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This isn't what I signed up for!

Seems like I've heard the expression "This isn't what I signed up for" at least a half dozen times this week. And I wonder, huh, where did you sign up?

I know what people mean, though. You find yourself in a situation that feels imposed and unplanned. Things have happened that are, usually, not under your control -- at least not entirely. You may have set something in motion by your own choices but life stepped in and added some twists and turns to the path you thought you were on. And now you find yourself in a position that feels new, different, maybe uncomfortable, unpleasant or just plain makes you unhappy or uneasy. In other words, this is not what you signed up for.

Well, let's say there really is some kind of contract you've made with life; it may simply be time to renegotiate. And since you are your one and only advocate, I guess it's up to you to reassess where you can make some changes that will make you happier.

Some of life's offers are tough to negotiate: You've had a serious event and need to rely on others for simply getting by -- meals, self-care, income. Others are a little less daunting: You've got to find a new place to live or lose 20 pounds before your upcoming reunion. Or anything in between. Anything! Life is what happens when you're making other plans, goes the old cliche.

Whatever you think you signed up for, and whenever, just know that you will always have to renegotiate. There will always be a new time and a new place. Again and again. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but you will have to. And when you do, advocate for your best self and your best deal. And try to get what you need. Then, once the deal is made, ...well, you deal with it. Just remember it will come up for negotiation again.


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