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Deep down, most people have dreams - they may be forgotten, unspoken, or unrealized - but they are there. I want to help you remember and believe in them again...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chasing Storms - Stressed Anyone??

Okay, I have to admit I am sad about two things right now - the Series Finale of SMALLVILLE and the impending end of Oprah

Smallville has been a staple for the past nearly 10 years and I grew up watching Oprah... I absolutely love her.  She has done more to change attitudes about so many controversial yet fundamental topics that it's impossible to measure or truly account for the numerous lives she's saved, touched, or changed.  Thank you Oprah - you certainly impacted my life.  As for Smallville, gotta love a hero... enough said.  ;)

Interestingly, the topic of stress has been coming up a lot during this same time.  I soon realized that two of my de-stress mechanisms:  Oprah and Smallville were disappearing. 

I don't watch TV really.  I use my DVR for everything and watch only what I choose.  The end result is that I'm incredibly particular about my time and viewing options because I'm stressed and have limited time.  Don't we all?

So then I started wondering about WHY I've been stressed?

Typical stuff I guess.  Organized chaos at work, striving to get better, do more, impact change.  Family stress.  Friend stress. Travel (for business) stress - planes, hotels, rental cars, bad food.

All the traveling resulted in my back getting tweaked out which hasn't allowed me to workout.  Another de-stresser not available.  Also because of the traveling, I haven't been eating as healthy as I like.  More stress.

Hmmm - I'm seeing a pattern.

This morning in church the pastor talked about guess what?  Stress.

Hmmm - I'm seeing a pattern here too.

In one of Oprah's last shows, she reminded everyone of some of her greatest lessons she's learned over the years.  Her lesson was "When you know better, you do better."    In church, the pastor was talking about the essence of faith... and the music was about living without fear.

As all these messages were swirling around in my mind, I started to realize the trap I'd fallen into without even knowing I'd tripped.

I'd been living according to everyone else's - the world's - rules.  I'd gotten away from taking time to breathe and making good choices in favor of chasing storms.  The result of all these circumstances was that my stress level was increasing exponentially... as was my temper.

I knew something was wrong, off - but I couldn't seem to stop long enough to put it all together.  Instead, I just kept getting angrier.  More frustrated.  Stressed - seriously.

Wow, just like that - off track. 

The good news?  It's just as easy to get BACK on TRACK as it is to get off it.  When I realized all this (when I knew better), I changed (I did better). 


I stretched today.  I took timeout to go to church.  I ate a nice brunch.  I went to the grocery store and bought a boatload of REAL food.  Then I had tea with my love and one of my best friends and her 4 year old daughter.  Where we were drinking our tea was a giant fish tank and I got to take time-out and view those fish through the wonderous eyes of a child who was so excited to see them. 

Breathe in, breathe out. 

Better?  Yep.
On track again?  Yep.
Still stressed?  Nope, not really.

The thing is that I am so unbelievably blessed:  I am loved - by my wonderful partner, Kristin - by my family, by my friends and even by my co-workers (well,  most of them!).  I have a job I absolutely love because I get to work with people and a company whose sole mission is to help some of the most vulnerable people in our country get healthcare and behavioral services they need.  We have a fantastic home that's affordable, beautiful and filled with memories and love.  And I could go on and on...

I'm fulfilling the thing(s) I was created to do and I'm in love and loved.  Truth is that I've never been happier or healthier.

Right now, in this moment, I'm not stressed.  I fundamentally believe God is in control, that He loves me and that as long as I keep my eyes where they need to be, He takes care of the details.  Thanks for that, Lord.


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