Delays – what are your coping strategies?

The saying;

“There is no use crying over spilt milk” is simple but to the point. It has happened, crying will not turn back time or in fact make you feel any better. 

Which brings me to a particular situation that I have faced………………….

Last Thursday, I arrived at the station where I board my connecting train to find that my train had been cancelled. The line had been closed with no further notice.  I would not mind but every Thursday for the past three weeks, there have been delays of one kind or another.  

I decided to take another route which I had the joy of paying for the privilege! Now, at this moment I could have chosen to become angry and anxious (like a few commuters I overheard) or accept that delays are a part of life.  I admit that in the not too distant past, this would have affected my morning. I would have arrived to work with a fixed face and taken a few hours to perk up again. I would have questioned why I have such a long commute and had a pity party – alone of course!

I plan and prepare but sometimes you simply have no control over situations such as these. They will occur whether we welcome them or not. Our attitude and state of mind matters most. The way in which we look at life, the good and the bad. The way in which we engage with others when things are not going quite as we had hoped. It is during the most challenging times that our character is tested. I still have a way to go but as Evangelist Joyce Meyer says;

“I may not be where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be”. 

What are your coping mechanisms for handling delays and disappointment?

21 thoughts on “Delays – what are your coping strategies?”

  1. I have come to accept that delays are part of life – nothing we can do about them. Much depends on where the delay occurs. One time I was in my doctor’s office when he got called away but asked me to stay until he got back. Three hours later, after having read every magazine in my book bag (I do go prepared) he returned. He had a medical emergency to take care of – bigger problem than mine so what can you do but say it’s ok.


  2. There is no timing in the universe. Delays are frequent so we need a lot of patience and persevereance. That’s life and there is no avoiding it. However, as Potemkin once said, delays frequently work in your favour…


    1. I have often wondered what I have been saved from when I am delayed.

      A distant family member worked in one of the twin towers and on 09/11 left an item at home and turned back to get it. Had he arrived at his normal time, he would not be alive today.


  3. Good comments on this one, Phoenicia. I agree that so much comes into play with how I had a delay in my plans–if I’m tired or in a hurry or whatever. In Pittsburgh…I could do an entire blog about this city and the horrendous construction projects that go on here. I am continually amazed by the stupidity in play!

    So, if I remember when I get behind the wheel to say to myself: Be patient an calm today, I stand a better chance of being that person than when I forget to say that first!

    I’m more pragmatic with flying. Ever since 9/11, I am ever so thankful when the plane goes up and comes down properly. Every other thing is no longer of any consequence.


    1. Thanks Rose Mary. In a way we should expect and prepare for delays as best as we can. Where we have no control, we should refrain from becoming emotional. I admit to struggling with this!

      I was actually in Florida, America on 9/11 – terrifying. I have no problems flying but always thankful when the plane is about to land.


  4. For me it depends on the nature of the speed bump – when it comes to small stuff like you describe humor is my greatest ally. When it’s something more serious, I look for ways to get out of my head – for example a few years ago I was blindsided by 3 major crisis within a 2 month period and I offset that by agreeing to chair our local county food drive. It kept me busy, positive and moving forward.


  5. I think the way I cope with delays and disappointment varies based on my own mood (like someone else mentioned tiredness plays a part) and based on how big the impact is or is likely to be. Some things jest need to be put in perspective – they’re not that big a deal. Other things take time to adjust to.


  6. Traffic is really horrible where I live. In fact, I think I live in one of the worst cities for traffic in the U.S. And there is almost always some type of delay. I’ve learned to just shake it off because it happens almost every day. When I have an easy commute, I just consider it a gift.


  7. My daughter recently had open heart surgery. She was getting very upset the way things were going for her in the recovery room. She didn’t like where they put her in the room with other people. I stayed calm and everything she wanted I said “I am on it”. I noticed that I was able to get things done. I did not get upset just forged ahead and everything worked out. I think sometimes you have to accept things the way they are if you are unable to change if you can then you go for it.


  8. If you’re a commuter you have to have the coping strategies you mention otherwise life , and you become a ball of anger and frustration at being out of control. I don’t commute any more, but when I get stuck in traffic, I try very hard not to get frustrated, and try and enjoy the view or whatever. The only person who suffers if you don’t do that is yourself.


  9. Just roll with it has always been my motto. I had a linguistic professor who once pointed out it does us no good to get all in a huff because of a delay. When such things happen, I take a deep breath and listen to some good music or an audio book and be thankful for the unexpected bit of time to indulge. I can’t change the delay, so why waste the energy being annoyed by it?


  10. I noticed that if I feel tired, I tend to not deal with change in schedule well. I have to keep reminding myself to breath deeply. That seems to help. Thanks for sharing your coping tactics.


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