Sunday Post 10: What are you stressing about?

I am ashamed.  I am ashamed of what I used to let stress me out.

BC (Before Cancer) I could get wound up tight about the simplest things, stupid stuff that just did not matter.  Now, very little makes me tense. 

I believe my stress level is less because I realize that there is almost nothing worse that could happen to me in this lifetime.  Sure, I could lose a child or I could myself become ill, but other than that, there is nothing you could throw at me that would be more stressful or that could hurt me more than the loss of my wife.  And I’m not convinced that my own death wouldn’t have been easier if heaven is the alternative to life here on this earth. 

 What could hurt me worse?

       *Job loss?  Nope

      *Someone robs my house?  Nope

      *Shots?  Nope

      *Lose an arm?  Nope

      *Child grows up to marry a louse?  Well…nope

      *A snake crawls on my dashboard?  Nope

      *I’m forced to bungee jump?  Nope

      *Someone else at work gets my next promotion?  Nope

      *The stock market crashes and I lose all of my investments?  Nope

All of those things are bad, some are really bad, but I can handle them.  I sat in a room and watched the person I loved the most in this world take her last breath at age 39, knowing I had to return home to tell my daughters their mother was dead.  Very little compares with that.

I’m embarrassed about the stupid little things I used to stress over.  My house was dirty, my grass was dead, I had a lot to do at work – who cares?

When I picked the kids up on the first day of school this year, Stephanie got in the car and announced that this was the worst day of her life.  She teared up that morning when I dropped her off at her home room.  Lisa worked at the school and returning after a full summer away had to be hard.  Not only did she start school, but she had to go to Lisa’s old office to take a math placement test that she’d missed the week before.  It was clearly a tough day.

When I asked her why her day was so bad, she shared that she couldn’t get her locker open and that they had replaced potato chips with carrots on the school lunch menu (that would shake me up too!)  But I said to Stephanie, “I can assure you this was not the worst day of your life.  I am hopeful that the worst day of all of our lives has passed.  Let’s put this into perspective.  

Michelle agreed with me and there was no more discussion about this most horrible day.

The next evening when we got home, Michelle announced that she had forgotten her math book and therefore she could not complete her homework assignment.

I said in a very dad like voice, “Michelle…”  And before I could light into her she blurted out, “Mom dying, big deal!  Forgetting homework, not a big deal!”  And stomped out of the room while DJ and Stephanie doubled over in laughter.

Losing someone you love – BIG DEAL!  All of the other stuff we spend countless hours worrying about – NOT a big deal.

Get rid of the stress for things that aren’t worthy.  Save your anxiety for stuff that is really important.

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13 Comments

  1. Jean

     /  March 20, 2011

    Good perspective. Thaks for reminding us.

    Reply
  2. Melanie Walker

     /  March 20, 2011

    Why does it take something like this to give such good perspective. Keep reminding us, Bruce.

    Reply
  3. Well said or written as the case is. Being unemployed for 29 months and counting, if that is the worst I get I’ll take it.

    Reply
  4. Patty Thomson

     /  March 20, 2011

    Is’t it funny how little things get in our way every day. I am a controller and we controllers worry. I am not however a negative person. there is always a silver lining, if you just wait long enough. I won’t go into details because that is not important, the important thing is the outcome. I was told that I had an aneurysm in my head which was not the news I wanted. It ended up that with other testing, it moved from right to left, (evidently someone doesn’t know right from left because they don’t migrate. While sitting in church the next Sunday with my head spinning just thinking of the decisions I would have to make, I started praying. I told God that I was tired of worrying and that I was giving Him ALL OF IT to figure out, I was butting out. That Sunday, John preached on worry and said that if you are worrying about something, you are not letting him be your guide. I found out that it is possible for a controller to let God take control. It has taken me some 70 years to really TRUST! I have slept like a baby every night. turns out that it is not an aneurysnm but a stenosis and I will have to have surgery, but I am still at peace. Whatever happens, it is ok, I am ok. Just wish I had learned down deep in me sooner that my God is a really big God. There is a nursery age song with that title and it keeps running through my mind. Now what do I worry about? well my biggest worry is if I color my hair and they have to shave my head on one side, will it be less noticable if I don’t color or not. I think I can worry about that because I am letting God worry about the rest!! Thank you for your blog. you fellows are being good examples to all of us. Love you all

    Reply
  5. I have heard everything on this blog and today am blown away by the truth in this message and the reminder of what is important. Thank you so much Danny for your time and insight- WOW

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 21, 2011

      we all really do stress about some simple stuff don’t we?

      Reply
  6. Eloise Porter

     /  March 20, 2011

    Love this! My kids will too when I may be a “little more relaxed” when one of the forgets their homework at school. You bless so many with these posts! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 21, 2011

      I hate that Lisa had to die to get a new perspective on all of this stuff.

      Reply
  7. April (Calvin) Poole

     /  March 20, 2011

    Amen and Amen!
    April

    Reply
  8. Karen

     /  March 21, 2011

    A friend of mine forwarded your blog to me. I am truly sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful insight on life you have gained because of it. You are absolutely right…we need to put things into perspective and worry less about “stupid stuff”.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 21, 2011

      It is very interesting how something like this can whack you in the head. It has for me. Not all of me is better for this, but there are areas where I have grown and this is one of them.

      Reply
  9. emilymarie18

     /  March 26, 2011

    You are an amazing person. I really enjoyed you sharing your story with the group at Black Mountain. You inspired me to look beyond the small feats in life and take advantage of every second in my life. I realized the trials in my life that seemed so large are nothing in comparison to yours. You opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and being. Thank you so much for all of your postings, because they take me back and help me slow down in life.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  March 26, 2011

      Everyone has tough things to deal with – mine or no greater than a lot of folk. But this sure has taught me some really good lessons.

      Reply

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