Does Anyone Know How to Manage Murphy?

Photo of bathroom stall with toilet tissue rolling away

Murphy has never been invited to our homes or offices yet has come to visit many times – so many times that he’s now to be expected. Sometimes Murphy merely does a drive-by and leaves as quickly as he came. Other times, usually our busiest times, Murphy lingers and occasionally stays for an extended visit. Does Murphy visit you?

We’re talking, of course, about Murphy’s Law. If something can go wrong, it will. For instance, the air conditioner doesn’t break when it is 60 degrees outside — it breaks when it’s 92. Or the gas grill is full — until guests are arriving in 10 minutes for dinner. Or how about this: The night before you have a 6 a.m. flight to see a client for a big presentation, you get out the suit you bought for this all-important meeting, and it — what are the odds — still has the store alarm sensor attached to the skirt. “Really?” you ask. Yes! True story…

Sound familiar? Well, we’ve discovered that these are simply the crazy things of life. Often, we’ve found they come in threes . . . just because. While many of these circumstances are out of our control, the way we respond to them is not.

We can learn to laugh at life’s annoyances, vent and get over them. Or confide in a trusted friend, someone who will listen without judging. Sometimes simply verbalizing our frustration can help us gain perspective on the situation. For others, writing down life’s unexpected mishaps helps us to process things, even if – and often hopefully so – we shred the paper later.

Holding onto our anger and annoyances, on the other hand, can lead to a bitter attitude that will not only steal our joy but make those around us miserable too. Bitterness and resentment offer a sure-fire way to torpedo any feelings of fulfillment. We’ve found that practicing self-compassion is the best way to manage Murphy. If we treat ourselves with the same compassion as we treat our friends, we’re better able to adapt to life’s hiccups. And let’s face it, Murphy keeps coming, so why not make his visits less bad? Has Murphy visited you lately?