Powerfully Choosing to Navigate Pivots

Life pivots.  We all have them.  They vary in size, degree, and magnitude.  How we respond to them is what sets us apart as GSDers.  We know they are coming because life always has pivots since things are ever changing.  We embrace them.  We see them for what they are.  We pause, re-evaluate, pivot, and relaunch, rinsing and repeating if necessary.  And we do this all the time easily, right?  Wrong.  

We do pivot better than most, but there are some pivots that are just plain hard.  2024 has been a year of pivots for me, my personal life, and my companies, ranging in all shapes and sizes, which led me to trying to be present in these moments. A couple things came to me as a result.  

In my GSD Factor book, I talk about problem solving and give an example of how we can measure a problem to help us size and scope it, which helps us navigate into the solution and make our solution more effective.  My daughter gave me a great example of this one day with some homework from her life skills class. Her school counselor used weather as the analogy for assessing problems and how to approach them.  For this moment, I would like us to apply this same scale to our pivots.  

● Windy = tiny pivot, no biggie – Handle on your own.

● Rainy = small pivot – Engage with a single human to solve.

● Stormy = medium pivot – Engage with multiple humans to solve.

● Tornado = big pivot – Enlist anyone and everyone to solve.

I write this whilst sitting in the midst of a tornado pivot with my tiniest of humans.  In the first part of April, he had surgery and had to be home from school and all extracurricular activities for two weeks.  Just as we were getting back into the swing and rhythm of things, his preschool shut down effective immediately due to a teacher strike over compensation.  Hello, tornado.  We had already experienced a tornado pivot at the end of 2023 when we had to transfer him to a new school because he was getting physically bullied, so to now be navigating another tornado pivot less than 6 months after has been hard on everyone.  

I will say I’m handling this tornado pivot a bit better than the previous one, maybe because he ended up landing in a safe place, albeit for a short amount of time, but ultimately it worked out.  Also, my husband and I just came off playing hot potato tiny human earlier this month so it’s just more of the same for a much longer duration until he starts elementary school in the fall.  Either way, we are all breathing and digging deep through the hard.  

I’m trying to look at this pivot with a glass half-full lens.  Perhaps he needs the extra TLC with us at home before embarking on his elementary journey that will only accelerate over the next decade?  Maybe it’s forcing us to slow down, losing any extra things in life that aren’t serving us and that we don’t really have time for?  I’m extending myself grace until we can get into the rhythm of the new routine.  I’m committed to being present because I believe there will be beautiful core memories made.  It’s hard right now, as I am navigating a spreadsheet of schedules whilst reaching out to clients and podcast guests to reschedule things.

My daughter reminded me of one of her favorite t-shirts, which quotes the motivational speech by Coach Kara Lawson, NCAA All-American, Olympic Gold Medalist, WNBA Champion, and the list goes on.  She gave her college basketball team the “Handle Hard Better” speech which has over 8 million views.    

“It will never get easier.  What happens is you handle hard better.  Make yourself a person that handles hard well.  Not someone that’s waiting for the easy.” – Kara Lawson

Life is hard.  Pivots are hard.  Handle hard better.  Handle pivots better.  We are powerfully choosing to handle hard pivots better.