How to Deal with the Unexpected

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My unexpected visitor_Connie Mann

Life seems to throw the unexpected at us with alarming regularity. Whether that unexpected thing is big or small, life-changing or merely annoying, it can blindside us, charging in from waaay out in left field and tossing us on our ear.

Unexpected happened to me this morning. I had overslept a bit, and was eight kinds of disoriented as I stumbled to the kitchen. I turned on the light, reached for my water glass and stuck it under the Fawcett. As I did, something leaped out of the drain right toward my face.

I yelped and jumped back several feet while I shook off whatever just landed on my arm.

As I stood panting, trying to figure out what just happened, I tiptoed back over and finally realized what I was seeing.

A frog.

Now, this is not your garden-variety teensy little tree frog, either. This brown guy was the size of my palm and was eyeing me suspiciously from the front of a kitchen cabinet. I hear you buddy. Not how my morning was supposed to start, either.

I have no idea how he got in. And when I turned my back, he disappeared. Now I don’t know where he went, either. That’ll keep me up tonight.

In 17 years, I’ve never had a frog in my kitchen, especially since the kitchen sits in the middle of the house, nowhere near any doors to the outside.

My unexpected visitor_Connie Mann

My unexpected visitor

Isn’t that the way the unexpected hits sometimes, though? From out of nowhere?

This morning reminded me—again–of the need to take just a moment and THINK before I take action. Those few seconds where we peel ourselves off the ceiling and wait for our heart rate to slide below cardiac-arrest levels are important. They give us a moment to focus before we take action.

The instructor in a recent first aid class stressed this over and over. Especially in a life-or-death situation, those couple seconds to stop and think, to focus, will pay off big-time down the road.

The next time life tosses you an unexpected bill, situation, smart comment–or encounter with a frog—allow yourself those few seconds to think before you act.

Has life handed you any unexpected encounters lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


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    The Conversation

  1. Doris Neumann says:

    Very unnerving for sure! Hope you find him. The only thing that happened to me first thing this morning was, I knocked over a full glass of water on my nightstand…….lol

    • Connie Mann says:

      That’ll start the day off with a bang…er, flood, won’t it? Funny how things seem to come out of left field, isn’t it?

      Hope your day was uneventful after that, Doris!!

  2. Mine seem to come one right after the other, Connie. But the most life-affecting one was my son’s accident in my car. He wasn’t hurt, but the whole front end of the car was sheared off. We fear it’s totaled, but don’t think we’ll be getting anything out of it, since we don’t have collision on our policy. As a result, though, I’ve learned to walk more and am really enjoying it.

    But you’re right about taking a breath when something like that happens. I was pretty depressed there for a while, wondering if we’d be able to replace the car and what I’d do without it. I seem to be getting along fine for now.

    • Connie Mann says:

      I’m so glad your son is okay, Susan, and that you are, too! Sometimes, it takes a while to deal with those unexpected things. They take a toll we don’t always realize immediately. Glad you are doing well!!

  3. Connie, thanks for the reminder to enjoy each moment instead of living in fear (the future) or anger (the past). In some shamanic traditions, frogs can bring messages relating to creativity and spirituality. I think it has to do with their connection to either water or land. You took that message and ran with it – get in touch with your inner self before acting – so good on you! BTW, Spirit animals often leave after giving their message, so I wouldn’t worry about where he is in your home. :>)

  4. Grace Kone says:

    Connie, don’t leave us hanging. What happened to the frog?

    • Connie Mann says:

      Grace–we can’t find him! We saw him tucked behind a kitchen cabinet last night, but today…nada. No idea where he is! As long as he doesn’t climb into our bed, I’m ok. 🙂

  5. Ruth says:

    I’m a person who loses it badly whenever things get even a little off track (“A hangnail! The apocalypse is here!”). I imagine terrible disasters around every turn ahead, when in reality, it’s usually just a frog. Thanks for the reminder that life never gives us more than we can handle–and we can even laugh about it!

    • Connie Mann says:

      I’m with you, Ruth! I think learning to laugh–at ourselves and some of the situations we find ourselves in–really helps us keep our perspective. Do big, huge, ugly things happen? Of course. But sometimes, not as often as we imagine. 🙂

  6. Jan Jackson says:

    Connie, this is how it starts…Have you ever seen the classic 1972 movie, FROGS? Go here: A very young Sam Elliot stars in it. Check it out, but be warned, it may cause nightmares. LOL!

    And yes, many times in life, we have mere seconds to make a decision that could change our lives forever, or maybe even end it. At those times, I have to admit, I go with my gut (instinct). I trust in the Lord and let spirit guide me.

    Super great post as usual, Connie.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Jan, hmmm, if this movie will give me nightmares…I’ll have to think about it. 🙂

      I agree, I think gut instinct and training are both invaluable–and those few seconds where we stop to think give us the time for that necessary focus to kick in.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!