Often life throws us curveballs. We planned one way and it ended another. The decision was made but we changed our minds. Instead of a period, life throws a big question mark our way. Recently I was given a big question mark in a place I thought for sure was a period. This got me wondering. How do we adjust to a situation where we simply have no control? On the plus side a period means we know for sure, it’s finite. Albeit good or bad, it’s definite. A question mark is unknown; however, it leaves in its wake possibility. Perhaps the end result will be great or it may be a great big failure.

I’ve decided I like periods. I enjoy knowing for sure. Is it possible some prefer a question mark?

Into the unknown

The unknown can be absolute agony in some situations. Waiting, wondering, and questioning. Often our minds quickly turn to dark places. Most of us go through life with plans, lists, and an orchestrated agenda. When a situation arises that we did not plan for, we must adjust or put our own agenda on hold. Letting go of plans can be difficult. Not knowing if you will ever return to those plans is even more difficult. The unknown, however difficult it may be, is sure to present itself to you at some point. You may even be sitting in the unknown right now. With the unknown, we clench tightly to faith and hope. We wake up each day, put one foot in front of the other, and endure. Not knowing what the end result will look like, we can plan and prepare for different scenarios.

With a period, there is no planning, hoping, or hanging on. We must simply accept what is. There is no time to prepare, question, or wonder what the ending will look like. These situations sometimes are a slap in the face, but can also be a welcomed surprise. You receive news and adapt. Either scenario presents its own unique challenges.

Keeping calm and carrying on

Like it or not, we will all be thrown our fair share of both question marks and periods in life. Regardless of your preference, both circumstances will arise; Often at the most inopportune time! We must continue carrying on amidst the challenges of life. Jobs, children, and managing our household can not be put on hold every time life throws a curveball our way. The saying, stop and smell the roses comes to mind. With busy schedules and fast-paced lives, we must remember to stop and savor the joyful moments. The days may seem mundane and tiring; however, mundane is sometimes a good thing. Because just when you think it is smooth sailing, life can throw a tidal wave your way. How will you keep calm and carry on?

Ashley Gravois
Ashley is originally from Thibodaux, La. She moved to Baton Rouge in 2005 to attend graduate school at LSU where she received a master’s degree in social work. She has been married to her wonderful husband, Taylor, for 15 years and they have 3 daughters Raegan (14), Julia (8) and Sadie (2 going on 20). Ashley worked as a social worker in the medical field for 10 years before taking a break to be a stay at home mom. Life took a very unexpected turn when her husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2019 which fueled her passion for rare disease awareness. She is co-founder of the non-profit Garage 10 which provides financial assistance to individuals with rare diseases. Ashley loves family, faith, friends, date nights, coffee creamer, exercising and quiet moments amongst the business of life.


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