Give yourself grace to pivot

Give Yourself Grace to Pivot

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My husband and I had just celebrated seven years of marriage (woohoo!) with a long weekend and a mid-year retreat. I was ready to start conquering those goals!

And then… I had to pivot.

Minutes before Little Man’s grandparents picked him for a fun day together, he climbed on the coffee table for the third time that morning. I scooped him off the table AGAIN, and…

Wham! My back exploded in pain.

After a day of hobbling around in searing pain, I saw a doctor the following morning. What was going on?!


Lumbago – acute or chronic pain (such as that caused by muscle strain) in the lower back


Because… obviously. Apparently this isn’t uncommon among parents of young children. I feel like one of the characters in an L. M. Montgomery book. Now I know what the heck lumbago is.

When Life Doesn’t Play Fair

I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience:

You’re all set to pursue your big goals and plans, then wham! Life sweeps you off your feet and you’re not sure what to do now.

You had an agenda – this wasn’t on it.

Not surprisingly, pain and unexpected happenings force you to pivot and re-prioritize.

For me, the excruciating back pain changed my plans.

Instead of checking out a new park with my son, Little Man spent a couple extra days with his grandparents. My back needed a solid break from lifting a toddler who adores being picked up. 🙁

Rather than cozying up with the laptop to pound out some uber inspirational posts (I aim to please), I paced nonstop and did the MommaStrong Back Fix-Me.

Since bending and lifting hurt like the bejeezus, my household projects and tasks got tabled.

And… so forth.

Assuming you’re a human and not a robot (Hello, spam bots! I see you!), this has happened to you. Over and over again.

Sometimes life just doesn’t play fair. And that’s when you (and I) have to pivot.

The “What Matters Most” Series

This post fits in nicely with the “What Matters Most” series. Yay for pivoting! Check out the other posts in this series to learn more about how to focus on what matters most to you:

I hope that this series helps you live more intentionally!

It’s Okay to Pivot

Let’s repeat this together: It’s okay to pivot.

Sometimes you can’t do-all-the-things because life happens. Some of these changes are rock-your-socks-off awesome. Some are just icky wet socks.

  • Car broke down
  • Lost your job
  • Got a new job!
  • Can’t find a job
  • Got exhaustingly sick
  • Had a blow-out with a loved one
  • Started dating someone!
  • Got dumped
  • Dumped someone
  • Had a baby
  • Got married
  • Experienced a global pandemic (Hey, that’s all of us!)
  • Etc.

Does this mean you should just give up on all your dreams and goals? Heck no!

But, perhaps, you need to give yourself some time to a new normal.

Maybe it’s a long-term new normal, like having a child. Perhaps it’s a temporary new normal, like hurting your back.

It’s okay to admit that this moment, this season is hard. It’s okay to put a pause on your bigger picture goals to take care of yourself.

It takes time to adjust to the new normal.

Sometimes it requires restructuring your days for the new normal. Sometimes it takes-re-evaluating if your goals are realistic in your new normal.

That’s okay.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up for Being Human

Honestly, this is the message I need to recite every darn day in the mirror.

Perhaps you do, too.

It’s okay to have to pivot. That’s life. That’s part of being human.

Sometimes the most amazing things happen when life doesn’t go according to plan.

You become stronger than you thought you could be. You forge some amazing relationships.

Your life becomes even richer than you could have planned for.

And sometimes you just need time to recover from the fall-out of unmet expectations.

You take time to retreat. You dial back on as much of your commitments as possible.

You finally admit, “This X isn’t normal. This isn’t healthy. I’m done being ‘okay’ with it.”

Pivoting can give you such freedom, if you let it.

Biblical Encouragement

When I feel like I’m drowning with everything I have on my plate (and in my head), I like to turn to Ecclesiastes.

Within the multiple statements that “life is meaningless” is gold, baby.

See if you can find your current season in the passage below.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Really, LIFE is about pivoting. Things change. All. The. Time. Whether you plan for it or not.

So, give yourself grace to pivot. It’s okay.

You can come back to those goals again. They’ll still be there.

Take a Listen: The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) (Audio)

Your Turn: When Have You Had to Pivot?

I’m curious – have you ever had to pivot? If so, what came as a result of pivoting? I’d love to hear your story!

You’ve got this. I’m cheering for you!