Surviving a Perfectly Imperfect Life
Somehow deep in our beings we are programmed with a will to live.
Surviving is a natural instinct. Somehow deep in our beings we are programmed with a will to live. I have thought at times about people who take their own lives. To override the instinct to live must be the deepest level of despair and pain for a human being. I know a little something about surviving. I am married to a survivor and so I suppose that makes me one too. When my husband Bob Woodruff was injured by a roadside bomb while covering the Iraq war for ABC News, I watched survival in the ICU in its most basic form.After 36 days in a coma he emerged. Somehow he had fought incredible odds to live and then he began an almost tougher fight to recover from a brain injury.
In my new book, Perfectly Imperfect, I write about a lot of roles I play in my life, from mother, daughter, sister, wife and caregiver, but I also focus on how I, myself, survived. And I offer a few tips to people who find themselves in the midst of a crisis or caring for those who are surviving one.
But for the Survivors Club--- for those who find themselves in their own "In an Instant" moment when life changes on a dime, I offer my top four tips:
LAUGH - Laughter goes a long way to survive a horrible situation. Gallows humor (which probably pre-dated the gallows) has a real place and it eased us through many tough times. If you can laugh at yourself and your situation - or at least sometimes see the humor in it? than you can also probably envision a way out.
DELEGATE - In the midst of a crisis, you can't possibly keep all of the balls in the air that you had before. Rely on the friends and family around you to delegate the tasks of day-to-day living and to allow you to focus on what you need to in order to survive.
ANTICIPATE - Survival depends on knowing your next move. It was Wayne Gretzky who attributed his hockey greatness not to being able to follow the puck, but to anticipate where the puck would go next. In the midst of a crisis you need to be able to think clearly and visualize your next move. When you can picture what might come next, you can make smarter choices.
RELINQUISH - Let things go. Surviving a crisis means prioritizing. You probably won't go to bed every night with a spotless kitchen or be able to tackle everything you used to put on your "to do" list and you need to make peace with that. No one ever got awards for a clean kitchen anyway.
I hope these tips help whenever life takes a turn for the worse and I wish you all the best, always.
Lee Woodruff is the author of Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress, now available wherever books are sold. Her previous book, In an Instant, which she co-authored with her husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Visit Lee here.
To watch Lee discuss her new book on ABC's Good Morning America, click here.
To buy Lee's new book, click here.