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Thursday, October 18, 2018

How Do You Deal with Stress?

"Music has charms to soothe a savage breast."
To say the least, the past few months have been a tsunami of pain for our family. My grandson's suicide in May was followed in September by my brother's unexpected final illness and death.

A few weeks prior to that my sister fell, was hospitalized and transitioned to a rehab center where it was determined she wasn't really safe to go home.  Now, since I'm her power of attorney, my husband and I are dealing with the challenge of cleaning out her apartment and getting all her paperwork in order. Over 30 years of accumulation makes for quite a sorting job. On top of that, she's stressed by all the changes as well and is not exactly a ray of sunshine. Some days I'm frustrated with her, but try not to lose my own equilibrium.

I'm not complaining, mind you. This is life in the valley of tears. And facing hard times builds spiritual muscle. Although, I confess, I find myself lamenting to the Lord that I thought my kids were in the sandwich generation between caring for their elderly parents and their children. Somehow, I didn't expect to be sandwiched between the fun and joy of helping with grandkids (A pleasure that keep me sane) and dealing with ailing siblings.

At any rate, I sometimes find myself hyper-ventilating with my mind scattered among dozens of gotta-dos and gotta-do soon! I know the Lord will get me through whatever challenges I face. No matter the crisis, He is always there; but that doesn't always help me turn off the fireworks in my brain or the nausea in the pit of my stomach.

Praying the rosary is a great prescription for de-stressing, and is always a soothing time at the end of the day. But there's another thing that helps me more than I can say -- music -- primarily sitting down at the piano and plunking.

I can't call it much more than that. My total training was nine months of lessons in third grade from a dear elderly nun who terrified me. She was sweet and gentle, but I was shy and nervous, and no matter how much I practiced, my fingers shook and I could barely keep them on the keys, much less the right ones. I can still hear her rather wobbly voice softly saying, "Oh dear, you didn't practice did you?" And so I quit, to my great regret today.

But that doesn't keep me from getting out my book of easy Beethoven to entertain myself. Here's what I'm practicing right now at about half the speed and with lots of mistakes. But I sure enjoy hearing it played well. And as an added benefit, practicing helps with my carpal tunnel syndrome.



Thanks, Lord, for the great blessing of music. Didn't You and Your apostles go out to your agony after singing a song of praise?  [Mark 14:26 and Matt 26:30] What a joy that gives me to think of it. Facing your passion, You lifted Your voice in praise to God the Father.

And thank you for the gift of music you gave to this magnificent composer who faced his own agony with such courage!

2 comments:

Luke said...

Mrs. Kreitzer: A practice pointer. One appointed to act under a Power of Attorney is an "Attorney in Fact." This fact escaped our Supreme Court in one of its recent opinions, to my embarrassment.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I'm not sure what that means, Luke.