Stressin’ out

It’s interesting to see how stress manifests itself in different people over different occasions, whether it’s a ball of tight nerves in the pit of the stomach or a throbbing ache behind the shoulder blade; a blinding headache or a fraying of sensibilities usually blamed on a lack of sleep.

It seems like we’ve gone through all of these over the past four days, including tonight. Kerrie’s aunt Dorothy passed away last weekend, and since Wednesday we’ve been trekking across South Dakota, piercing into Gillette, Wyoming, helping empty a house and filling hearts with stories of past times. We’ve celebrated a life and mourned a loss.

And now, with just twelve hours of turnaround, Kerrie is headed away on vacation, one last blitz for woman-kind with her mother and sister, a week-long stay in Kissimmee, Florida. I’ll be here alone. I’ll write more, I promise. I’ve got three days worth of notes and thoughts and other remembrances – both about the memorial service and the drive – and, of course, I’ve got the same old drivel I usually spout off. It’ll be back soon. Just as soon as all of this stress goes away.

People change drastically when put into uncomfortable situations. Whether it’s a protective instinct or a crossed wire in evolutionary development, stress is the downfall of most people, in some way, whether it’s from bad habits or poor coping mechanisms.

It seems like those who live the longest are those who live the most relaxed. Here’s to everyone, in honor of your “ways to relax.” And here’s to finding an end to stress in our lives, to taking things in stride, to realizing that life is life and no one can live it outside of his or her means.

To understanding that some things are out of our control. And others aren’t worth worrying about in the first place.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 18th, 2007