 Ways To…, 6 Steps To…) Bah!

    • Diane says:

      Yes, those SEO keyword titles are getting old fast. No doubt the idea came from a post titled: six ways to get people to read your blog.

      • Sarah says:

        Haha! 😀 Watch my space for SEO titled post… (Kidding. Sort of. Maybe I’ll try it. Nah. Stop talking to yourself. Okay. It’s Diane’s fault from her other post. Yup. Agreed.)

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