Well...in a perfect world maybe.
How do you handle stress?
I had two ways - just two. One was a best friend. I could go to that person and their zen like way would just melt away the stress. I depended heavily on that friend, yet the times I could not get that zen made me realize it was temporary at best.
Another is my trips to upstate NY. My Uncle and Aunt - Serenity and Tranquility. But there was a time when I had no car and could not get there. The stress would just eat me away.
I take milestones as a way to reflect. To see what has changed well and what needs to be changed as life is an ever changing series of moments. My new milestone is turning 45 in just a week.
The greatest thing that I needed to change is how I handle stress. I started by eliminating that which I could not control so that I could then focus on the things I could.
I remembered the book Biting Back by Claudia Cunningham which I read at the beginning of the year. I used it's examples to see who had to be removed or pushed back.
I eliminated the need to talk to people about what stressed me. The overabundance of opinions is added stress.
I then started to make new friends - like minded friends. Awakening my spiritual side. The writer in me. The blogger. The thinker. Therapy at the tips of my fingers while stroking a keyboard.
I set guidelines on how much drama I would allow (not much these days). Then I took a good long look at the goals I had set in the last 5 years and how many I achieved. Not much.
I began to think about those goals and began to reset realistic ones and added a few more. The whole time knowing that isolating myself for this time was best. Sometimes when you are so close to the stress, to the ones causing it or even you causing it by connecting with those that do not reciprocate; you lose yourself....Stress!
At the end of this inner quest, where I stand with my new goals on the day of that milestone, I will at the very least know how to handle stress. Handling it without relying on others. I am almost there.
The hard part is breaking away from the self made crutches. The second hard part is walking into the stress, right smack in the middle to face it. Set aside the ones that can be controlled and eliminate or push back the ones I can't, until stress-free I can adapt.
There is a practice that has helped me - meditation. I light a candle and meditate at times thinking of nothing at all, others thinking of a peaceful mountain. Warm winds flowing and my sitting at the top... stress-less.
People keep saying 40 is the new 30, 45 the new 35. I say Bullshit! 45 is 45, I love each year I age.
I said something to my Aunt recently that shocked her. "I love aging, seeing each year arrive and pass knowing there is an end to it all". Sounds morbid, but I don't say it in such a way. I think when we see ourselves as immortal as never aging, never dying we don't set goals. We don't define ourselves in a good manner; be productive. We just save things for next year.
I know and welcome an end one day. Hopefully not soon but when it comes my greater hope is that I did not allow stress or depression stop me from living. I hope that I did not allow foolish fantasies and the chase for love from people that can not and will not reciprocate stop me from living and living a stress-less life.
If I can reach any milestone...may it be that one. Until then the dogs may just have the right idea.