Jodie's Life Blog - 02

Hello again to my family, friends & supporters.

★Life can often throw us some curveballs, I know all about that. What is a curveball, you ask? In baseball terms - a curveball is a type of pitch in baseball thrown with a characteristic grip and hand movement that imparts forward spin causing the ball to dive in a downward path as it approaches the plate. In the movie with Kevin Costner (For Love of the Game) – by the end of his career, the character: Billy Chapel – has thrown so many special pitches and curveballs that his limb equipment starts to fail on him. As a pitcher, there is nothing worse than losing your ability to pitch out your opponent it would be enough to drive a talented athlete to ground.

Whether we are the receiver of the curveball or a pitcher (like Billy Chapel)....sometimes an involuntary pitcher – curveball’s are unfortunately part of life, whether we are pessimists or optimists – curveballs are everywhere. They appear out of nowhere, take us by surprise and cause us to doubt our skills, our passion, our talent and our life’s mission. Sometimes, we can hit them and even ‘drive them out of the park’ – sometimes, we fail – either to hit the curveball or swing & miss. When an athlete may fail to hit or miss one curveball - is the rest of his career, judged on that one failure? NO – not at all. If that was the case, elite athletes would not exist they wouldn’t take the time and effort to become what they were in the first place.

Like an elite athlete, we should see life in the same vein. One bad miss or poor hit of a difficult life curveball won’t and should not alter the course of the rest of our life, neither should a succession of them. Regardless of how difficult life circumstances can be, how many tears and heartache they often bring, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and stand ready for the next curveball.

I meet many people in person or on social media, who have not been ready to receive a curveball. And really, who is? Honestly, I think it is very few. Some of these people I speak to, have been hit by several curveballs, one after another. Some of us get served some serious curveballs (health, disability, relationship or financial problems) – others not so serious (our home is damaged, we back our car into a pole or someone curses at us). Any kind of curveball tries to chip away at us.

Life in its pure essence in an imperfect world can only bring challenge after challenge. How do we prepare ourselves? How do we get ourselves ready for the curveballs of life? Some of these serious challenges – no one can prepare for. But, what we can do is choose our course and our beliefs, earlier in life.

I believe the earlier the better. Create or adhere to a foundation that will weather the storms, the circumstances, the difficulties and the unexpected, the unexplained. Then talk to a professional, maybe a therapist, a doctor you trust, a psychiatrist, a psychologist. It is not a sign of weakness to speak to any of these people, more – I think a sign that you care enough about yourself and your family to take care of yourself and your state of mind, after the curveball.

In 2007, I had just finished fighting the biggest curveball of my life. It was astronomically massive, and I lived in denial about the impact it had on my mind. I told professionals and people around me that I was OK, I didn't need any help, I could do it on my own. Yeah right!! I don't think so. Only after, I realized that I had suffered some mental injury from this huge curveball, did I start to seek help. It was hard to admit that at the time, I thought I could handle it with my own methods. And only now, 4 years down the track, am I really willing to talk about it all and the damage this curveball did to my brain, I am constantly recovering. When I looked for help and asked for it, it was given to me willingly and happily and it literally saved my life all over again.

So, just remember – the curveballs of life were not meant to be tackled alone. There are many others who have had to face the same things, cheering you on from the sidelines and offering hands and hugs of hope. People all around you may struggle with the same things. Just remember though, that people are just people. They will always let you down. When you have a curveball and need to recover, like the advice financial experts may give you - diversify - talk to God, talk to people & talk to a professional. When you've recovered from the Tornado, you'll look back and thank yourself ★