Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Rain, blessed rain--and have you walked in my moccasins?

We are getting a lot of rain, the kind we need--slow and steady. Sometimes it dumps, and sometimes it's only a drizzle, but it's an all-day rain, predicted to get heavier overnight. We need it badly, and my yard and porch plants are soaking iti up with gratitude. And even though I find the thought of going outside depressing, I think the rain is peaceful and soothing. The dismal cast of the day hasn't dampened my spirits.
I've been feeling the effects of stress lately--lack of appetite, stomach troubles (I've probably chronicled those more than you want to know), trouble sleeping. When I mentioned the other night that maybe my stomach troubles weren't a bug but simply stress, my son-in-law looked at me incredulously. "Stress!" he exclaimed. "What have you got to be stressed about?" I laughed and said, "I can stress about being stressed." But it struck me that this is a man who knows me well and yet is amazed that I am stressed. I suppose he sees a worry-free life compared to his, He is building his career, supporting a family, raising a child, while I'm retired, I write at my own pace, I spend time with my grandchld, I cook a lot for friends, I don't seem stressed for money. What he doesn't see is that I have deadlines for my writing and work piles on my desk. Since I'm compulsive about doing things when they present themselves to me, I set my own deadlines and struggle to meet them. Time with Jacob is a blessing but not stress-free--like all six-year-olds he can be loving, lots of fun, but he can also be stubborn and difficult. Yesterday when he wanted to do something he blurted out, "I promise I'll treat you nicely"--a good recognition that he isn't always nice to me. Cooking for friends is wonderful fun for me--but it too is stressful, and I did three large (eight people) dinner parties last week. And yes, I'm more comfortable than a lot of retired single women living on a fixed income--but it's because I'm careful and I worry about money. I don't buy a lot that I would like to, and when I splurge, my conscience bothers me.
But what struck me most is that it reminded me of that old saying my mom used to quote, "Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins." We never know what lies behind the facade we see in others, and it behooves us to listen with compassion and care. Hard lesson to learn.

2 comments:

LD Masterson said...

Gather up some of that stress and set it outside. Let the rain wash it away. :-)

Judy Alter said...

Thanks, L.D. I really think that's happening. Funny how stress comes and goes but I've felt so much better the last couple of days.