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Positive Attitude – Remaining Calm through Small Unexpected Challenges



A Personal Experience Story

My husband and I had been looking forward to this day for quite some time. We were celebrating my husband’s birthday with a mini vacation, several hours away from our home town. At the hotel spa, we had a luxurious side by side Swedish massage planned.

About 45 minutes before the massage, the cell phone rang. It was my daughter who was back in Long Island, panicked and speaking a mile a minute. She had my husband’s car and was traveling to another town for a lunch appointment. One of the rear tires blew out, was totally flat and the car was not drivable. She was on a parkway, a half mile from the nearest exit. In tears about how bad this all was, she lamented about how she had to cancel her lunch appointment with her former mentor/boss whom she hasn’t seen in a very long time.

(Now, you might be thinking that you have no sympathy for me in that my MASSAGE might be interrupted. But please realize this couple massage only happens perhaps every four to five years for us, and it was at the request of my husband who wanted it as a birthday present.)

So I had two choices – I could cry along with my daughter, getting caught up in her flow of  fear (the old me would have.) Or I could remain calm, practical and clear-thinking. Of course you know the choice I will make.

However, in some duel Universe in a different dimension, I could almost hear the other me carrying on with a litany of “oh no, I can’t believe this is happening right now.”

My first priority was to calm my daughter, reassuring her that I will get some assistance for her. And I did point out that despite this unexpected mishap, SHE is totally fine and unhurt. That is the most important thing. She does agree with that.

As we were speaking, I was noting the time on my watch, wondering if roadside assistance can get to her before I get to relaxing on a massage table. So I hung up with her and immediately called the roadside assistance where I  am a member.

This roadside service is not allowed on the parkway, but the helpful operator put in a call in to the only towing company that IS allowed on the parkway. We determine that the easiest course of action is to simply have the service change the blown tire and replace it with the spare.

After this was all put into action and we notified my daughter (she was quite relieved), my husband and I headed to the spa — a lovely, zen place fragrant with the scent of aromatherapy. We each headed off to our respective changing areas, accompanied by spa attendants.

Part of me wanted to simply blurt out and vent to my attendant: “I’ve planned this for so long and wouldn’t you know it — my daughter is stuck on the parkway back in new York. She is freaking out, and I  am nowhere near the zen state I had hoped to be in at this particular moment.” But I simply say nothing and quietly follow the woman to the locker room. As she explains how to choose a pin to lock and unlock the locker, I force myself to focus. Or I could just see all my belongings being stuck in the locker with me having no clue at how to get to them.

As I changed into a long white soft fleecy robe, I noticed a text flash up from my daughter that the roadside service had arrived.  I then moved into the relaxation room, sipping a glass of herbal iced tea but still nervously clutching my iPhone. As I sat and began to TRY to relax, I congratulated myself on remaining centered and focused during this minor, but distracting, challenge. I noticed the sign on the table next to me, which read something like “This is a relaxation area. Telecommunication devices are not allowed.” Inwardly, I managed an ironic smile, but I can’t possibly “abandon” my daughter until the tire situation is resolved and she is able to safely drive home.

As I waited, I noticed a text finally flash onto my phone “Done. I am going to drive home now.” And then I shut my phone and placed it in my locker (remembering the sequence to unlock) and awaited the voice of the massage therapist beckoning me to my hour of luxurious relaxation.

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the next hour (and I even opted for the “add-on” of some aromatherapy scented lotions) — it was pure indulgence. And I allowed myself to let go of the tire incident.

Unexpected things happen — that is part of life. And they usually don’t happen at a convenient time. After all, is any time truly “convenient” for something difficult to occur? Flexibility is a powerful life lesson to learn, but an essential one. As I always say, we can’t control everything that happens to us. But we CAN control our reaction to it. And it’s important to keep our perspective on these occurrences. A blown tire is an inconvenience to deal with, but the bottom line was that my daughter was safe and unharmed. From that perspective, it is easier to let these happenings go and to move back into the more harmonious flow of life.


  • I swim with the current of life, remaining flexible and adaptable.
  • I remain centered and calm during minor life challenges.
  • I breathe into the flow of life, acknowledging that everything is happening for my Highest and best good.



  1. Pam Mross says:

    Excellent read this morning. Thank you for the reminder to keep things in perspective and above all, work on keeping calm no matter what is occurring.

    • Sheryl Schlameuss Berger says:

      Pam – Thanks for taking the time to comment this morning and for your kind words. It can often be difficult to keep calm during challenges, but it also depends on the nature of the challenge. I do like that old saying “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Have a joyful week!

  2. Susan says:

    I found the way you handled this experience to be uplifting and a good reminder to myself to stay calm during these temporary upsets and that “everything is happening for my highest and best good”.

    • Sheryl Schlameuss Berger says:

      Susan – I appreciate your feedback, and yes, we DO have to try to keep in mind the overall perspective of the “Highest Good.” That often means trusting to a Higher Power and to divine timing… Have an uplifting week!