As the bowl of chocolate chips might reveal, I am stressed. There are many great coping mechanisms for this-- cleaning the house, doing yard work, playing with the dogs..and then the cats....and I have tried all of those things today, but still, I broke into the chocolate to soothe my soul while grading essays. And it worked for a few minutes until I realized the bowl was empty and my stomach started churning a bit-- I'll be detoxing with water the rest of the evening!
But while I was nibbling on that sweet, smooth, bliss, I took a break from faulty documentation and comma splices and scrolled on Facebook -- There I saw that two individuals on my friends' list had recently lost their battles with cancer. I did not really know either of these two personally, but I had engaged here and there with each of them. One of them had been suffering silently for some time, and the other just recently learned of his condition -- he had posted about his determination to fight, yet he died within 30 days of his diagnosis.
I wish I had known both of these two beautiful people better or had spoken to them more often and learned more of their life stories-- While I was simply an observer of their lives, I cannot help but feel a sense of loss-- Much like learning of a famous person's passing, it just feels sad.
And death is always a reminder of how finite time is for us all. That really is what much of the stress I feel is about - not having time to do what I feel I'd like to do-- or even what I need to do-- instead, always spending time on things I have to do-the laundry, the dishes, the yard. I think of Tom Petty, Prince, Taylor Hawkins, and so many more who have left earth much too soon, and I wonder what else they would have done had they had more time.
So I once again tell myself that nothing I am dealing with is that bad. And while I know it's okay to feel stress even for smaller, somewhat pointless things, I am again reminded that all is mostly well and that the things that are not well are in my control to make well. So, my point:
We can control how we spend our time and more importantly, our attitude toward those things that take up our time.
I also have a dear friend still battling cancer-- she inspires me -- she helps me see that perspective is the key to happiness and, yes, to defeating stress. Every day is truly a gift.
As I write this, I wish I hadn't eaten all of that chocolate -- yes, I feel a little ill from it -- but I'm glad I took the time to reflect on why I felt I needed it. Taking time, owning time, conquering time, giving time....all necessary for happiness and success.
When I was a kid, one of the first songs I remember loving was "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce. I had an older cousin who had a husband who played this on an acoustic guitar under a tree at a picnic in Salt Lake City, Utah. I remember feeling utterly mesmerized -- I think I've been chasing time ever since!
As is my new tradition, I'm ending this today with a thoughtful quote, this time from the song, "Time in a Bottle":
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day 'til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
I hope you'll subscribe to follow this journey! I'll be posting at least weekly on Tuesdays, maybe more often. And here's my Linktree so you can find and follow other things I am doing.