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It's Always Something
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Photo: MorgueFile
One thing that’s plagued me for years is the confusion over what I want written on my tombstone; something more profound than “See, I told you I was sick.” I mean, how do I neatly wrap up in simple words the hectic chaos that passes for my life? Besides being meaningful and insightful, my epitaph needs to offer some kind of explanation for what I’ve gone through.

Then one day it hit me. The prevailing theme of my life can be summed up in three words: It’s Always Something.

Let’s face it; it is always something. If it’s not deadlines, it’s the weather. If it’s not the weather it’s illness. If it’s not illness, it’s unexpected travel, school programs, or soccer games. Yes, it’s always something. Which, incidentally, is what makes life so stressful.

I used to believe it was possible to live without stress, but now I know better. Where there’s life, there’s stress. But it’s not the stress that’s the problem. It’s what you do with it. Shove it all down inside and wham! it will come back to haunt you when you least expect it—or when you can least afford it, which is why it’s important to deal with stress in appropriate ways now.

It's Soothing

May I suggest knitting, quilting, embroidery, bobbin lacemaking, crocheting, or spinning? For my men readers, you might want something a little more masculine such as carving, whittling, basket weaving, or building something really small. All of these hand works accomplish the same two vital things, First, they force us to slow down and be still. You can’t knit while you’re jogging, surfing the Internet, paying bills, or changing the oil in the car. You must cease all other activity, take a deep breath, and relax into the delicious monotony. This may sound boring, but trust me, it’s not. At the start, it’s soothing. As time passes, it becomes downright meditative.

Second, these occupations help us to realize that not everything needs to be done yesterday. Rome wasn’t knit in a day. Same with a lovely cross-stitch sweater. Patience and persistence rule. Neither is much of a friend to stress.

The world is advancing at a frightening pace, but we don’t have to rush along with it. We have every right to stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy today—this day, this moment. We can move at a slower pace, like when our forbearers carved their existence from the land over a generation rather than a nanosecond. They actually stopped and smelled the roses they’d taken time to plant because, when all was said and done, they knew that now was the only time they had.

If we don’t take time to enjoy life right now and deal with our stresses seriously, life will pass us by. Then someone might write on our tombstones: “His years were short because it was always something.”

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By Céleste Perrino-Walker. Reprinted with persmission from Vibrant Life, July/August 2006. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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