Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

Eating to be calm doesn’t involve potato chips

By Trena Eiden
Posted 5/19/22

I just read a scientific study regarding stress and in the very first sentence was amazed to find that you can eat to be calm. God bless those scientists, I got so excited. Unfortunately, as I read …

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Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

Eating to be calm doesn’t involve potato chips

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I just read a scientific study regarding stress and in the very first sentence was amazed to find that you can eat to be calm. God bless those scientists, I got so excited. Unfortunately, as I read on, my hopes were dashed. There wasn’t one uplifting word about potato chips. 

When it comes to stress, I’m fairly certain every person on the planet has it from time to time. A newborn baby cries for several reasons, but generally to be fed. And if we don’t meet the need, the wailing gets louder.

I’m convinced the baby develops anxiety, feeling he may never get nourishment again. He won’t outgrow this and as a husband, will want dinner as soon as he gets home from work. I know things and I know the first words out of his mouth will be, “What’s for supper?” That question for me, the un-culinary queen, is as grating as fingernails down a chalkboard. 

Toddlers get fairly upset and stressed over a lot of things. In fact, they’re mostly irrational at best, like undergoing a meltdown over not having any more cupcakes, when she herself was the little person who ate the last cupcake. 

Being good parents means we’re to model healthy stress management techniques, and apparently that means meditation instead of cussing. I’m only guessing this since cussing wasn’t on the list of tension relievers. No chips or cussing? What a blow. 

Because our offspring observe us to comprehend how to respond to situations and deftly function during adversity, we’re not to appear as though everything is a tragedy. I’ve mentioned this to Gar when he’s untangling Christmas tree lights or reacting to slow internet. 

Also, we’re to avoid sharing catastrophic thoughts to our children and I tried. Honest, I did. Knowing they would be devastated, I waited as long as I could to inform them that I wasn’t the nanny, but instead, a permanent fixture. It was as I predicted, a very sad day for my kids. In fact, one son, bolder than the rest, voiced to me, “I hope you’re joking and you have my real mother’s phone number.” I oftentimes wished she had existed because I’d have called her to see if she could maybe drop off a meatloaf later.

Teenagers have it rough with so much to endure: pimples, braces, homework and none had more hardship than mine. To hear them tell it, they suffered a fate worse than death being forced to live with me for 18 years. During family get-togethers they reminisce over the things their mother put them through — shots instead of pills for strep throat, RC Cola instead of Pepsi at adolescent birthday parties, working weekends, making visiting friends work weekends.

It was rough; I don’t know how they survived it. I’m guessing they went on to have beautiful lives, pots of gold for incomes and calls and texts to their dad and I daily, just to prove how resilient the human spirit can truly be. 

Scientists say there are things we can do to combat stress and one activity is exercise. Oh man, they always bring that up like we’re listening, when quite obviously we are not. Have you taken a gander at our girth lately?

Another coping mechanism is mindfulness, a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing at that moment. I tried this yesterday morning and sad to say, I didn’t get very far because my bladder began sensing that I shouldn’t have had the last cup of coffee. 

No matter what it’s called, anxiety, adversity, difficulties or stress, the best way to stay relaxed is to simply not place ourselves in stressful situations. DON’T go to school, get married, have kids, get a job, buy a house, buy an appliance, run for office, run a business, buy a car, drive a car, have a pet, have a neighbor, volunteer, make a decision, give advice and absolutely never watch, listen or read the news. If we can abide by those things, we’re probably earthworms — which is not a bad gig if you like dirt and coffee grounds. 

I recently read that cats are perishing from heart disease. Cats stressed to the point of cardiovascular trouble? Cats? Mercy me, what chance do mere mortals have?

We should simply go outside, lay on the ground, face the sky and announce, “Today is a good day to die.” But that’s my answer — and answers are what each of us have for other people’s problems.

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