As freezing winds blow, winter may be the months to squirrel away carbs and lead a sedentary lifestyle, but it can also be a time of renewal and rebirth. Spending time by the fire can provide a relaxing time to feast on knowledge.
Spring, by its very nature, is a time for renewal when learning something new can be as uplifting as seeing a tiny seed spring into a beautiful flower.
I recently discovered a wellspring of wisdom contained in a magazine called the "Well Being Journal," available at the Natural Market in Groton. Each page contains a helpful revelation, which can be acted on immediately. Articles are well researched and informative. In a recent edition, there are mind-blowing articles entitled "Switch On Healthy Genes" and "Strengthening The Immune System: Keep Colds, Flu & Allergies At Bay."
As bodies and minds age, our lives need to slow down -- not doing less, just doing things better and more deliberately, choosing how we want to fill our time. Passions, energy and the joy of living can be strong at any age and with age, the rewards of wisdom and patience can become useful markers in daily life.
Stress kills and can be avoided. Learning to prevent stress should be a priority for everyone. Researching stress has been my cause du jour this past month because of two recent incidents that in the end were humorous, but at the time highly stressful.
Knowing that there's no such thing as holiday time when you're getting a restaurant
Hyperventilating, I ran into the house and called the police, asking them to send someone out to my address because I had found something "funny" under my car seat.
"Like what? An animal?" asked the dispatcher.
"Nooooo, I can't explain it now, just send someone out here -- fast!" I screeched into the phone, sweat pouring down my back.
Four minutes later a cruiser pulled up. "What's the problem, miss?" the policeman asked nonchalantly.
"Get away from my car!" I screamed. "I think I have a bomb under my car seat. Listen," I said, lowering my voice discretely, "There are two aluminum tubes under my seat connected by wires."
He looked impressed. "Did you try to start it yet?" he asked. "It usually happens -- you know what I mean -- when you try to start it."
"Yes, I started it, but I didn't sit on the seat."
"Ohoooo. Gotcha." He walked gingerly over to the car and gently bent down to look under the seat. He jerked his head up real fast and said, "Ooooh. Wow. What the heck?" He rushed over to his cruiser and said something into his radio.
Two minutes later he walked over to me and asked if I had one of those electric seats that glide back and fourth.
"Yes, I think so," I said. "But I've looked under that seat a hundred times; I don't remember seeing anything like what's under there now."
Looking more confident, he went back over to my car and looked more closely under the seat. He pushed that little button on the side of the seat and it slid forward.
"Yeah, you're clean. I think that's what it is, Miss, it's that seat gadget. Good luck," he said, "And get some rest. You look awful."
Then, a few days later, I decided to clean out my fireplace because the ashes were knee-deep. I filled a garbage bag full of ashes and put them in the trunk for my trip to the landfill the next day.
When I woke up the next morning, my car was filled with smoke. I guess the cinders were still warm and they melted the plastic bag and charred the inside of my trunk along with a pair of my favorite sneakers.
I've since learned that stress can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, headaches, muscle tension, stomach cramps, exhaustion, anxiety, restlessness, and drug or alcohol abuse.
To avoid stress, avoid procrastination and people who create or cause stressful physical or emotional situations. For the stressful things that cannot be avoided, reset how your mind and body will react and deal with this stress and face what you must head on. Avoid worrying; instead, think and note possible solutions.
Practice healthy ways to deal with stress. These include controlling your environment whenever possible, maximizing all kinds of physical activity, participate in those activities that bring the most pleasure. Spend time with those you love and those whose outlook, confidence and emotional balance help to give you courage for what you are dealing with. Lose yourself in fun, relaxation, and companionship. Give of yourself to those who need you; those whose own stress or life circumstances may be precarious at best. Those who focus less on "me" are usually the happiest and most productive.
"Either we have hope within us or we don't, it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation." -- Vaclav Havel