When Stress And Worry Cloud Our Outlook

Western Ag Vignettes

It is nice to have a clear look at what's important

Published on: April 16, 2013

We all get pressed by the regular flow of life and often become prisoners of our own clouded perspective.

For example, I missed almost a week of work of late due to a combination of every disease known to man, then when I returned to my desk, I was stressed out thinking how difficult it was going to be to catch up with that never-relenting deadline.

As I fretted and wrung my hands before my shrine, my computer, I happened to glance over at my digital photo frame and see an old shot of my son handing flowers to his four-year-old daughter.

It brought me back to the things that fill our life with music, and I laughed at myself for being so darned stressed out, somewhat needlessly after all since my company has a wonderful team to back me up when I fall short. Sometimes, I think since we cannot achieve our goal to be super heroes, we feel inadequate. I mean, asking for help? Not me, not the Captain America of agrijournalism!!!

I have always been blessed with a bounty of loving family, heaps on heaps of relatives who are always there for one another. With four children and 10 grandchildren, and a fine gift of "significant others" in our clan, our network of family is deep and strong.

My wife, Sally, has done what most of society considered an impossible task, and actually  composed all of the family photos into organized albums. Looking through them in the year-by-year cataloging she has created, I can jump back into long-forgotten memories at any time and revisit specific milestones along the last several decades. It is a sentimental journey that is often necessary for me to settle again back into the greater values of a life.

I urge friends to take time to go through their old pictures. It is a task that not only resets your outlook button, but which delivers a perspective that may have been lost. I meet so many people who just do not remember what a wonderful life they've lived so far, and need a little revisiting of earlier days to rekindle their touch with the past.

My most common comment after spending a few minutes with the old photos is; "Did we actually do all that? Go to all those places?"

You may find that your life is far more interesting than you suspected. Just because you are mired down with life's obligations, and you're feeling a little down because you aren't where you want to be, that doesn't mean your life has not been filled with a lot of Kodak moments.

How are you going to know unless you take time to look back.

One thing I love to do is go through old love letters my wife and I wrote to one another when we were single and sassy. Only problem is, she wants to burn most of the ones I like the most. Something about not wanting the grandchildren to read that kind of thing.

I think it would be a character-building experience for them.

Bottom line: Take time to reflect. Every life is a story.

Do you know yours?