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I was recently in Chicago for the weekend visiting my children and grandchildren. The morning started out great. I got my early morning walk in before the kids woke up, as there is no way I could miss the morning cuddles! We planned a special day going to see Paw Patrol Live. They were super excited. It has been about twenty years since I took my own kids to see Barney live in NYC. But I remember how much fun it was and the great memories we made.
We left with plenty of time to get to downtown Chicago, allotting extra time for parking, bathroom trips, snacks and souvenirs. However, what we did not account for was the local marathon. Apparently neither did Waze or Google Maps. The drive should have been twenty five minutes. That would be if we were able to drive a straight path from point A to point B. That was not to be the case. Literally every street was blocked off. Every single street! The only thing Waze was actually helpful for was highlighting every street in red. There was no way to go around as everything was closed. Did I mention that these tickets cost me a small fortune? With every minute passing, when it became clear we were not going to make it on time, my husband began losing it. He’s probably not the most relaxed person by nature to begin with. I am not sure if he has been reading my recent articles. This will surely let me know. (Insert oh no emoji.) He can certainly benefit from daily Acupuncture treatments but that is for another article. I tried to calm him down. I tried telling him there is no point in getting upset as it is out of our control. As I was driving, I took some deep breaths to try and calm down. From experience I should have known my words would not be heeded by my husband. Part of my own self work is to know my own limitations. I quickly surmised that this situation was not one in which I could de-escalate. With that said, it got so bad my husband actually unhooked the kids from their car seats and proceeded to run through traffic in the traffic jammed, overcrowded streets of downtown Chicago. As we were now a little closer to the theater, he tried racing holding one child and dragging another. We made up that I would meet him in the theater so the kids would miss less time of the show. I parked in what I hoped was a nearby lot. I did not spare the time to find the elevator. I ran down 10 flights of stairs to reach street level. The putrid smell of urine and the frighteningly, totally abandoned darkened stairwell was a great highlight to the situation. Scanning my e-ticket and being told my husband went in using all of the tickets was more icing on the cake. This day was getting better and better by the minute. Going to the ticket counter and figuring it all out, and then trying to find them in the now dark theater was super fun. I guess it was good I booked the tickets so at least I had an idea where these million dollar seats were located.

Needless to say, the kids were enthralled with the show. They loved seeing their favorite characters come to life, dancing around the stage. Their smiles made the challenging, stressful, and exhausting day all worth it. My daughter, supposed to be relaxing at home with the kids out, had been messaging me if everything worked out and the kids were enjoying. I reserved filling her in on the details until I got home. However, in addition to sending pictures of the kids smiling, I also chose to include the picture of my husband passed out cold in the theater. Yup! You read that correctly. I really couldn’t make this up if I tried.

At this point, you may be correctly wondering what this has to do with Acupuncture and wellness.
We have all been there. We have all had moments, days, and times that did not work according to plan. This day was truly one for the books. However, I try to practice what I preach to my patients. I also choose to self- treat with Acupuncture, which definitely helps keep my base line stress at an acceptable level. You cannot prepare for the times when nothing goes according to plan. However, you absolutely can choose how you react to it. I utilized self- soothing, meditating tools to remain calm. I utilized these tools to help me accept what is beyond my control in allowing my husband to have his moment. It certainly helped not knowing anyone in the area so I wasn’t quite as embarrassed as I could have been. Instead of allowing the endlessly frustrating experience to really get to me and bring me down, I chose to laugh. I’m still laughing at what else could have possibly gone wrong. I’m still laughing as I write this article.

In the end, these are the moments that make the craziest and most memorable memories. We will forever remember this day of a marathon shutdown creating an exasperating yet hilarious literal driving maze, and maze of events. Celebrating the good times with my grandchildren is what I live for, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some things are simply beyond your control. However, preparing for life’s moments that do not quite follow the plan- and how you react, well that is absolutely within your control! Incorporate wellness now so that the stressful moments will not get the best of you! Or you could also opt to go my husband’s route and pass out from exhaustion.