Letting Go of Stress and Anxiety

I don’t  know if it’s come across in my posts, or lack of posts but it’s been a rough few months for me. I have felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and anxiety has seeped in to overwhelm me as of late.

stressed

It all began with my son. His job has not been something he can rely on, and no new jobs have come his  way. He works a month then gets laid off.  He finally got hired back for two months and then last week was laid off again this time his employer tells him it could be several months before they can call him back.  Once a mother, always a mother and I feel the need to be there for him and make sure he can keep a roof over his and his children’s heads.

Then there is the national politics. When I hear the Republicans saying they are going to de-fund Planned parenthood and the EPA I worry for all of us.  I began picturing cities like Pittsburgh and Buffalo before the EPA regulations cleaned up the air and water. If you didn’t have the opportunity to visit Buffalo, NY in those years let me tell you the pollution from the factories was so bad it blocked out the sun. I remember the medical waste that was poured into Lake Erie before it was illegal and finding needles in fish and on the shores.

I thought I had that under control by reminding myself that the factories that polluted the cities are long gone and the few that remain wouldn’t consider removing the filters just because they could. But it turns out the tension was still there.

Don’t get me started on the name calling and insults this election year has brought. It’s brought out a side of people that is ugly and I would like to wish didn’t exist in the world.  Where were my rose colored glasses when I needed them?

Voting in London Pub. Are we enough of a joke now?
Voting in London Pub. Are we enough of a joke now?

I guess it’s easier to take the subject lighter when you have a bit of distance from the circus.

I saw the flooding in the south and my heart broke for those families who are losing their homes and possibly their way of life yet again but I also got angry at the thought of all the time and money that went into rebuilding a city that was sinking. As the story broke that the levee in New Orleans was close to breaching (and it didn’t take a hurricane this time, luckily it held) I questioned the money spent to protect the city instead of improving other infrastructure across the country.

Here in Pittsburgh we have crumbling bridges. This one is so unsafe a bridge was built under the existing bridge to protect drivers below from falling debris. Yes, that’s real safe. In all fairness the particular bridge pictured below was finally torn down a couple of months ago but it goes to show the failing infrastructure we face.

falling debris

As my mood deteriorated I began to focus not so much on the current state of those families situation but what the bigger picture was for all of us as climate changes intensifies and our elected officials ignore the problems we face to call each other names.

All this stress I’d put on myself was taking a toll. My shoulders were so tight they felt they could snap at any moment. I began to wake with headaches, something I rarely ever experience.  When you allow so much negativity to seep into your thoughts can you be surprised to find your health suffers?

Then it hit me, I was focusing on all the negatives! What we focus on we create just as like attracts like.  It was time to change the message and refocus my attention.

I stopped listening to the debates, I’d heard enough. I knew what each candidate stood for so why was I beating myself up watching this bad reality programming?

I also took a deep breath and reminded myself that no matter what I want to happen, my actions won’t change the political rhetoric any more than I can make a better job fall into my son’s  lap.

I stepped back. Life will happen no matter what I do. I am not responsible for anyone else, what they say, do, or feel. It was time to look for the positive signs showing up around me and focus on those.

And there are those things that hit close to home.

  • my family is healthy,
  • the neighbor boys are excited about spring and excited to be back to help me on the gardens.
  • A highlight when the grandchildren visit has become browsing the seed catalogs because they enjoy growing their own food.

When I focus on the positive trends I see the headaches disappear and I am in a better frame of mind to make a difference in the lives I touch.

 

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65 thoughts on “Letting Go of Stress and Anxiety

  1. Yes, you are onto it – focus on the good stuff – and there is lots of it if you look for it, or choose the right sites to feed it to you. I get all excited about the good environmental changes that I can see happening (not fast enough, but still happening) and I’m involved with several groups of like minded people, so that I feel like other people really care. The beauty of nature is uplifting too, if you can get out into it.

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    1. Anne, my problem has been that the negative news is what is in front of our faces and it takes searching to find the positive stories and changes that help me to stay positive. I try hard to keep on the right path of the news and issues going on without feeling as if I am burying my head in the sand in denial- which is why I listen to both sides just to know what’s going on- unfortunately that’s also why I became overwhelmed recently. I so wish I could find groups to join near me, like you have found, because then I’d have people around who would catch me and knock some sense into me when I need it. 🙂

      Nature is always uplifting to me. I’m currently outside every day just watching for new buds to start popping up.

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  2. I so totally understand what you are going through. It’s been a tough few years for me – my mother’s death, losing so many cats, now I’m in a pretty big financial hole because I’ve done nothing but deal with the crisis du jour for the past 3 years – and my brother is being a complete passive aggressive jerk about numerous things related to the estate. And don’t even get me started on politics, or climate change, or all of the many other things that seem so wrong right now.

    But here’s the thing. We are limited creatures – we have limited powers and limited vision. I mean, so often over the past few years I have struggled with feeling like everything is spiraling out of control, and I just want to hang on tighter… to make everything be the way it “should” be. It’s like I think that I want to be able to control everything – but when I really think about it… can you imagine how horrible it would be if you really COULD control everything? I mean, if you really could control everything, then you’d be responsible for everything. You’d have to decide who lived and who died, and all sorts of other terrible things.

    I dunno… I’m not expressing this well, and I know that some folks might see my beliefs as a bit “out there” but I think that karma is a complicated thing, and what seems bad or difficult now, might actually turn out to be a good thing in the long run – and vice versa. As I mentioned in my last post, I was a big fan of the TV show “Northern Exposure.” There was an episode where young Ed (the film maker) is having a bit of an existential crisis, and Marilyn tells him this story (which is actually based on an old Buddhist proverb). I keep a framed copy of this story on the wall next to my desk, because it helps me to remember… Here it is:

    My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion. Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse. “Maybe,” he said. One day the stallion ran off. The people said the warrior was unlucky. “Maybe,” he said. Next day, the stallion returned, leading a string of fine ponies. The people said it was very lucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. Later, the warrior’s son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg. The people said it was unlucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed. But, because of his broken leg, the warrior’s son was left behind, and so was spared.

    Big hugs, my friend.

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    1. “We are limited creatures – we have limited powers and limited vision”. Great reminder. I tend to forget the limited vision part when I’m lamenting the powerless feeling. Thanks for the reminder.

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    2. Next to you my problems are minor, Cat. What’s wrong with your brother! I can’t talk there my brother is holding up his father’s estate as well. It’s been almost three years and still he’s fighting it because he wants a bigger share. I’m so glad I don’t have to be involved in it there is no amount of money that would entice me to deal with the drama.

      I do much the same as you do. I get so caught up in how things should be that I cling when there is hope but you are right, I don’t want to have the weight of all the decisions on me. I had forgotten all about that episode but I do understand and I agree we are at the mercy of our own Karma.

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      1. Well, I wouldn’t exactly classify the stuff you’re dealing with as minor. You’ve been through so much upheaval recently what with moving, and all of the house stuff, and being without your chair for so long, and now your son’s work situation. Besides, I don’t really think there is an objective scale for stress – whatever you’re feeling is how much you’ve got.

        And in terms of my mother’s estate – oh, how I wish it was just about money. Because if it was, then it would all be so simple – I’d just tell him to keep it all and be done with it. But unfortunately, it’s all much crazier than that. He basically just wants complete control over everything… but in a very hurtful way – refusing to let her best friend have a small trinket as a memento, throwing out all of her hand crafts rather than let me give them to her friends at the funeral, refusing to turn over letters that she wrote to me but never mailed. It’s now gotten to the point where he’s withholding information that I need in order to file my taxes, so I’m just not sure what to do. I just want it to be over, but it’s been 2 and a half years, and I’m starting to think that it will just never be settled. CatMan and I actually just talked about it and we’re starting to think that my brother is having some serious mental health problems, and might do something really crazy if I try to push him too far. Sorry to rant… I’m sure you know all too well about the joys of family dysfunction – and I think mine pales in comparison to yours.

        Maybe I should go read some depressing climate change data – in a crazy way, the end of the world almost seems like a pleasant distraction! Just kidding. Anyhow, I hope that things are looking up for you and that you’re able to maintain your positive attitude. You are a true inspiration.

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        1. EcoCatLady
          it is really tough, when you are dealing with a siblings re parents estate, and it involves keepsakes and items which have meaning. I speak personally about this…Really tough. For myself, I have to sadly say, the only result (nearly thirty yrs ago) I could arrive at, was to “walk away”. I felt very sad about it, for a long time, but when you try every thing possible, you can not let yourself sink. You may have hit the nail on the head re your brother possibly having some Mental Health problems, and seriously, you do not need to be in the path of their eruption.

          You wrote
          “he’s withholding information that I need in order to file my taxes, so I’m just not sure what to do”
          I am not sure,
          but it may work, if you just file your taxes, and put in a note with what you believe/understand the “numbers” to be, and a note explaining (to the tax man) the situation. If they want clarification , the tax man can audit him. (??)

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          1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so sorry that you had to walk away from such a bad situation with your parents estate – I’m sure I’m not the first person to have to deal with this stuff. Our situation is very complicated, mostly because my mother was very complicated. Long story – she and I were basically estranged, but for my brother, she was basically his only human connection – no friends, no relationships – just her.

            At first I thought he was just being spiteful, and I’m sure there is some of that, but more and more I’m starting think that he might be suffering from OCD or autism, or something. He’s always lived a very regimented life – I’m sure it’s his way of keeping all of his feelings at bay and dealing with the world, but he just doesn’t seem capable of handling either the loss or the decisions required to settle the estate. I am trying very hard to see that in a very real way my brother is dealing with an emotional handicap, so I can’t expect from him what I would with a “normal” person, but it’s hard because it brings up all of the old “why did she love him so much more than me?” stuff from my childhood.

            Anyhow, I’ve spoken to a few financial people about the taxes, and the general advice is to file with the info that I have, and then file an amended return later if need be. It’s not the way I’d like to handle it, but it is what it is. Sigh.

            Sorry again for the TMI post – it really does help to vent though…

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          2. After reading how your mother was so close to your brother, I wonder if she knew there was something off and it’s not so much a case of loving him more than you but her knowing he needed her more. You played softball, traveled and seem very independent from what you’ve shared about your life. But if he had no other relationships outside of your mother she may have felt you were okay on your own but she had to put all her energy to protecting and caring for him. Not that I’m saying how she treated you was right there is no excuse for what she did. Just a thought.

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          3. EcoCatLady

            not TMI at all, sometimes it is really helpful to discuss these things, and to discuss these things “somewhat anonymously”, get suggestions, get support…
            I have much appreciated the times I have said things on here, I have not told / bothered others with, either because they would not believe me, or wouldn’t care, or worse…blame me..sigh..

            re your brother’s “mental” space, I suspect all you say is correct, and I doubt there is anything you could do to change it (from my own experience).. I had one sibling, back all those yrs before I walked away, who would phone me up, ask for something ridiculous, and if I demurred, pointed it out, would scream at me various “things”. And I do mean scream. I hung up back then. in past say fifteen yrs, have gotten on to a sort of now and then coffee basis, and would you believe, she did it again? (she knew we were going through some tough times, and she wanted/insisted I drive eleven hours/spend a few hundred dollars for hotel (no I was not invited to stay), to attend a birthday party she was having for her husband)…I apologised that we wouldn’t be able to, and she did the screaming thing again,…I warned her I would hang up, and then did..So, in all those yrs, the value she places on herself, and the no value on others, has not changed. I doubt there is anything you could do to change how your brother thinks/acts. All you can do is value yourself.

            re the comment
            ““why did she love him so much more than me?” stuff “…sigh..well, I could say I wondered that same thing, with my parents and my older siblings..but…I really doubt it is love. No real idea, but I think it is guilt. Some how those ones either make the parent(s) feel guilty …Not because there is any reason to feel guilty, but maybe they have more needs or imagined needs, or are just champion bullies and bully the parents.. My parents certainly seem to have been conned this way.

            Once or twice I discussed this with friends, and one suggested that there always seemed to be one or two in a family of kids who “needed” more and sucked up more of the parent’s energy/money/attention.

            I don’t really buy that..
            I was sadly competent from about age ten, not because I was competent, or chose to be, but out of need.
            it was either learn certain things, or …(well, enough said).

            Good luck, and value your self ..

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          4. Anon, I’m so glad you have found a place you feel safe to vent your feelings when you need to. That means the world to me. As for parental guilt, that was very insightful.

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          5. Thanks both of you for your thoughts and encouragement. Anon.. I can’t believe your sister’s behavior! At least people in my family don’t scream… actually, maybe it would be better if they did – at least it would be closer to reality. But no, my brother learned from the queen of passive aggressive behavior herself, and his techniques are much more like my mother’s were – ie, toss a few hand grenades and then stand back acting hyper-adult saying things like “I don’t understand why YOU are so upset about this.”

            I know, on some level, that whatever the situation was with my mother and brother, that it wasn’t simply that she “loved him more than me” – but that’s how the little kid me felt. It’s all so complicated, you know – the interaction of so many generations of personal baggage. In a funny way all of this has been very validating for me.

            The narrative in our family was always that my brother was some sort of “perfect child.” He never cried or complained, never got into conflict with my mother, and he was like this boy-wonder academic genius… at least that was the story. Me, on the other hand, I was the “problem child” – the one who threw temper tantrums, and pushed my mother’s buttons – and while I did very well in school (high school valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, yadda, yadda, yadda) it was clear to everyone that academia just wasn’t “my thing” and I always had an inferiority complex about it.

            But this situation has really caused me to see things in a different light. It’s pretty clear to me now that my brother wasn’t some sort of natural born genius, he was just compulsive as hell, and willing to subjugate pretty much his entire existence in order to be the “perfect child” that my mother wanted. In reality, instead of the hyper-competent genius that he was always portrayed as, he is barely functional in the real world. Somehow, that’s comforting to me… not because I want him to have trouble functioning (OK, maybe some small, vindictive part of me does) but mostly because it means that I’m not really the lazy incompetent person that I was always told I was. And seeing the horrible toll that he paid for being that “perfect child” – well, it makes me feel like I really got the better end of the deal after all.

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          6. I can relate to that little child who wanted to be loved and wondered what was wrong that she wasn’t. On the other hand I can’t relate to the not good enough academically. I was the one who school came easy for. Part of that was because I was alone most of the time and used that time to learn. The story goes I was reading by age three having taught myself. When I entered first grade my teacher was lost because I knew everything and sent for the 8th grade books. My school work was to work at my own pace on the eighth grade curriculum. I also have a photographic memory which meant I never had to study. But because I excelled so in school there was huge pressure to be some super successful business person. The expectations were so high it was a pressure I couldn’t handle.

            Can I ask who is older, you or your brother? I was the oldest and had the add responsibility of carrying out that role while also being pushed aside as competent for the younger kids who came along.

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          7. EcoCatLady

            I surely believe you did get the better end of the deal..
            “and willing to subjugate pretty much his entire existence in order to be the “perfect child” that my mother wanted.”…pretty sad, too…if he really felt he had to do that to get her love/approval..
            At least you had a life..way to go.

            I suspect he is pretty miserable now, as well as scared and lost…because after all his only reason /push to be what /how he was/is is gone (your Mother). How on earth does he find meaning/measure in his life now? not so easy.

            That is not to suggest you should step in. And, maybe you should watch out for that. As he finally starts to truly accept that your Mother is gone, he may well look for someone to fill her place. Personally I think that would be like going down Alice’s Rabbit hole — with no way back. I suspect at some point he will try to latch on to you, and if he cannot not, he will find himself a spouse/companion to live with…?

            (no, screaming was not better….this was not a sort of we had a fight and screamed at each other..This was screaming that she could NOT believe I would not do just as she said / demanded, and that I should sit there at the other end of the phone and take her screaming at me…And I do mean screaming.. .. Each time we had been have fairly quiet calm conversations and she told me to do something, and I had said, (NICELY), sorry I couldn’t …And suddenly it would start. sigh…well, it is what it is..)

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        2. How funny that you should say that about how we perceive stress. I realized very young that people react differently to traumas. What might seem like no big deal to one person can be horribly traumatic to another. As for this past year, it’s way down low on the list of stressful years. There were some that were so bad I didn’t know how I’d ever get through them. You know that phrase taking life day by day, well mine was more second by second. Each breath was a second longer I made it.

          Seriously, when it comes to my oldest son there is a lot of guilt there on my part. He was the hard child to raise and looking back I wish I knew then what I know now because I could have gotten him help but we were drowning together.

          I know you had a hard time with your mother, I still can’t get over how quickly and with such ease she just stopped being there for you. It sounds to me like she might have left a huge hole in your brother’s life as well. It’s too bad he can’t see this as an opportunity to bond with you in her absence. I’ve seen the strangest things when it comes to losing a loved one, know that your brother isn’t the worst. My sister did many of the same things your brother is doing when our mother died. She refused to give our grandmother back a ring bought for our mother then showed up wearing it yet she carried boxes and boxes to the parking lot of the complex where my mother lived to let the neighbors take what they wanted. For my sister it was a way of getting back at our mother. The day my sister turned 18 she went to her job (10 hrs a week at a department store) and came home to find all her belongings in the front yard and the locks changed on the doors. The police were called and told her a parent doesn’t have to let a child live at home once they are 18. So when our mother died she moved back in to the house and took over. She knew what she was doing because she told every one she hoped our mother could see that she got everything, including the house, and most was going to the trash. I doubt your brother is behaving as he is for the same reasons as we all react differently to death of our loved ones.

          I feel even worse for what you’ve been going through.All this time I thought you at least had your brother to talk to and still feel connected as family. I had no idea he was another stress in your life. I do hope he pulls it together and you can get it all worked out.

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          1. Wow… the stories you tell about your mother just blow my mind. How could a person be so cruel and vindictive? I guess it’s not really that hard to figure out why your sister turned out like she did.

            It’s funny you should mention that about my brother and his connection with me. CatMan has a theory that part of the reason he’s acting so crazy is because he’s trying to keep me “hooked in” – to maintain a connection with me even if it is an antagonistic one. It’s all very similar to the way my mother acted. It’s hard to describe, and I don’t entirely understand the whole dynamic, but for my mother, picking fights was just what she did with people she was close to. As crazy as it sounds, it was almost like it was her way of expressing intimacy. She’d say something really hurtful and cruel with a big smile on her face – like that I was ugly, or stupid or something – and then she’d laugh and say “but I love you.” It was all very crazy-making for me. So I’m not entirely sure that it’s accurate to say that she “stopped being there for me.” The reality is, I decided that I wasn’t willing to be treated that way anymore. And when it became clear that no amount of confronting her, or telling her how it made me feel, or anything else I did, was gonna get her to change – or to even acknowledge any of it, I pretty much cut her out of my life.

            So I think on some level my brother does want to have a “close” relationship with me – but for him “closeness” is just as crazy and messed up as it was for my mother, and I’m simply not willing to play that game anymore. It’s funny, for years I felt this horrible guilt about my brother in relationship to my mother… like I’d escaped from a burning building or something, and left him behind. But the truth is you couldn’t have pried him away from her with a crow bar! I think he was very adapted to her special brand of craziness, and really didn’t want out, because he somehow thinks that it was normal. So at least perhaps I can stop feeling guilty about not “saving him from her.”

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          2. I just heard a quote comparing needing a license for everything but parenting. It was different that most quotes that use the license analogy but was the best I’ve ever heard, unfortunately, it’s just at the edge of my brain and I can’t reach it to share. But it’s true, I had to have a license to cut hair and yet entrusted with a baby I was expected to know what to do in every situation for the next 18 years. I don’t think your mother or mine should have been left to parent on their own. You seem pretty rational and I like to think I’m rational so we arrived in our adult years with scabs but lucky not to have ended up worse. It doesn’t take much beyond looking at the population to see how we ended up with so many dysfunctional people in our society.

            I blamed myself for escaping and leaving my siblings behind for a long time. When I left I was 14. Yes I was emancipated at that time but how could I have raised five more children at my age. My siblings weren’t being abused like I had been so I hoped they would be okay. I later learned it wasn’t all rosy for them which led to my guilt. My siblings saw this and played on my guilt to take advantage for a long time, and I let them. Finally my one brother came to me and insisted I owed him because my life had been so easy. Ya, sure being emancipated and having to pay rent etc at 14 is easy. Anyway, long story short it was his rant that I owed him that finally closed the door to my guilt. He had screwed up and lost his job, (that happens when you don’t show up for days and don’t bother to call) and was at my door demanding I let him move in and I support him because I had it so easy. That day I decided that my siblings were adults and adult are responsible for their own actions therefore I was off the hook. Basically, what I’m saying is that unless there is something wrong with your brother, such as diminished capacity, you owe him nothing, especially not beating yourself up with guilt. At any time he could have reached out and asked for help or left your mothers influence. I know it’s a harsh opinion to have but after letting our loved ones know we are there if they need us the ball is in their court and there is nothing we can do unless they take that next step to talk to us.

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          3. I remembered where I head the parenting quote. It came from a Chuck Palahniuk book in one of his characters is telling another he can’t built his stone house on land his owns free and clear without a permit. The guy building his stone cottage replies, “You don’t need a permit to have a baby so why do you need a permit to buy a house. A house could collapse on you but at least it would be harming the person who created it not an innocent by stander.

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  3. I so agree with all you said….

    and yes, focus on the positive, or focus on what you feel you must do/think about personally that is truly most important.

    I have had rather a “lot” to be concerned about in past fifteen years. Many times it overwhelmed me, and I felt very lost. What I started some long time ago (not that I always succeed, but mostly…..)..
    I try to get in my mind the first/second/third very critical things I choose to focus on/think of/devote my time and energy to. The rest I sort of slide into the back woodshed. (not that I have a woodshed). And, those things that go to the woodshed include some of the things you mention, but also…good housekeeping, doing favors for ungrateful relatives, worrying about things I have no influence over, etc..

    I try to capture and include and focus on many mundane (to most) things, but things which bring me wonder and a smile or giggle….The Bluejays, and many other birds. The rabbit who visits, etc. Simple but pleasing. And if something strikes me as silly/laughable etcc, I try very hard to have a good giggle (even when others think I must be daft).

    Two things I have found helps me hugely when I am overwhelmed and just out of steam..
    Both have always brought me immense joy, release, pleasure, and a huge feeling of accomplishment and a good place to go forward….Always.

    1) I will keep a sharp eye out in a retail place/public place for some one who is working there who has either been unjustly treated by other workers, or staff, or has been pleasant and nice to me..
    –then I will hunt down a manager, and give the employee a commendation for good work/customer relations, etc etc..
    and ask it be noted and put in file, etc..
    -I have had to wait over an hour sometimes, as I suppose the manager thinks it is a complaint and doesn’t want to cope..but I persevere…(grin). The shock on the manager’s face when they realise why, is great. And the feeling I have of knowing an employee who has been treated badly by other employees, or has been extra good at their job, is HUGELY rewarding…

    2)I will think back over my life and try to think of someone who has done me a good turn, especially maybe when it has been difficult for them. And, I will call/mail/email them and mention it, and apologize for not thanking them properly, and tell them how much I had appreciated their trouble/efforts/etc..
    Again, always hugely rewarding for me..

    This past Thanksgiving, had been extra tough with many things leading up,
    and I thought of someone who had done me a HUGE good turn, (about 26 years ago)
    at no doubt some effort and possibly aggravation to them. I had been so relieved to be “out of it” and to “leave it behind” , I do believe I had never actually thanked them. I called the person, and had to call back as he was away, but I did get a hold of him on Thanksgiving. He knew right off who I was, partly because I had called and his wife said to call back, and of course there is call display. I could tell he was a bit hesitant, and truly wondered just why I was calling. When I explained that in the spirit of Thanksgiving I had been thinking life over and realised I had never thanked him and was calling to say Thank you, it was truly heartwarming how pleased he was. Again, hugely rewarding for me.

    Both of these pretty much fill my head and being when I do them, and I can go about “coping” and do so with a smile.

    Just told you about these, in case they give you any ideas….
    One thing I like, they are money free, and only cost my effort and time.

    Hugs.

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    1. I bet your call was a shock to your friend. A couple of years ago I was contacted out of the blue by someone who made a huge difference in my life but I’d never had the chance to tell him before. Finally getting that opportunity brought me so much peace and it was nice to see how things turned out for him. I also love hearing your stories about waiting out managers just to complement their employees there isn’t enough nice gestures like that happening ass there should be.

      The world events gets me down, of course, but it’s family that will influence my moods the most. Seeing your adult child struggle is always hard for a mother but I tend to carry the weight harder than some because I spent years not having support when I needed it and don’t want to do that to my children. I just have to learn where to draw the line and let them worry for themselves.

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      1. Yes, it was a huge shock..(I have made a few calls like that), and a huge pleasure. For both of us. Very glad (for both of us) it has occurred to me to do this..

        And yes, our kids are forever a huge concern for a Mother (or Parent). I don’t have an answer for that, but you’re right, at some point we have to let them worry for themselves (at least we have to try to make THEM believe we are absolutely going to let them worry for them selves. We will probably still worry, sigh)

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        1. So true, I will always worry about my kids. The thing is that I didn’t think I had it in me to be a mother and never planned on having children so the worrying part, especially with them as adults, caught me by surprise. 🙂

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          1. amazing how we sometimes surprise ourselves (not had it in you???)….grin…Yes, I think your kids got lucky in the Mom department..grin..

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          2. And I think I got lucky to have the children I had. I’ve learned more from them than I probably taught them.

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  4. So sorry that you have been feeling down, Lois. We can all relate. But worry invites worry, and when you had the worry of your son, it wore you down so it was easy for other things to rush in.

    There is great advice from the others here as well as the focus on the positive that you’re doing that will hopefully turn things around. And when all else fails, I think the return of spring may just do the trick.

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    1. You are so right. Take my son’s problems out of the equation and I wouldn’t have been quite as bothered by the rest of it. The return of spring is definitely helping. Just being outdoors again without freezing my butt off is uplifting. 🙂

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  5. Sorry to hear your son is having troubles and you’ve been feeling “down” these days. Once a mama, always their mama … even when they’re all grown up!
    When I retired, I sharply limited access to the news and took up yoga and meditation, which elimated a lot of worrying about stuff I couldn’t do anything about anyway. I listened to the news once in the morning on NPR so I wasn’t clueless, then went about my day. This worked really well for me … until I moved to SC to be with someone who is a news junkie. He thoroughly reads the morning paper and then listens to the news throughout the day and it makes him grumpy and agitated and I get sucked in. So far the solution is, he listens through earbuds so I don’t have to hear it over and over, but he still can’t help talking about it throughout the day.
    I really liked what CatLady said, that while we have limited ability to affect things, we also have limited ability to see around corners and know how things will turn out. So why uselessly worry and fret in the meantime. Send positive energy out into the Universe by doing the little things we can do, as Anon said, and turn our minds to living the day we have to the fullest. I love the Ghandi quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

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    1. Cynthia, I feel for you with the Writer’s need to listen and discuss the news. Once my boys moved out I got rid of two things, the television and clocks. It was so nice not to see either of them and allowed me to learn to live based on my body’s needs. I still don’t have either but just having the internet in the house I got caught up in the Presidential race and almost wish I hadn’t. It’s the momma part that gets me. I think it’s time to relearn the boundaries. 🙂

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  6. I agree with you and all your wonderful commenters. I limit my access to the news and tv generally. Weather is even a surprise to me now a days. Works for me. I try to balance busyness with total down time and quiet. Works for me. I keep working to simplify my personal space and downsize. That works for me. And I try to keep my disappointment and frustration in check regarding the current politic fiasco. I am an independent so I am distressed that one party of our political system seems to be self distructing limiting my choices to one candidate come Election Day. Grrrr! Guess I am still working on that. 😀

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    1. The weather is one area I still check but it’s for practical reasons. I can’t be out in rain with my chair as the water can damage the electronics so I watch to see what day is best to run errands around town and things like that. Right now I’m looking for a day without rain so I can start painting the deck so knowing if rain is on the way is kind of necessary. 🙂 If I have no plans needing to take me away from the house then the weather can do what it wants and surprise me.

      The political mess is just that a big heaping mess. I’m trying to turn the entire fiasco around in my head and see it as a national outpouring of dissatisfaction, which many of us probably share and hope things will die down soon. I heard one pundit saying that many of the votes are message votes and while I don’t completely agree with that, I mean if you take the time to vote you probably want that person to win, but I do see the message in the way people are voting. We all express our feelings differently. I turn inward, some protest, and some get ugly. We are seeing a bit of everything and should expect to with the number of people out of work or under employed, schools on the brink of closing (our district is out of money and may have to close for one). Once the election is over I expect people will be tired and mostly go back to their lives, the primaries is just the stimulus that gave them an outlet for their frustration. See I’m trying to stay positive. 😉

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  7. Oh Lois, I’m so sorry you are taking all this on your shoulders. I do understand.. I learned something about 10 years ago just before turning my life upside down. It’s not my job! Yes, I care about everyone in the world and do what I can where I can but no longer at the expense of my well being. It doesn’t help. Good to see you are finally letting go of the weight of the world. I agree we are all connected and we should do no harm. But I just need to manage my thoughts and make sure they are loving thoughts. it’s the best I can do for this world. Being kind and you definitely are. Hope you continue to let go of the stress. Giant hugs.

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    1. I am way too sensitive on many issues when they fall close to home, that’s something I really need to solve once and for all. Just as I walked away from toxic friendships and felt the weight lift I know by setting limits now will help me to feel better. Already I’ve woken three straight days without a headache. Now if the darn stray cats would stop whining outside my bedroom window at night. If it’s not one thing it’s always another. 🙂

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        1. Oh I know! 😦 I’ve already spotted one mama kitty with her babies walking past my house, soon there should be another litter as that female has been quiet for a couple of nights now. I’m really torn over the situation. There started out being two strays and one cat the owners let wander. Now we’ve got one litter and probably a second coming and I wonder who is going to take care of all these cats. I looked into buying a trap but we don’t have any good agencies that would take the cats if I caught them. I think about the kittens and hate to think of them becoming feral but what do you do? On the other hand when I find my deck has been used for a litter box I lose all compassion for a few moments. The funny thing is this is the first time I’ve ever lived with a stray cat problem so it’s all new to me.

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          1. well, from another aspect, I would think all those cats (hungry cats) would keep the varmit/rodent population to a minimum…..?

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          2. Lois,

            maybe that is WHY you / the neighbourhood does NOT have a rodent problem?

            after all, the cats are living off something…

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  8. So many good responses to your post, Lois. I can relate to what you’re feeling. Thank you for coming by my site and sharing your thoughts. It seems a lot of us have been feeling the pressure of negative energies here lately. I have to agree with what’s been said to refocus and do what we can in making the world around us a better and happy place. Works as therapy for us, as well, knowing that things are always in transition and how they look today can be totally different tomorrow.

    I do think, though, that what the U.S. is going through is no accident from a spiritual perspective. Just like our planet that has been used and depleted and is crying out for care in what we’re experiencing in climate changes, I think our country is tired and depleted, too, and needs a little TLC. She needs to be thanked for all that’s she’s given and she needs to be appreciated for the opportunities she has provided. We need to support her and tell her we love her whenever we can from where ever we’re at and to nurture her and give her hope and encouragement.

    We can do that in how we go about our business every day and praying or meditating for her and sending her positive energy. We can help her just like you did and turn our feelings of despair around to gratefulness and a positive attitude in how we do our housework, commute on the highways to work or how we treat others.

    I think we’re at a crossroads in the U.S. and it’s a call to action on how we will respond. Will it be to destroy or build up — either way, the rest of the world is watching, it’s looking to us to lead the way on how we manage and change this. What’s going on is a mirror of what’s in our hearts (globally) and, if we trust and pay attention to Divine internal guidance, that’s always been there all along, it can be the most pivotal time of human existence. We’ve been given a gift of opportunity and it remains to be seen what we will do with it.

    I choose to think we’ll turn it around and that all is well. Just as Dr. Wayne Dyer has always said, “If you have a choice to be right or kind, always be kind.” I enjoy meeting you here and truly happy you came by to sit at my kitchen table. God bless — 🙂

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    1. Hi Pat. Now that’s a positive spin on the state of our country. Actually, I pretty much came to a similar conclusion last night. Looking around at the state of the economy, struggling families all over the country and so on the primaries gave everyone an opportunity to vent and vent they are. We faced an ugly election back in 2000 when for days we didn’t know who our President would be and people then took to the streets and raged at the perceived, and real, injustices they felt but time healed those wounds and life went on as before. I think much of the same will happen again this time around. I do hope you are right and the outcome will be the right one to help us move forward. Thank you for your input, Pat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true, Lois. We keep getting these wake-up calls but keep going down the same old road and making the same mistakes. We’ve lost ourselves and forgotten our Divine calling when this country was born and struggled through it’s growing pains. We think we’re all grown up but there’s things along the road we haven’t truly addressed and that’s what’s raising it’s ugly head. I’m praying we’ll begin to listen to our hearts again and get back on track and stop going down the same old road like Portia Nelson did in her short “Autobiography.in Five Chapters”.

        (I)
        I walk down the street.
        There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
        I fall in.
        I am lost…
        I am hopeless.
        It isn’t my fault.
        It takes forever to find a way out.

        (II)
        I walk down the same street.
        There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
        I pretend I don’t see it.
        I fall in again.
        I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
        But it isn’t my fault.
        It still takes a long time to get out.

        (III)
        I walk down the same street.
        There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
        I see it is there.
        I still fall in…it’s a habit
        My eyes are open; I know where I am;
        It is my fault.
        I get out immediately.

        (IV)
        I walk down the same street.
        There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
        I walk around it.

        (V)
        I walk down another street.

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        1. I’m going to save this, Pat. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. We forget just how young our country is and what an experiment our constitution and the lofty goals set out for us by our founding fathers. Did you know our constitution was based on the Iroquois tribe’s constitution? Ben Franklin was heavily influenced by their constitution and wanted to incorporate much into ours. At a time when most saw Native American Indians as heathens and less than human we formed an ideological premise of a free country from them.

          I see so many things that played a part in the problems we are facing today. The militarization of our police led to abuses of power and distrust of police. Take away the armored vehicles and assault rifles and that feeling of power recedes and allows us to have a dialogue with the police again as just one example. I don’t believe we are too far gone, we just need calm heads and a willingness to look at each other as equals and we will be okay.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lois, love it. I so often learn something new here…
            “Did you know our constitution was based on the Iroquois tribe’s constitution? ”

            I did not know this..
            it does not surprise me though…they lived and cared for the land first. So, of course they had a system going on..

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          2. The Iroquois tribe was very progressive at the time by being very democratic in the governing of the tribes. Of course I loved the fact that the chiefs never made a decision without discussing it first with the women elders because they respected their opinions. 🙂 Many of our symbolism also came from the Iroquois Indians. I’ll have to do a post on the subject soon.

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          3. I’m glad you liked it, Lois. Portia had a pretty good way on how to sum up your life and live by it.

            I didn’t know that about our constitution and what it was based on. That’s interesting. I can see a lot of what you’re saying and agree with you to have calm heads and a willingness. There are so many things that factor in to how we’ve gotten to where we’re at. It’s complicated and hard to know where to start.

            I’m like you and believe that there’s always hope. Can’t help but believe we’ll find a way to get back on track with God’s grace and Divine guidance. Take care, my friend. 🙂

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          4. I am definitely going to have to write a post on the Iroquois constitution and how it influenced the writing of ours. It’s really a very interesting story but one not many are taught.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Great post, Lois, and very informative. I didn’t know any of that and got educated. Thank you for your research and for sharing. I shared it on my social media (FB, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn). It’s out there and hopefully there will be more that will read it. 🙂

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  9. I needed to read your post on letting go, and all the comments. Recently had a 3-week bout of shingles on face & in my eye!! Immediately followed by high blood pressure problems that caused (temporary) loss of sensation on entire left side & hospital stay. The diagnosis and then follow-up doctor visit was brutally clear for my outcome if I don’t change some things. At every step over the past month, all instructions from medical care are ‘decrease your stress’. It is stressful trying to self-analyze what/where/when is stress source! The ophthalmologist said to take 30 minutes each day, and meditate on the facts that ‘the sky is blue, and the grass is green’. Her message was simply ‘do what I can, where I can, when I can’. I’m working on parameters. Thanks for posting truth!!

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    1. Jan I’m really worried about you. I know how much you have taken on, I hope you remember to take care of yourself first. The good news is that your body is very resilient and that will help you to recover. I’ll be thinking about you, hope you’ll keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

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  10. I know how hard it is to switch off Lois to all the things around us.. And at times the way of the world gets overwhelming as we get so bombarded from every angle with negatives from the politics to the state of the economy .. The energies surrounding us both recently has taken its toll.. And when we are sensitive to others and we care about our families and communities it is only natural that our hearts reach out for them..
    Learning to detach is hard and although I try and often fail.. I have come to understand I can do no good adding my worrying or negative responses to the worlds problems.. In fact when we focus upon them as you rightly say we only add to the vibration..
    So like you learning to switch off and focus upon what we are grateful for is what I too have learnt to do.. I do that by switching off the media and yes this time even my blog.. Learning how to cope and distress from the mayhem and crazy world of those whose Ego knows no bounds who put themselves forward as potential leaders horrifies me as to the future they are creating .. It beggars belief how these individuals get voted in to such responsible positions when there own views are so irresponsible and prejudice .. It is something that in the late ’30’s and early 40’s people following such leaders did not foresee the terror soon to unfold..So much reminds me of these historic times and the present leadership battles now within the USA..
    Europe is in overload and such hostilities are only going to cause yet more divisions and mistrust.. Those who are victims will only be pushed so far.. And already upon my return to the virtual world I see back lashes of discontent and violence over spilling these rallies in the USA..
    We live on the edge of a powder keg of emotional turmoil.. Something I know your Author Son is well aware in his fictional writings..

    Sending you Love and warm hugs Lois
    Sue

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    1. Sue, I came to the same conclusion. If I allowed myself to get caught up in the drama unfolding and let myself worry about the events I was just adding to the problem. It is hard to step back and take that necessary deep breath then move on and let the negativity wash away but it’s what I have to do. I’m noticing a lot of the people around me acting worn out and stressed to their limits, I can’t add to this vibe and must stay positive. I know when I am having a bad day and whether it’s a friendly smile or spending time with the children it changes my mood and then I can pass it on. So by the same token I can’t allow myself to be stressed and turn negative and pass that on feeding into the mood already out there.

      I read an editorial today that compared this year to 1968. The killing of Martin Luther King, Jr, shooting of Robert Kennedy, the horrible election year and the stress our country was under with Vietnam. It wasn’t meant as a negative editorial on today’s situation as much as a reminder that we eventually got through 1968 and we will get through this too. We keep repeating history, whether it’s 1968, or the 30s and 40s. We don’t entirely learn our lessons and end up making different yet similar mistakes again and again. After reading the editorial I came away feeling better about this year, hopeful even.

      I’m way behind on news from your neck of the woods, the news here seems to have overshadowed everything else. I do hope things are well for you, Sue. Take care friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The news is all about our vote in June to either Stay or Exit the EU.. so we are saturated with the yes’s and No’s.. and have just under a 100 days left of political arguments .. Sigh!.. and yes thank you I am fine and trying to keep positive on many things in my world right now 🙂

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        1. This is probably going to sound silly to you but from my vantage point here in the US it seems to us that the UK, specifically England, started the EU so hearing they are discussing leaving it seems out of character. I have been watching the developments and struggles of the EU specifically the currency and how the different economies have fared under the system as there continue to be talks of a similar North American Union. While the US and Canada would most likely do well under a unified system the economy of Mexico is so different that I don’t see it working well here.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. No we didn’t start it It was a collective as far as I recall of the European ‘Common Market’ countries which were then mainly France and Germany etc many have since become part of the EU since we had a referendum in which we voted to stay in the EEC which was then The European Economic Community In the 1970’swhich we were sold as being a “Common Market” where by it would be fairer trade ..
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum,_1975

            Also we were promised to have the holidays the Europeans had and alot more promises that never materialised as far as I was concerned.. We then also went Metric with our Money going from Pounds Shillings and Pence to Decimal coins.. So we went from 240 pennies in the £ to 100 pence in the £.. The biggest rip off ever.. as everything got rounded up to pay at the counter..
            It wasn’t long before the EEC were giving farmers great subsidies to tare out their apple orchards and leave brown fields.. ploughed but no crops.. Our old English apples all but disappeared in favour of the French apples which swamped our market.. Oh so many things so wrong..
            I will be voting to come out of it.. For we are paying Billions to be members while they dish out handouts which business thinks are wonderful.. The whole of the UK in my own opinion would be much better off as we pay 20% on top of every thing we buy which is Valued Added Tax which goes to the EU.. https://fullfact.org/economy/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/
            No the system is far too big with many fat cats licking the cream off the top..
            Greece and Spain are in trouble so is Southern Ireland.. Brussels are dictating to governments with people in business who have never been elected into their roles.. So its a very much discussed subject at the moment Lois.. And you are right about it not working for your part of the world.

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          2. I knew Greece, Spain and Ireland were in trouble but reading through the full fact article I can’t believe anyone joined in the first place or that my government would want to form a union similarly. I only know what I’ve read but my feeling is leaving the EU would be in every country’s best interests. Of course I don’t see why a country would sign the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) but the US has and so have a few other countries. In the TPP businesses become more powerful than individual countries. Why in the world would a government agree to be subservient to a foreign corporation? We sure live in strange times. I hope the outcome of your vote is what you hope to see happen. And thank you so much for looking up these articles to help me understand this issue better.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. No problem Lois.. Yes we have just had a high profile Minister resign here who heads the Dept of Works and Pensions which also oversees Benefits for the disabled.. In last weeks Budget cuts were supposedly to be imposed upon the disabled.. He resigned over the unfair treatment of these cuts which would make many a lot worse off.. The Government has now rethought its strategy and is now no longer going to impose these cuts.. But this minister is backing the Out of EU campaign and has publicly said the savings we would make by leaving would be huge..
            I don’t keep up to date with all, but my hubby does lol 🙂

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          4. Why is it they always want to take monies from the programs that help those who need the help the most? They try that here all the time. The programs for the disabled here have seen their funds cut drastically. There is one program that was just cut that while I’m not adversely affected many are. The program reimbursed the disabled person who pays individuals to take them places. The goal of the program was to keep the disabled persons active in the community and not closed up in their homes. Me, I have enough money to pay for rides if and when I need them and of course I have family who will gladly give me a ride without expecting payment but there are too many who don’t have that to fall back on and have such limited resources they can’t afford to pay for rides.

            Just looking at the links you shared with me I can see the countries would save a lot of money by leaving. I do hope things turn out for all.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. So do I Lois so do I.. similar expense cuts are what was talked about.. But they have now withdrawn this cut due to the bad press and the resignation of the Minister who headed DWP. .

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