Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How Much Stress Do We Bring On Ourselves?

This week has been an extremely tough week. We had to deal with co-worker issues, kiddo issues and then our dachshund had puppies but two of them didn't make it. So, we have had highs and lows this week and then my wife became sick from the food we at last night. She was up most of the night vomiting and trying to get some sleep. This week is also our week to have the young children on campus. They woke up this morning to new puppies, but now we have to explain to them about death and how two of the new puppies had to have a funeral today. Life is just full of ups and downs and sometimes a lot of them come at you in a short time frame.

With all the stress this week, my wife has had minimal MS issues. One night her legs ached a little from the emotional stress and physical stress of the young children we are taking care of. She was able to take a bath and with a good nights sleep she didn't have any other leg pain or issues. Through everything this week I have been so proud of my wife. She had very personal attacks on her ability to do the work we do, on her integrity, on her parenting, and on just about every other aspect of her life. All of this came from one co-worker that felt compelled to blame her for their life problems.

Now, we know that stress is a major enemy of good health whether you have MS or not. She has handled it so well this week and not let any of it affect her. Many years ago Dr. Swank told her that she would need to control stress in her life and be able to let things go. This week was a real challenge for this because of the personal nature of all the stress. My wife and I have spent a lot of time this week talking about how our actions today will directly affect the stress of the future. If we choose today to not confront issues with co-workers then we have to deal with the ramifications of that as it can fester and grow in us or them. If we choose today to gossip or talk about someone else then we have to deal with the backlash of things we said.

We made a personal vow to each other when we moved to the children's home to confront issues as they come and to keep things between us instead of gossiping or sharing our frustrations. This has proven to help this week because we have clear consciences about how we handled the situations and confrontations. It is so much easier to control stress when you don't bring that stress on yourself from your own actions. Our bosses know that we will bring any complaints or issues to them which has kept our relationship solid and respect from them. When you are "parenting" kids together with two other sets of house parents, it can be very fulfilling and frustrating. This week we have learned valuable life lessons from the confrontations and from the outcomes. We have made a commitment to learn from our experiences at the home, and this has been a great teaching tool. I know that we definitely bring some stress on ourselves, but we do have a choice whether we make good choices and can feel good about our actions or we make poor choices and create issues.

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