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I love that I can make myself laugh. Yesterday I was cleaning my computer and found a folder called “assholeness”. I invented this word (no surprise, huh?) because I wanted a way to describe and quantitate the degree of unacceptable behavior displayed by my son’s sperm donor. Surprisingly there is nothing in the folder but I am keeping it around for the chuckle factor. I am also acutely aware that anything I put in writing may be used against me in the “un-divorce” so I’m attempting to take the high road. (attempting is the operative word, thank you very much.)

Then there are the funny things I say like, “If you dressed me like a bag of Skittles, I’d be cranky too”.  And, “Do my bunions look big in these sandals?” I never thought those words would come out of this mouth but I speak the truth. I don’t much like my aging feet but they keep me dancing so at least I can outfit them in cute sandals. Or take a look at my latest Selfie! I wanted to get my shirt and sandals in the same shot and find it hysterical the way the photo came out. I feel like I look—a bloated tropical flower! I know you are now looking at my bunions. Please stop.

Visiting my Mom at the hospital I overhear the nurses debriefing during a shift change. The patient in the room next door is there because of a duck attack. What? Did they say a D-U-C-K attack? I confirm with the nurse, without looking too nosey, that indeed it was a duck attack. How much damage can a duck do? She tells me it was a pet duck but that she is prohibited by patient privacy from saying any more. I see her giggle as she leaves the room. You can’t make this stuff up.  That is the stuff nightmares are made of!

It is a good thing I am better at finding humor, especially during stressful times. My default method was to stuff my emotions until I exploded! Stress impacts both our physical and mental health. Have you ever thought about the impact of “Second Hand Stress”? I hadn’t put much thought into this concept until I heard a news story regarding a study done by Sara Waters at University of California San Francisco showing that babies could not only detect when a mother was stressed, the baby also started to demonstrate “stressed behavior”. “By knowing how this happens, we can start being mindful of both what we’re putting out, but also how people around us are affecting us,” Waters said.

So are we more influenced by our “stressed out” loved ones than a stranger? Yes, in fact it was said that we are four times more likely to be influenced by the stress of a loved one, coworker, friends or a roommate than a stranger.

Trying to do more, do better, do faster while making my life look effortless, stress became my drug of choice. If I was stressed, I was important. Didn’t all successful people have stress? So my stress manifested with short...

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