Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Toast to Stress, For Achievement is Sweet

I have a routine – every other Tuesday I visit the spa to have some not so pleasant waxing services done. Blame it on my Indian / Italian heritage; I am a hairy little critter. It’s costly, it’s frustrating, and frankly, it’s painful; but, it’s part of who I am. However, it does have its kickbacks – like the fact that I walk in and feel like a V.I.P. – everyone knows my name, hugs and compliments are dished out and given, and without fail, they have my double glass of blush wine awaiting my arrival.

A few weeks back when I was there, relaxing with my second glass of wine and a small bowl of trail mix while I waited, I couldn’t help but overhear a woman’s conversation. She was running late for her daughter’s first dance recital. She had a huge project she was wrapping up at work and been working around the clock for weeks to meet the deadline which happened to coincide with that very day. To make a stressful situation worse, she spilled her morning latte on her suit and had nothing to change into, forgot her spa appointment was at five and had raced there, still needed to put gas in the car before heading over to the recital, and to make matters worse, her cell was almost dead and the car charger was on the fritz.

Her stylist said to her, “I am so sorry you are going to be late for this very special moment” …. to which she responded, “Its okay, I’ll only miss a little bit of it.”

Suddenly my glass of wine didn’t taste as sweet. I couldn’t help but be plagued by sadness from her response, and sadness for her period. She seemed to be falling apart at the seams, yet struggling to keep it together with a stain on her shirt and a tear in her eye, and with a nervous smile trying to pretend that missing the first few minutes wasn’t killing a part of her inside.

For the important moments in life, for life period, don’t you want to be present for all of it? But how many times are we sliding in footloose style, catching a seat in the back, on the end, behind the tall guy that is blocking exactly what you came to see, and you’re forced to practically sit on the person next to you just so you can get a glimpse of that “moment” (without the luxury of time to do so much as introduce yourself or offering them a piece of gum before you get so close)?

With of that said, sometimes, we need to feel the pressure of stress. The adrenaline of rushing. The frustration of panic, worry, and high doses of anxiety?

Why?

Because, obviously, if we can spare trouble, and buy out worry we would; but since we cannot weed out the all of the stress, the painful times, the heartache, the tears, the low points, we have to come to the understanding that these too are important, intricate factors in our lives. Stay with me, because this is where it gets good …. They are an adjoining piece of the creation of who we are, and to what we are yet to become.

Think of a moment in your life when you thought you might not make it through. Worry and doubt, pain and confusion, anxiety and heartache - there was no rational way it seemed possible at the time that those feelings would at some point be a distant memory. A memory rarely visited. But alas, you did make your way out of the darkness, and in fact, are a better, stronger, more capable and determined person for the troubles. Each passing strain and hassle in our life does not define us, but it helps to manifest who we are. It adds character and shapes our outlook. Gravitates a feeling of accomplishment and creates a feeling of appreciation.

Now how does one appreciate turmoil might you ask? By seeing that in the light of day, in the beauty of now, in the gifts around us, we have the power to overcome. And once we have made another victory, in both the small and large realms, it gives promise in the realization that when it's over, it was indeed worth the trouble in order to see, to capture, to live the moments that truly matter. And that, I will raise my wine glass to.