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Antidote to Stressful News


21Sep 2008

Major (repeated) upheaval in the financial markets.  Hurricane Ike.  Flooding across the Midwest.  Concerns about who will be elected President (from both sides). Bombings in Pakistan.  Political turmoil in Bolivia and Venezuela.  The negative, worry-producing news keeps coming.

What’s a person to do?  Ignore it?  Stress out?  Drink more? (I heard a news report that beer and wine sales are up significantly in the last 6 months.)

Previously, I have written about the role of thankfulness and gratitude in helping us live more contentedly. Rather than pontificate on the subject further, I thought I would share the things in my life that I am thankful for — and then encourage you to make your own list.

I love:

Sunny, warm fall days with clear blue skies.  Cool fall evenings with the stars out.  The contrast of the sky blue with the late summer dark green grass and leaves.  Going to high school football games with friends on Friday nights.  The pagentry of college football games on Saturday afternoons with all the colors, sounds of the marching bands, and faint smells in the outdoor air.  Sitting around bonfires with young people and old friends.  Teaching others how to split wood and build a fire.

Fresh, perfectly ripened fruit — blueberries, blackberries, red (and black, when I can get them) raspberries, wonderful golden juicy peaches, slightly tart and crisp apples, sweet juicy grapes, cool watermelon on a hot day, sloppy mangoes (that’s how I am when I eat them), refreshing pineapple, cantalope that freshens your mouth when you eat it at breakfast, zingy pink grapefruit, fresh limes in limeade, there’s probably more.

I also love sounds: Cicadas in the woods.  The rhythmic buzz of grasshoppers, crickets & other insects when walking through a field of prairie. The breaking of waves on the beach.  Rolling thunder in the distance at night.  The wind in the trees (especially cottonwoods and eucalyptus).  The unique swoosh of the wind moving through the needles of pine trees in the mountains.  Children’s laughter when they are playing and running.  Music of all kinds — soothing classical orchestral music, energizing classic rock from the 70’s, foot-tapping quick paced bluegrass, the angelic sound of a women’s choir, the rousing fullness of a strong men’s choir, and the wonder of a talented musician playing a solo on their instrument.

I could go on.  But you get the idea.  Think of your senses — what do you enjoy the feel of? the sound of? the taste of? being able to see? what aromas bring you pleasure?

And while I’m am thinking about it — I am thankful for eyeglasses, for hot showers, for cool refreshing drinks with ice, for clean water, for quality medical treatment, for pain medication, sleeping in a comfortable bed with no bugs, being able to walk and run, for my wife and kids, for my friends.   Life is good.

Now it’s your turn.  What is good in your life?

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