The Daily Grind


How do you handle stress? Depending on the situation, I often get a stomach ache. It’s been that way for me since I was little.

Of course, turning 40 changes things. Okay, let’s face it – it changes everything!

And now I find that I am clenching my teeth. I usually notice after I’ve been doing it for a while, because my jaw hurts. I suppose the silver lining is it isn’t happening at night.

I already asked the dentist to look, and I’m definitely not grinding my teeth, but that means that there isn’t an easy solution. If it was at night, I could get a mouth guard and it would help me stop. However, short from wearing the mouth guard during the day, there isn’t much I can do.

I could make the stress go away….

As if it were that easy.

I could try not to let stupidity annoy me….

I do try that daily, but since I’m clenching my teeth as I write this, I know it’s easier said than done. Just thinking of the curveballs life has thrown over the past six months I realize that I’ve gained some clarity.

I can’t control what people think.

I can’t control what people do.

I can’t control what people say.

And maybe there was always a naïve side of me that hoped people would get informed before making comments. That others wouldn’t do stupid things without realizing the impact it has on those around them. Or, often the worst part is people who say ridiculous things that can only leave you shaking your head.

I mean, isn’t this what we try to teach our kids?

I know I’m always telling my girls the following:

  • be aware of what is around you
  • think before you speak.
  • don’t speak if it’s not your place to
  • try to help others and do the right thing
  • if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.

Most of all I try to teach them that no matter what, they should love and protect each other. They only have one sister, and they should always remember that.

Sadly, I’m reminded that not everyone thinks this way.

And so, as I sit here trying not to clench my teeth, I will continue chanting to myself that I can only control my own decisions, thoughts and actions. So hopefully that will eventually leave me feeling stress – and pain-free.

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