dealing with stress

One time I tried to give up the feeling of stress. I thought that if I could find peace in doing my best each moment of my day, then stress would not build up over time. That deadlines would not creep up. That life would feel more breezy.

But the truth is, life does not work like that. Sometimes doing your best in every moment is the stressful part of life. Sometimes avoiding stressful situations backfires. Sometimes accepting stress as a companion eases the bitterness it can leave behind.

Matilda's life will always be filled with stress. She will always have labs, she will always have medication, she will always have medical appointments. Those are facts. It is my job to teach her positive ways to deal with that stress instead of trying to sweep it under the rug.

First, I try to be a positive role model. If I can remain calm in stressful situations, express my emotions appropriately, and always be respectful, then I know I am setting a good example. Second, even if it makes my day a bit more stressful, I try to balance out a tough situation with something fun. And fun for Matilda means going on an adventure. So on this day we went blueberry picking after a full morning of being cooped up in the doctor's office. Last, I try my best to forgive when things don't go as planned and choose the positives over the negatives.

For example, when we went blueberry picking, I chose to not care about the blueberries. We weren't there to stockpile for the winter, we didn't have a special dessert planned, we just wanted to get out and do something fun for a little bit. Instead of getting annoyed that there was not a good amount to pick, we pretended we were Captain Hook on a failed treasure hunt. Instead of getting angry when Matilda dumped the bin, we laughed and picked them right back up, teaching her along the way which ones were keepers and which ones were still too young. Instead of getting sore backs from bending over, we chose to run up and down the patch to find the bush with the best bunch. Matilda didn't care that we only came home with a handful of berries, but I bet she did care that we took the time to do something she really enjoys.

"The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude." - Robert Lipkin

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