Stress – Will Your Reaction Make it Better or Worse?

Today was one of those travel days that we dred…nothing was on time, or went smoothly, or went the way it was planned. I sat in traffic for three hours trying to get to the airport. Thankfully my plane was delayed….how many times do you hear people say that? I was grateful, it meant I was able to make my original flight. When I got to my destination, they had no rental cars. The rest of the trip went quickly and I am in my hotel room safe and warm. So in the end after all the turmoil, stress and strife, I arrived and my week will continue as planned. 

Sometimes it is our lack of control that is more frustrating than the actual situation. When you are stuck in traffic, you know there is nothing you can do. You can scream and yell at the other stupid drivers, but that won’t change anything. You can try to find another route, but sometimes no matter how you twist and turn there is no way of avoiding congestion. You can get frustrated with the airport security and boarding procedures, but in the end you have to follow them to get to your gate. You plan and prepare and follow your selected course only to end up at the mercy of a system that doesn’t always work. 

My pondering point as I am warm and ready for bed, did all my stress and strife make today go any differently? Not really. It didn’t really matter how I reacted, the mess is what it is…and nothing I said or did made one bit of difference. In my own self help chronicles I made a mental note to let it all go. My stress made no difference to anyone but myself, so why stress out? It is a natural reaction, yet a controllable reaction. So next time I am going to focus on soemthing else and let the situation pass. 

How do you handle stress? How do you handle things when you are not in control? Do those around you suffer or are you the one suffering? We all have stress in our lives – good and bad. The goal is not getting rid of stress, it will never all go away. The goal is to control how you react to the stress. You can only control two things – your attitude and your actions. So next time life gets things wrong try thinking before you react….think about whether or not your stress will make things better or worse, and for whom will they make things better? Probably not you, so let it go. 

A Silver Dollar Pancake Morning

When I was a kid it was a real treat when my Dad made breakfast. He would always make silver dollar pancakes. They were the same recipe as regular pancakes, but they were the size of silver dollars, or a little bigger. We had so much fun eating a dozen pancakes. We felt like giants and grown ups eating so much. I remember anxiously waiting as each batch came out of the skillet, then fighting with my older brothers to see who got them first. It wasn’t until I was much older making my own pancakes that I realized why Dad always made silver dollars pancakes…they were the perfect size to flip without making a mess. That size guaranteed they would cook perfectly every time, and he could amaze and astounded us with his ability flip them in the air and onto our plate. 

This morning my husband made gluten free pancakes. As we are both working to stay gluten free, pancakes are a luxury we both love and yet regularly avoid. Here you can see the first batch, silver dollarish sized of course. Once I added the syrup and took my first bite, I was seven years old again in my pajamas cramming as many pancakes in my mouth as I could digest. They were yummy, amazing, and a treat we both devoured. He used Pillsbury brand pancake mix and it was fabulous. Now we have the perfect alternative when we crave pancakes on a weekend morning. 

What memory do you have about being a kid when it comes to breakfast? What about when you would wear your pajamas all morning and watch cartoons or play with toys, or eat pancakes? Life was simpler then. The biggest decision of the day was whether or not to put butter on the pancakes before or after the syrup. Not much of a decision, and yet at age seven it was a big deal. Make a point very soon to have a silver dollar pancake morning…and of course you must eat them while still wearing your pajamas. 

The Texture of Life…Nothing Lasts Forever

Life is full of texture…fluffy things, prickly things, smooth things and rough things. They all serve their purpose and make our days interesting. The fluffy days make the prickly days bearable. The rough days are bearable knowing that the smooth days will find us soon. If there is anything life teaches us is that nothing lasts forever. Things may last a long time or for a sudden burst, but nothing lasts forever. 

So what are you experiencing right now…fluffy, prickly, smooth, rough, or some combination of them all? Maybe you are leaving one and headed into another. Maybe you are heading into one and can see it coming your way. Or maybe you have had smooth sailing for a long period of time. Smooth doesn’t last forever, so get ready for something else. 

The texture of life is learning from each one – fluffy, prickly, smooth,rough – learning the lessons and then applying them to our future. There are winners and there are learners…you will be one or the other or both no matter the current texture of your days. So enjoy the days and learn the lesson, because nothing lasts forever.