Mom and Tag - Olivia Newport

Photo by Larry Mohr

My mother still listens to my troubles. She doesn’t complain all that much about her own. I might grouse about coming up with money for a crown after a trip to the dentist. (If it’s not me, it’s my husband. Every. Dang. Year.) Or maybe I feel like something’s not right with one of my kids, but they are young adults so I can’t run their lives. Perhaps I fell (it happens!) or have been under the weather, or feel overwhelmed by yard work. The pain in my feet is a saga of its own. And I was really annoyed when wind deposited a plastic grocery sack in my tree so high I had to just watch it swing for a year and a half. The stuff of life. One Sunday, my mom said,

“The squirrels are still running across the fence, so all is well.”

She’s right. Life goes on. In the grand scheme of things, much of what I fret over amounts to a miniscule dot. Wasted energy worrying or complaining about something I can’t change—certainly not by complaining about it. The world is not coming to an end because my life is not picture perfect.

• What helps you gain perspective when you feel bogged down?