Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times
You know how hearing some bad news can put you in a funk? Well, that happened to me recently. A wonderful man we've known for many years had a stroke. Now this guy embodies health and is the absolute model of fitness: tall, strong, and yes, almost able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. A successful business owner, he also donates his
time to the community. That he could have a stroke was just inconceivable. We were all in shock, not sure what to do. While it felt good to drop off some food and offer comfort to his family, I found myself shutting down. I'm not proud to say that I was coping by eating more than my daily requirement of chocolate, becoming far too caught up in the lives of my 'friends' on 'Downton Abbey,' and ignoring the dog hair dust bunnies that were multiplying in the night. Head in the sand? Yup.
One day, after tripping over a pile of stuff that had reached epic proportions, I just snapped, got fed up, and started to take charge. I got some bags out and started filling them. When I realized that this was actually helping me, I kept going, filling more bags with stuff that had sat around for far too long. Now that I look back, I think that while I could not control what was happening with my friend, I could control what was happening around me, and it felt good! It also felt good to donate to the fund another friend had set up at a local bank. Those of us who work for a company may have vacation time, sick time, and comprehensive health insurance to help soften the blow of a crisis like this, but for a small business owner, that is not usually the case. I'm incredibly proud of the sweet soul who had
the foresight to give us another way to help out.
What feels best of all is telling you that our dear friend, who struggled after his stroke, is now once again the very picture of health. Somehow he miraculously recovered, and you would never know that he'd had a stroke. And me? While my house is not always ready to be on the cover of My Perfectly Organized Home, I find that clearing out the clutter does help me process what's happening in my life. If you’re dealing with something you have no control over, find something -- decluttering, pulling weeds, cooking, or whatever works for you — so you can cope. You'll be so glad you did.