Friday, March 22, 2019

The “It” is destroying us!

Have you ever wanted something so bad, you could taste it, smell it, even touch it?  You think about it constantly. You become envious of those who already have it. You imagine that the others may have achieved it through underhanded means, or  that they are just smarter and more educated than you.  You begin to wonder if you are chasing rainbows. Maybe you should just forget it. Give up the quest.  We’ve all been guilty of wanting “it” so much that “it” drives us crazy.

The “IT” is on the rise and destroying us.  The "IT" which I am referring to  is not the evil Pennywise the clown preying on our children, although the new trend I am about to talk about  is affecting our children as well as us.

A Gallup poll reported that 8 in 10 Americans are afflicted by stress. Only 17% say they rarely feel stressed, while just a scant 4% say they never feel stressed.
These statistics have given rise to what the folks at Thrive has described as   an “Anxiety Economy,” and an “I’ll try anything culture.”

Here are just a few top selling proposed solutions to deal with stress on the market which are becoming the rave.

Prescription Drugs, CBD Oil, Meditation, Acupuncture, Weighted Blankets, or Lavender Lotion. 

Not only are we stressed about our jobs, children, money and love, but we also are suffering from a term the folks at Thrive have coined, “The Calmivore’s Dilemma. The Calmivore’s Dilemma is our increasingly stressful search for CALM, to help us overcome our exhaustion, inefficiency, insomnia, and irritability as well as, heart disease and compromised immune systems — all side effects of stress.

In life nothing remains the same. Adapting to change, even though we may not welcome the shift, is our only guarantee of maintaining a contented and happy life without stress. We have all been there, thinking everything is running smooth. You got this complicated thing called ‘the meaning of life’ all figured out. You are walking around with your head held way up high. Life is good.

And then, suddenly, something fools you, hits you, really takes you by surprise.  And it has your whole world shook up.  No, I’m not saying it’s the “Love Bug,” which George Strait sings about …. usually it is something not as pleasant and exciting.

 I am referring to incidences sometimes as simple as a flat tire which makes you late for an important meeting or a bad test grade which threatens your grade point average. But, even falling in love can be stressful.

So, how do you adapt? How do you change  your focus?  Our brain’s function is to keep us comfortable and safe, so change is never easy.  I am a stubborn, bullheaded Taurus, who wants what she wants, exactly when she wants it and I don’t give up easily.

I am stubborn, opinionated and want what I want when I want it and I am not prone to giving up. Whether my tenaciousness is inherent or borne of my opinionated single-mindedness, when I cling to this attitude, I create unbearable stress for myself.

So, what is the answer?

Get healthy, get honest and get humble.

Exercise.Most of us know that working out is the most effective stress reliever. Not only does it benefit us physically but also mentally by increasing our serotonin levels. If we get moving, we can’t help but feel better, even though the dynamics of our situation may not change.

 I am not a health nut. I abhor the gym. I consider it stinky, sweaty, and claustrophobic. As I watch all the young, tight-assed gals, with their tied-up pony tails, their ear buds, staring into nothingness, and clutching their bottle of Pellegrino, the place leaves me feeling not good enough.

The male tight-butts do not ease my inferior feelings because I imagine them leaving the gym and rushing to their mani-pedi appointments.

  I work out in the privacy of my motor home.  I stay flexible with a 40 minute yoga routine, which I may or may not do every day. Minimally, I stretch through the routine about 2-3 times a week.

  I also walk or hike.  I am not a fanatic, I don’t shoot for 10,000 steps, but the RV lifestyle offers plenty of opportunities to walk or hike. Sometimes it is only walking to the trash bin which they always at the far corner of a campground while other times there is always a local easy, scenic hiking trail nearby.
To feel good, I need to get off the couch.

Get honest. When I was young, and even more hard headed, I thought I knew all the answers.  I recall a time in my life describing my dissatisfaction about my single status to a couple celebrating fifty years of marital bliss. I asked them to what they attributed the longevity of their marriage.

 “You each have to give 100%.” They said.  I also remember hearing my mind’s door slamming shut. I had to be honest. I didn’t want a relationship bad enough to make the sacrifice. Today I make certain that what I want, I want bad enough to get off the couch and sacrifice my comfortable lifestyle.

Be humble. A lifestyle without humility is packed with stress. The attitude requires a constant effort to prove, not only to yourself but also others, that you are great.  Becoming humble cannot be  achieved if you’ve pulled it off.    When I was young, I knew all the answers. My way was the only way. I only learned the limitations of my attitude by falling off my high horse and failing. Only then did I discover there just might be at least a different way if not a better way…. if I get back up and don’t give up.

So, here’s the secret. Get off the “feel-sorry-for-myself couch.”  Stave off the stress with exercise and pump up the serotonin.  Be honest with yourself. How badly do you want what you want? Making changes requires effort. Lofty goals mean long term sacrifices.  Be humble.

 We all will fail along the way. A baby falls many times learning to walk. The child doesn’t need Prescription Drugs, CBD Oil, Meditation, Acupuncture, Weighted Blankets, or Lavender Lotion. He may cry, but he struggles back up on wobbly legs and tries again.  A toddler isn’t motivated by what he should do, but only by an inner, innate drive to reach for a better way than crawling.

Those desires…. and we all have them… those stubborn, “want-what-you-want desires” that will seem too  far away  to be possible…
 Those dreams are a gift  from the universe, God, or whoever or whatever you acknowledge  that is bigger and more powerful than yourself… a place connected to your heart that knows everything and knows you are capable.…… if you stay healthy, honest and humble.

Judy Howard

The death of Judy Howard’s husband gave the author a wake up call. Life is short. Howard sold her pet grooming business, which she had operated since the age of eleven and engaged full throttle into her new passions of writing and traveling.

Judy Howard’s writing career expands across many genres, including memoir, romantic mystery, reality fiction, travel and young adult, and now with THE GRIEVING GIFT, an autobiographical novel.

In all of Howard’s books the theme is always the same - overcoming life’s difficulties.

Judy lives full-time in her Winnebago motorhome with her cat, Sportster,   traveling across the country as a motivational speaker and offering writing seminars.

When Judy and Sportster are not traveling, they spend their time in Sun City, California.

 an autobiographical novel

Janice’s older sister, Margaret, wanted to believe that the L.A. doctors at Cedars Sinai Medical Center held a magical deck of cards, but after eight years of treatment they dealt their final card. The Hospice card. No miracles for Margaret. Janice reassures her big sister she will be there, holding her hand every step of the way.

On a death watch, you get to know things about a person you wish you didn’t. It is like a roller coaster ride. And like most rides, it brings us back to the place we began, reminding us of who we were and who we have become.

The twists and turns of Janice’s emotional journey transports her back through the repercussions of her teen pregnancy and into the present estrangement from her daughter, whom she has not heard from for the last sixteen years.

Coming to terms with the grief of losing her sweet Margaret, and dealing with her fear of a lonely future is too much for Janice to imagine. When Margaret’s soul goes to rest in L.A. heaven, how will Janice face the emptiness? Will there be such a thing as a Grieving Gift?

Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.

Oh, and don’t forget!! Readers’ reviews  keep writers motivated.


Other books by Judy Howard: JUDY’S AMAZON  AUTHOR  PAGE

Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.

Safe travels!

1 comment:

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