Sunday, August 2, 2009

Overheard on Hornby Part 2 – stress management 101


It’s taken me some years to understand that while it is always nice to travel with just the immediate family, travelling with another family (or two) with kids the same ages makes things so much easier. It somehow reduces the stress. Stress has a way of pooling, if you know what I mean. And when it pools, it concentrates, forming dense pockets of nastiness that frankly are a hazard. I’ve slipped in more pools of anxiety than I care to talk about.  I’ve come to expect them in certain places, like the kitchen on the day you are meant to leave on a trip. Or the car on Monday morning. But the worst is when you encounter a stress pool hidden in places you just aren’t expecting, like in your bedroom or when you are out for dinner. There you are enjoying yourself when all of a sudden, someone snaps at someone else, or something is lost and can’t be found or someone’s needs aren’t being met and BLAM there it is collecting right in front of you in some sort of Dali-esque manner, dripping off the table. If you aren’t paying enough attention, chances are you will step right into that bad boy and there goes your day.

My point is that when other people are around, it’s harder for stress to stick. it gets trampled by many happy little feet, or wiped up by an extra pair of helping hands. Cracks and sharp edges are smoothed away by laughter and joy so that its mean little fingers can’t even get a handle hold. We declare ‘whatever’ to be the word of the week and defy stress to even get in the door. “W-dot-e” said my friend Heather. 

So this past week on Hornby has been an exercise in banishing stress, made all the easier by the beautiful hot weather, and the natural beauty of the Island itself, but achieved mainly through the good will of a group of friends. Many a happy hour was passed on the deck under the umbrella or in the hammock while the three girls played together on the lawn. If one of the group was perceived to have been in the kitchen for too long, she or he was ordered out, given a drink, and told to sit down and relax. If someone wanted to go for a bike ride or out for lunch, then off they went, no muss no fuss. Teenage boys hung out with the little sisters, meals were prepared communally, dishes done together, laundry an adventure undertaken as a team, bikes borrowed, music shared, smiles exchanged and laughter a force to be reckoned with.

So to you, stress, I say Whatever. W-dot-E, better luck next time, thanks for coming out, sorry it didn’t work out for you this time, don’t call me, I’ll call you, and shut the door behind you on your way out. Now, where did I put my San Pellegrino and yes, Sofia, I would love to push you on the swing.


Until next time…

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