Happy Monkey Club

Curve ball to blindsided punch in the gut

Last week I posted a blog I had written 2 years ago, How to manage the curve balls, I received some great feedback from HMC members. It was such great dialogue and lessons that came out of it that I felt it deserved a follow up blog. So here we go…

The first question came from a good friend who was concerned that the article could do more harm than good for anyone experiencing a horrific tragedy. Putting a happy face on and not addressing our true emotions can be harmful. I don’t disagree. The timing of my article and the Humboldt bus tragedy was the concern. How would this help that group?

It was a great question and one I needed to hear as I do take a very general approach to my blogs. The reason I do will be explained below and I hope you will read as the lessons I learned in these questions were powerful.  Here was my response:

“First off, this blog was written 2 years ago and likely could have been improved and updated to address the tragedy with the Humboldt Broncos if I took the time this week to do so but I didn’t. I actually had no intention of the blog addressing the weekend event.
However, having said that, I still stand by what I said and yes, absolutely there are times when individuals need to go deeper and need to understand on a new level the horrible things that happen in life, I am not trying to trivialize anything but at the same time I do not pretend to be able to offer more.
What I do believe is that you still have to have a positive frame of mind and mindset to help you manage any situation more effectively. There is a big difference in what I would consider life’s curve balls vs. life’s blindsided punch in the gut.
In all the coverage that I have watched on the Humboldt Broncos and the tears that have been shed,  I can feel and see a positive side that will help all those affected get through this. Their lives have been altered forever but I still hold hope that a positive mind set will make the community stronger, our roads safer, teams closer and more respectful in the future.”
My friend appreciated my response and I thank her for making me think deeper.
Right after I had responded to this, I received another email from one of the Happy Monkeys.

“I just read your weekly article which I very much enjoyed. Just before I read your article, I viewed this Ted talk– an interesting perspective.”

So off I went on my daily walk with my Dog and listened to it. “The gift and power of emotional courage.” The timing couldn’t have been better, the message was very powerful in light of the Humboldt tragedy and my friends question. Perhaps this was a more clear message on what needed to be said with the current situation around us.  However, Susan David, is a Harvard Medical School psychologist and I am not! But having the opportunity now to follow up and share is great. Please find some time, on a walk, in the car, fixing dinner to have a listen.

The past week has been extremely emotional for me personally, not because I was directly affected by the tragedy but because of the emotions it stirs up inside relating to the families and what they are and will go through. I cry every time I hear anything related to Humboldt. I cry as I write this. I share this because, as much as I live and share positivity I do get sad, I get mad, I get scared. I do not hide my emotions but I try to address them with a positive frame of mind and that is what my true message is.

When you need help dealing with life’s gut punches please say yes to it. Use a professional that can guide you through. All I ask is that you bring a positive mindset that will help you find happiness again.


  1. Lisa Calsbeck on April 16, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Carol, keep on writing! I am with you on this. Yes what happened last week was tragic, no way around it. But we all have our own way to handle such situations and we do need to acknowledge all our feelings. One thing that is perfectly clear from all this, the community both local and global have responded with incredible empathy, compassion and have pulled together to support one another. Many positive things happened. It is often too bad that something so tragic has to happen in order for people to find the good in themselves and pull together for others. It is a reminder of how fragile life is and how important it is for us all to work together. To be grateful and appreciative. Imagine this kind of global community, filled with positivity, compassion and empathy without the tragedy. Taking the time to be aware of our positive choices, seeing the good and being the good. Keep on sharing!

    • Carol Ploen-Hosegood on April 16, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      Thanks Lisa, appreciate your comments and agree with you 100%.

  2. Arlene McGrath on April 17, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Thank you Carol! I think you did it “Just Right”. I think all of Life’s experiences are personal first, and tragedies are what they are, and no one is safe from them. I love that people are sharing easier these days, but I can’t stand the narcissistic twist things seem to have taken, at least in my experience. I think sometimes it creates a bully playground. I am no stranger to tragedy, and what has resonated through is that it isn’t the voices on the bandwagon that raise me up, it isn’t the righteous crusaders, it’s the gentle, real voices that nurture me back.
    It’s great that you have people that challenge you, but it speaks more to me that you took a curious self reflecting approach, and then…you shared it.
    People need to know they aren’t alone in their tragedy (whatever it looks like) but they also need that hope (or reality check) that they too, can get past this moment. AND however Chaos shows up, Reality needs to show up too. Your words, (from TWO YEARS ago) are still on people’s lips, seems to me like a piece of your Legacy. Go Girl!
    From the friend who was brave enough to challenge you, to you who kept it current and relative, to a peek into a great healthy friendship, thank you.
    I’ve added the talk to my playlist for later today, I look forward to what it will bring me.

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