Roll with the punches?

Where does that expression come from anyway?

Roll with the punches

Slang –To cope with and withstand adversity, especially by being flexible.

We all have those times in our lives when it seems like from all directions we are being attacked. No matter if you are a job seeker, entrepreneur, employee, or even someone who is only accountable to their own family, you have times when you have to roll with the punches!

If you choose to give in at this point, it is easy to slide into depression and not be able to cope with everyday life. But we have choices too. As much as sometimes it is easier to just give up, people who keep on going and “roll with the punches” end up happier and moving toward their goals.

I’ve had periods in my life when I didn’t do a particularly good job of rolling with the punches. This last week could easily have been one of them and even as recently as last year, I too probably would have been struggling with mood swings or depression.

Recent challenges

Friday night — Bill’s dad, Bob, invited us to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Michael’s Supper Club. They picked me up. We almost got to the restaurant as we turned into the access road, the car choked and failed to start in drive. Bill tried several times, but it kept choking off.

We were in heavy traffic at a light and went through multiple cycles before Bill gave up and decided to back up into the closest parking lot to the restaurant. We parked the car in Dollar Mountain’s parking lot and grabbed Bob’s walker and the three of us ambled off to the restaurant. Since we were that close, we thought we would go ahead with dinner.

Later, I called my brother, Andy, who volunteered to pick us up and return us to my father-in-law’s house where we could borrow his SUV. The SUV isn’t run often, and guess what? It didn’t start! Andy and I pushed it out of the garage while Bill steered and braked. Bill and Andy set up the jumper cables and got the car started.

Saturday morning, we had to call Andy again because the car wouldn’t start. Bill bought a new battery for that car.

Back problems

Last week, I started having problems with my back. Still undiagnosed, I get sudden strong pains across my lower back. I never had any issues with my back before. Though I am monitoring it closely, it is hampering everything I want to do in the yard, house, and my exercise plan.

Roll with the punches in your health

Sunday: Despite the back issues, I worked with Bill to try to get some vines removed from the back flower bed. Standing beneath him, I was on a mission to have Bill cut out the vines around the rocks in this back bed.

He was on the top of the ledge; I was pointing out vines and pulling. Then a big rock let go. I dodged but fell backward with a tuck and a roll and that big rock just touched my foot. Too close for me! Now, in addition to a sore back, I have a bruised foot and leg… but it could have been much worse!

Roll with the punches with your technology

Next, my laptop stopped working, nothing I did changed that. My laptop drives my entire system. I wasn’t totally panicking; I have a constant backup with Carbonite. However, I needed to solve this rapidly. I found an expert who was available at the time.

All of this coupled with a seasonal slowdown in clients could have pushed me over the edge and would have last year.

But I decided to “Roll with the Punches!”

I had very little control over most of these problems. Some might have been preventable but most just happened. The fact that they all happened around the same time is annoying, but I won’t change things by whining.

You control your attitude. You can have a bad attitude when things go wrong. Things will periodically go wrong. OR, you can roll with the punches and move forward.

Want the upside?

Dollar Mountain’s Manager was very cordial when I called to explain why the van was in his lot. He had no problem with it staying until Monday. We moved the van on Sunday after Bill added a full bottle of transmission fluid. Our former garage wasn’t checking fluids during our oil changes. I later found out it was Dollar Mountain’s Grand Opening Weekend! He only asked that we stop in sometime – and we will.

My brother was available not only at a moment’s notice on Friday but also on Saturday even though he had other plans.

We have Bob’s backup car until ours is repaired. We operated with only one car for more than a year so knowing we have a back-up is a good feeling.

I know who I would see if my back gets worse. Someone who is recommended by others and someone I trust.

My foot is healing nicely. It could have been broken.

The laptop is functioning fine now.

My business always ebbs and flows. I can use the downtime to work on marketing projects and catch up on other things.

You can always make things worse than they are. And you can always moan that you are the only one with trouble. But you aren’t. There is always someone much worse off than you are. So just roll with the punches and you will be fine!

Stuck in your job search or just ready to move on or up from your existing position? Julie Walraven, a Wausau, Wisconsin-based professional resume writer and career marketing strategist, can help you get ready for your next role! To find out how, Click here!

Roll with the punches?


  1. Gavin Ryan on June 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Julie,

    You are inspirational! Thanks for sharing.
    Keep smiling and God bless you!


    • Julie Walraven on June 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks, Gavin! I do feel I am making progress. I would been wallowing in self-promoted misery last year or the years before… Oh, Woe is me, oh woe is me… now I just laugh and say what’s next. I actually feel blessed that I have such a great network. People like you to hold me up and encourage me, resources like Lucy, Andy, and Dave to turn to when things do break down and great clients who kept the income coming in to handle some of the financial challenges.

  2. Ronnie Ann on June 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Not to be competitive, Julie, but I’ve been a champion wallower many many times in my own life. 😉 Thanks for the inspiring reminder to turn energy toward a direction that actually feeds our spirit. Sending healing thoughts coupon for your foot and back – good whenever you need it.

    • Julie Walraven on June 22, 2011 at 4:55 am

      Thanks for the healing thoughts coupon, Ronnie. I think I will redeem right now. I am normally very active and I am finding myself very skittish right now. It affects my exercise plan and I need to figure out changes quickly that won’t hurt my back.

  3. Martin on June 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Just roll with the punches! Quite a hectic couple of weeks I bet? But glad you drew the positive out of it all and realised you only feel bas as much as you let yourself feel and good as much as you want to feel. Happy you chose to max the latter. Hope your back gets better 🙂

    Martinsays: Thanks

    • Julie Walraven on June 22, 2011 at 4:57 am

      Hi Martin! As I said to Ronnie, I see the back affecting everything. The first two times the pain hit, I just moved through it but this last one left a lingering pain that doesn’t go away and makes me cautious. But I do believe in staying positive in general.

  4. Barb Poole on June 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

    You are so inspirational with real-life stuff as usual, Julie! Quite the weekend and week, but you rolled and dealt as you always do. More than that, you named off the good. I love your posts! Thanks for once again stirring my emotions and logic at the same time! This too shall pass is always true! I hope today finds both you and your computer feeling much better!

    • Julie Walraven on June 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      We’re both better but not best yet. I guess I can be thankful it is raining because I am not up to my 3 mile walks or working hard in the yard yet. The computer is saying it is fine plugged in but it still needs a new battery if I want to work without a cord.

  5. Mohamed Ibrahim on June 23, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie Walraven on June 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

      Thanks, Mohamed! Hope all is well with you and you too are rolling with the punches!

  6. Wow! When it rains, it pours (definitely a cliche that is spot-on!). Glad your foot is not broken and delighted at the ‘upsides’ you were able to articulate and embrace!

    Best to you and your family!


    • Julie Walraven on June 24, 2011 at 5:13 am

      Thank you, my friend! I will admit there were moments when the why me kicked in but as I was sharing some of this with my neighbor she shared several things of her own and other neighbors that were even worse… So you look for the upsides and hope that this too shall pass.

  7. Ka on January 25, 2012 at 7:45 am

    It could change the way you live completely if you will start to act with punches as it is something good, at least I expect something good will happen as a result of that punch. You could believe me or not, but it really works, give it a try – control your reaction on punches and sooner or later you will notice that that crappy pouches were leading you to something great. Could you remember moments of your life that at first seems like total fail and then appears it was right turn on a T shaped crossroad to epic win. Good luck, Julie!

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