Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Cure All

By Cameron Clark

How often do we make life a little more complicated than it actually is? How often do minor problems turn into major crises, or small ruffles in our structured lives become massive emergencies? All too often I would imagine.

Working ourselves into a frenzy over life's curb balls might be the most counter-productive thing we do in our unhealthy modernity. As Americans, we are over-worked, out-of-shape, and overwhelmingly stressed. No wonder we have such violence in our society.

Coming into this week I had a few items on the "To Do" list I felt I absolutely "needed" to get done. It's true these things are important, but the fabric of the universe won't unravel if they are accomplished outside the parameters of my pre-determined methodology and time-table. I don't think I was feeling that way a couple of days ago.

As my family is in the process of moving, we have spent the last few days house hunting. When I woke up on Monday, I could feel my veins constricting and my pulse quicken just thinking about getting this monstrous decision made quickly, perfectly, and with good stewardship as top priority. Easy right? Not so much really.

These kinds of "unforeseen" complications can cause quite the ruckus with one's stress level, but not for me. I have found several ways to combat the anxiousness that accompanies the busyness and lemons of life.

After the first day of unsuccessful house-hunting I could feel the stress rising, so I went for a walk around the old neighborhood. This is a place I know well, for I have spent days biking or running around the hilly terrain of Crieve Hall. Monday afternoon I just took it all in.

It was a beautiful Tennessee Spring day. The Dogwood trees were covered in their white and pink blooms, the Azalea bushes were bearing their glory to the world, while the afternoon sun mixed with a gentle breeze to make for perfect walking conditions.
As I set out from my parent's driveway I strolled up the bend of Stillwood Drive and saw a house I remember we used to roll with toilet paper every other week during my high school days. I saw a little league baseball game being played as I passed by Haley Park. I turned down Dovecote Drive and the saw the brick walking path I helped Coach Eddie build when he and his family still made Nashville their home. I thought of running those hills with Phil Waggoner, stopping by Mike and Jennifer's house to say hello, and dancing in the rain with a former girlfriend.

I don't long for those days, but I do cherish the friends and the memories I made on the familiar streets of my old neighborhood. After having another go with a frustrating search for houses yesterday, I spent the afternoon reveling in the present laying head-to-feet with my bride talking in the hammock. Ainsley played with the "Flower-watering Can" beside us as we rocked beneath the maple tree behind my parent's house. It was a great way to get back to reality.

Some people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars trying to find their relaxation in the Bahamas, or new clothes, or the latest technology. I found mine in the peace of the present and the comfort of simple things. I hope you find yours in such simplicity during your stormy present.

Have a relaxing Wednesday. Hold the lemons.


Chappy said...

I have to agree. There is nothing better than just "being", in a hammock or by the fire. Sunday, we had a fire going. That's right, it was about 85 outside and we were stokin' it. The fun part to me is that in my redneck way, I converted an old grill into a fire pit. The kids love to help start a fire and cook hotdogs on it. Then I just get to sit back and relax. I recommend that everyone find a place that they can just "be". It needs to be close and simple. If you try to over-complicate it then it will become stressful and will negate the whole reason for going there.

Donald TAFT Ayers said...

Your description of the walk around the old 'hood made me feel 14 again. Very nice.

I'm in Nashville speaking on Sunday night (27th)at the CH Senior Recognition dinner...who'd have put money on that one actually happenin' back in the late 90's?