How do curveballs impact life's trajectory?

What is a curveball according to Karen ( Last name kept private) ?

To her a curveball is something is life that is so unplanned you have to re-write you life paths to accommodate. Such as an unexpected birth of a child or someone dying.

For her she identified her curveball as her husband dying about 6 months ago. He was 48 and she is 45, they have 4 children together and he dropped dead of a stroke.

Karen's story impacted her significantly because..

Normative life trajectory did it interrupt? Yes! She has one child who is a senior in high school, another that just started middle school and a four year old. While owning a farm and running a business. These tasks were split amongst her and her husband, before he died.

Did this impact Sociocultural expectations? Yes! she is now a single mother raising 3 children and has 1 child in college. As well as supporting herself and her family on an income. She had been a stay at-home mom for over 15 years and her husband ran their farm. Now she is tasked with hiring people to work on their farm, which is in California and impacted by a Large drought. Further their oldest son is taking on many responsibilities as well as trying to complete college.

Cohort effects

She is 45

45 year olds are planning for retirement and preparing to send their children to college. She is now starting over and trying to work in a business that her husband ran. Since his death she has sold a house by herself and bought a car by herself, all tasks that he'd lead previously.

The Stability-Change Issue

Is she prepared for this non-normative influence?

Karen grew up as a middle child. She came from a home that expected you to be a hard worker,loyal and driven. Those around her can see that she demonstrates these characteristics. The impact of her husbands death is of concern, but she will recreate her own stability.