Holiday stress may be a coverlet

138. i seem like someone else

138. i seem like someone else (Photo credit: rachel a. k.)

Penelope came in with her tinsel sweater hanging around her round shoulders and tinsel in her hair. She was bright and beautifully made up. I swear, you wouldn’t know she was stressed if you met her out and about or even talked with her on the phone. She was designed for holidays, in the best of ways. She innately knew how to bring tinsel out of tacky and into classy. Genes, I tell you. Genes. Despite her nature, however, Penelope, like anything leafy in the elements, she was vulnerable.

She wasn’t very old when she first became ill. Just just in life, at a point of unfolding, her colors still almost fluorescent, not yet muted by age, Penelope got sick.

Penelope was designed for pleasure, yes. Penelope was designed for spending power, yes. Penelope was designed to bring us around her into better perceived experience, yes. But Penelope got sick. And the sickness, as sicknesses often do, came and went. Sometimes, she had more space in her emotions and behaviors for her nature. Sometimes, the sickness found more space, and we around her, were not taken to places of better perceptions. We around her may not have always been conscious about it, but we didn’t like ourselves as much. When Penelope was ill, we felt more selfish. When Penelope wasn’t Penelope, we were more aware of the browning effect of life.


Ack! Such a question we could argue over for years. So many “good” reasons. What was done to her? What choices she made? Sure. We’ll get to those in psychotherapy and try to right the course of her rudder. But her ship isn’t going well with a hole in the hull. Disease is like that. Don’t forget biology.

Penelope came in stressed, “over the holidays,” she thought.

“It’s just the holidays.”

How could Penelope look so good when she was ill? Well she is not a vending machine or a computer card. She is complex and unique and dynamic. She is a changeling, as we all are. We cannot say her tinsel and beauty define her. We give allowance. We are concerned for Penelope. “Stress,” can be the coverlet of much and take caution from her history. Brain health is not a constant for any of us and we have the added benefit of remembering the days of her fluorescence when she first lost her natural powers to spread beauty. We have the benefit of remembering when they came back and then distinguished again. We have the benefit of remembering her effect on us and use ourselves as well as a reference point.

Penelope complains of holiday stress but, although it is tempting, she is wise enough not to stop there. She came in. She came in to lift the coverlet and consider her biology.

Questions: Which coverlets threaten your ability to consider biology in your life? For you and/or those you love, what gives you allowance? Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip: Lift the coverlets in your life.

Tell Your Story

English: Vin Scully

Telling our story can be as just as easy or hard as approaching a blank canvas with a pallet and brush.  What to tell?  We wonder if others will want to hear or know us.  We wonder if we will bless or be blessed or after a blink she will turn her eyes and find another view to look at.  She will look at a view and in so doing, will qualify us as something other than.

Imagine that you are coming to see a physician for the first time.  You enter and sit.

So what has brought you here?

And there you are with another chance to tell your story.  You are trembling with the same fear that was screaming across your nerve surfaces like an Olympian bobsled on and off over that past many years.

Why am I here?!

You’re sure she can hear the sound of your os ripping as you deliver the word,


You look at your physician and doubt her interest.

We’ve all heard a skilled interviewer on the Late Show, such as Jonny Carson, or talk radio with Jim Rome.  My best friend has always loved listening to possibly the last great baseball host, Vin Scully.  He used to listen on his transistor radio in bed late into the night when he was a kid.  What makes them great interviewers?  The stories.  It doesn’t matter who they are interviewing, talking about or show-casing, the story of the individual grips us and we feel connected and less alone.

Well, talking to your physician may not be the same as talking with Jonny Carson… but, you are.  You are the story and you and I are what has made these people renowned.  Without us, without the real connections between Me and thee, the real commonality in our humanity, in our suffering, in the discovering of how little space there is just when we thought we were alone – yes! we are worth hearing.  You and I have a story to bless and be blessed by.  Even when talking with your physician, you are what it is all about.  Speak, to bless and be blessed.

Self-Care Tip:  Tell your story to be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What is it like for you to talk about yourself?  How has telling your story been friendly to you?