When Life Throws You A Curveball

Bill Stimpson & Michelle Stimpson

Minding my own business at home one evening last week, I got a totally unexpected call. “Hi, I’m an Eden Prairie police officer and I’m sitting here at the softball field with your husband.”

In the millisecond before he continued talking, my mind raced with thoughts of: “WHAT did Bill do?” I couldn’t help but think of all the wild and crazy college tales that have lived on through the years. Several scenarios rushed to mind: “Did he drink too much and trash the field?” “Did he climb the water tower and spray paint it purple?” I wracked my brain and wondered what on earth the police officer caught him doing.

 “Your husband got hit in the face with a softball and he’s bleeding quite a bit. I’ll sit here with him until you can get here and take him to the hospital.”

That’s when the curveball came.

I moved fast. Not knowing what I would find when I got to the field, I talked out loud to myself and my team of angels on my drive and prepared. My friend, Maryanne O’Brien, founder of Live Dynamite, often signs her emails, “Expect the best.” I love that! And so I began this journey expecting the best in every situation: Expecting the best care, the best doctors, the best experience possible.

When I got to the field, the kind police officer handed Bill over to me, and what I saw didn’t surprise me. Despite the blood-soaked gauze held over his nose and blood spattered all over him, Bill was smiling. Yep, that’s my guy.

* * * * *

The trip to the Emergency Room is behind us. This past week has been one of slowing down, intense focus, learning about different medications, and enjoying our beautiful Minnesota fall weather.

Bill Stimpson & Michelle Stimpson_Winery

There are all kinds of additional details that ensued on the journey, but they’re not necessarily important here. What is important, though, are the reminders that came in loud and clear.

The first is gratitude. One of the first things Bill said was how grateful he was that the ball didn’t hit his eyes or mouth or anywhere else on his head. If you’re going to get hit in the face with a ball, square on the bridge of the nose seems to be the best bet! One of the doctors told us of his friend who got hit in the eye with a softball…and lost his vision in that eye. Hearing that one gave me the chills, as I sat next to Bill, knowing how fortunate he was.

Gratitude. We’ve been embracing it all along.

Second is expecting the best. How wonderful that every single doctor and nurse we’ve dealt with has been a pleasure. Each doctor visit and experience along the way has been top-notch. It feels so good to trust in that and to “expect” great care.

I recently saw a status update on Facebook by someone that said: “My day is going to suck.” And you know what? I bet it did.

Expect the best, and that’s what you’ll get. It’s nice to have a cheering section of friends and family along the way, too! Here’s one fun example.

Third is a positive attitude. Despite the pain and discomfort, my Bill is always smiling. Throughout the week, he’s still managed to treat me as if I’m the most important person in the world. He still makes me laugh and uses funny cartoon voices at home. A co-worker said if they hadn’t seen his black eyes or gash on his nose, they would have never known anything had happened.

Bill is a master at choosing a positive attitude. I’m always learning from him.

* * * * *

My buddy is scheduled to have surgery this week to fix the broken nose. And of course we know and trust that all will be well.

Events, like this one, happen in our lives; they’re circumstances over which we have no control. What we end up experiencing – or our “outcome” – is directly related to how we choose to respond.

When something unexpected comes your way that doesn’t feel so good, will you choose to be upset, mad, or frustrated? Or will you choose to be grateful, appreciative, and peaceful? While I intellectually understand and teach this concept, this past week has certainly been an opportunity for me to fully put this stuff into practice!

One last interesting note: This weekend we had our satellite radio station on three separate times. And each time, we heard the song, “Miracles.” If you’re not familiar with the synchronistic significance of this song in our lives, you’ve got to check this out! A-ma-zing.

Life will throw you curveballs. Not necessarily as ‘in your face’ as Bill’s (hopefully not!), but those throws out of left-field will make their way to you, because, well – that’s just life.

So, be sure to pack these things in your toolkit:

–Expecting the Best
–A Positive Attitude

And…one of my guy friends (who shall go unnamed) also recommended I pack my “naughty nurse” outfit (assuming I have one), which is also probably not a bad idea. :)

Cheers to you in the game of life!

Author’s follow-up note: Bill’s surgery is behind him now and he had a speedy recovery and is doing great – whew!


Subscribe to Updates via RSS If you enjoyed this post, you'll love being a subscriber!

You might also like:

23 Responses to “When Life Throws You A Curveball”

  • First of all, I’m happy to hear Bill is okay, although his pride might be a little shaky (mine would be). Thanks for using this story to make the point that we are responsible for the realities we create.

    We can choose to see the worst in a situation or look for what’s good. The only predictable thing about life is its unpredictability. For that reason, “letting life happen” is the best thing we can do.

    Thanks for this Michelle.


  • Great post (love the puns ’cause I’m a geek) and you know I totally subscribe to your philosophy. Life wouldn’t be fun without its ups and downs – and you and Bill have mastered how to enjoy the ride no matter what. Love you guys!

  • Tami says:

    We have a Family Philosophy: Have Fun – Do Your Best – Be Respectful – Use Your Life. I think I am going to add a Toolkit that includes your above Gratitude, Expect the Best, and Positive Attitude (and the Naughty Nurse Outfit for me!)

    I love the synchronicities you talk about. I call them God Winks. Anyone who pays attention will notice them ;)

    In the movie Parenthood, there is a scene where Gil’s Grandma talks about riding the rollercoaster (of life) and how much more fun it is than the Merry-Go-Round. I love that metaphor!

    Thank you for the great reminders, Michelle. Your blogs posts are always a highlight.

    Go Vikes!

  • Connie Nelson says:

    I could share so many things…..but just have opted to say….I love you guys…..wishing Bill fast healing…….I love who you are…..and how you share so many things….just when I need them the most. Kindred spirits some may say :)

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! I have a gratitude journal and have been told I live with rose colored glasses on. But “Expect the Best” I must be needing to work on — as I’ve been getting that message in different ways this week! So thanks – the message has landed!

  • @ Alex: Your phrase “The only predictable thing about life is its unpredictability” really made me pause. So true. Guess that’s why I created a category of blog posts called “Letting Life Happen.” When you can just go with the flow and allow life to happen…it’s all good. Thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts!

    @ Liv: Thank you for the love! It’s very felt.

    @ Tami: LOVE your family philosophy – thank you for sharing! And it’s fun to know that you want to toss in a few additional things for the toolkit, too. I also love the “God Winks” phrase – I’m going to use that one! You are right – anyone who pays attention will notice them. Well put! Here’s to a great roller coaster ride!

    @ Connie: We love you, too, and you will forever (and ever) be in our hearts. Thanks for the light today. :)

    @ Amy: Hi and thanks for reading and commenting! Glad to know the message has landed; isn’t it cool when we receive those ‘messages’…just when we need them?

  • Mary Welch says:

    It is a joy to read your stories, Michelle! I’m always smiling at the end! And doubly so this time because Bill is wearing a smile, albeit a swollen one. Truly inspiring! Namaste to both of you!

  • Linda says:

    Michelle…..your positive attitude takes my breath away! I’m happy to hear that Bill is doing well. Of course!

  • Linda Lombardo Appleby says:

    I LOVE how you write Michelle, but even more importantly than that, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your constant messages of hope, strength, graciousness, and positivity…you are clearly not only listening to your team of angels, B U T ….you ARE one as well! Much love to you always! AND, remember, you matter…a LOT!

  • Lance says:

    Ouch!!! (well…for Bill mostly!) And it’s great to see that smile on his (and your) face! Life WILL have ups and downs for all of us…and we can choose how to roll with all of this. You two master seeing the good in all!!

    Have fun with that *ahem* toolkit…

  • Cindy Lopez says:

    You always have a meaningful message just when
    I need it! I realized that I haven’t been expecting
    The best but I am as of right now!
    Thank you for YOU! You are an amazing woman
    With a powerful message and I’m so proud
    To call you my friend!!

  • @ Mary: Thank you! And I’m delighted to know you’re smiling, too. :)

    @ Linda: Appreciate your sweet comment, my friend. Thanks for being here and for sharing.

    @ Linda A.: You have this amazing knack for brightening my day and filling my heart. Thank you for being such a cheerleader and special friend to me. You rock!

    @ Lance: Thank you, as always, for your sweet support and encouragement. And you are cracking me up about the tookit – hee hee!

    @ Cindy: Isn’t it cool how the right messages show up just when we need them? So glad to know this one was meaningful for you. Thanks for sharing your love, and I, too, am proud to call YOU friend. :)

  • Char says:

    As so many have said, Thank you for reminding me to always think about positive outcomes! Even if we believe this to be true, sometimes we do not practice this. I love how you and Bill always embrace everything that happens in your life and look at the positive side of all of it! You two are such great examples of how to live life with love, laughter and to embrace the miracles that happen every day!!
    Oh, Dave agrees, the naughty nurse uniform will work wonders too!:-) Love you both!

  • Shaf says:

    I’m glad Bill is okay. What a great attitude and shining example for us all! Life is so much more fulfilling when you appreaciate the little things and can find the good in any situation.

  • @ Char: Yeah, it’s amazing how even though we all know ‘intellectually’ it’s important to focus on the positives…when life gets busy or we’re caught up in the moment, we forget. The last couple days have been pretty tough, and more than ever I had to keep reminding myself to focus on the positive. It’s powerful stuff and will always, always pull you through. Love that Dave added his two cents worth on the “uniform.” Very funny! Love you back. :)

    @ Shaf: Thank you for your kind thoughts and encouragement – it’s so appreciated!

  • Megan says:

    Hi Michelle! I absolutely LOVE your posts and they are a daily “vitamin” of mine that really inspire, energize and bring me joy…I find myself tonight having to specifically respond though because my life has been filled to overflowing with synchronicities and lots of amazing miracles lately and then today there was your post connecting so many “dots” for me about riding the ups and downs of life’s roller coaster and being aware of life’s synchronicities after I had just become aware of yet another God wink moments before reading your post(I love that phrase and will pass that forward alot!) I want to express the immense gratitude I have for your insight, your energy that lights up the world, your consistent positive outlook on life and contagious joy that I have always admired about you (all the way back to our highschool days)and that continues to bring me joy and understanding about life in ways I never would on my own. Glad to know Bill is okay – lots of positive thoughts for a quick and healthy recovery and many continued blessings to you both ~

  • Derek says:

    This is a great post. Everyone needs reminders that setbacks are not permanent. People even recover from great tragedy in time. It’s not always easy, remaining positive may be the best thing you can do for yourself. With a little effort, happiness levels almost always return to normal, or are even improved because you have learned more about yourself during the low patches.

  • Artem says:

    Just wanted to say that I truly enjoy your blog posts. And I agree 150% with you – that Gratitude, Expecting the Best and A Positive Attitude are three very important components in our everyday lives….actually this very well can be the foundation of our life.

    I live my life with no regret…I can say that for sure.

    Thank you & keep the blog going :-) it is simply wonderful

  • Laurie says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you for sharing all your beautiful and encouraging messages on “Following Your Joy!” What a beautiful light worker you are for today’s world! :)

    With gratitude and joy,

  • @ Megan: Thank you so much for the sweet and wonderful feedback, and I’m so glad you left a comment here! Great to hear from you. How COOL that you have been experiencing an abundance of synchronicities in your life…and then this post connected the dots for you. Isn’t it neat how those things happen? And the timing is always right-on. Thanks for filling my heart with your lovely words; know that you have certainly touched me in a big way! I’m the lucky one to have your for a friend. :) Appreciate your positive thoughts for Bill – he is on his way! Love ya and I look forward to continuing to stay connected.

    @ Derek: Hi there and welcome to the blog! Your words of wisdom are just what I need right now – thank you. I love the idea of happiness levels even improving due to the learning – right on! I checked out your site and you are up to very important work! Delighted to be connected with you. Wishing you all the best and please come back again. :)

    @ Artem: Hi! When I put these three concepts together with Bill, I had no idea that they would resonate with so many people. How cool to know that it even could be a “foundation” for our lives, as you say. Awesome! What a great way to be – living with no regrets. I admire that and agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for the support, Artem!

    @ Laurie: WOW! Thank you so much for taking the time to share these kind thoughts with me. You totally made my day! Really, I am speechless. Your sweet words help to fuel me along in my journey.

  • Jane says:

    Thanks Be to God!! Mike and I are thrilled you are OK Bill! What a great reminder to choose the silver lining in life’s curveballs!

  • Hope the surgery was successful! Bill still looked hot, even with the extra eye fancifulness. You are a lucky girl!!!


  • @ Jane: Your support all the way from Alaska was priceless and your love is always felt – thank you!

    @ Jen: It was fun to see you at the winery! Yes, everything is great now and feeling so grateful for health and healing. Thank you! Yes, I sure am a lucky girl. :)

Leave a Comment (I´d love to hear from you!)

Want your mug shot with your next comment? Get a Gravatar!
You’ll Love Being a Subscriber!
Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

Lacking clarity or direction? Disconnected from your passion?
Ready for something new or different?


Like What You See Here?
Facebook Like Button
Watch for this "Like" button at the end of each post and if you like what you see, please give it a big fat "thumbs-up!" Thank you!
“Like” Us On Facebook!

Where else you can find Michelle:

Project Light Year 2015

Our Funny Nude Beach Story!

Joyful Partnerships

Need help finding something?