Posted by: SandPen | October 5, 2018

Stress Relief

Most agree we’re living in very stressful times, particularly for a growing youngster. Some might argue the cold war years with their threat of nuclear annihilation rival today. I would disagree on grounds that, along with everything else, that threat exists again. A time traveler from bygone eras could claim we should experience the dread of living through a starving winter huddled in a cave rather than a quick trip to the supermarket. Yes, maybe stress has often raised its ugly head. In fact, there have been relatively few low stress ages. I feel lucky that many of my years fell into one.

However, in the last two years my stress level has increased disturbingly. The political situation in America and the backward trend in morality, ethics, pollution and economic inequality is a prime cause. But there’s more. Polarization and intolerance in our society is even more stressful. Having to keep quiet when friends rant in opposition to my beliefs and worrying if long-standing friendships will be torn apart I find particularly stressful. Daily news feeds the concern that American society is destroying itself.

As an optimist who normally lets antagonisms wash away, nagging issues provide a new challenge. Golfing friends might question this last statement on days when the ball refuses to co-operate. I’m not free from emotional outbursts but they pass quite quickly and leave no scars on my psyche. Nevertheless, the downward spiral in America toward two distinct cultures, perhaps even two distinct countries in the long run, preys on my mind. It’s a situation that calls for a calming influence—a quiet place to take one’s mind for a little rest and recuperation.

For years, that place has been the meadow behind our house. I like to pause and stare out, meditate in my amateurish fashion, scan for a visiting animal. Now a new calming influence awaits on my computer screen. This screensaver is a blend of relaxing hues and an image that seems to promise a brighter future off in the distance.

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