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This Too Shall Pass

I have worked for an insurance agency for the past 15 years where I’ve met a lot of people and heard a lot of stories but mostly, I have worked diligently to accomplish a ton of work in an effective and efficient manner. A typical day is normally do-able but there are times during the year when I have so much to do that it’s a little overwhelming and I get stressed out. Even though I try my best to take calming yoga breaths and mindful self-care moments, I’m not infallible. There are still times that I find myself thinking ahead about everything that needs to get accomplished and I worry that I won’t have enough time or energy to get it all done.

When I’m in the middle of a crazy day and I’m feeling overwhelmed, I remember the words that a dear friend spoke to me about 14 years ago. Don Walker was in his 80's at the time. Whenever he would walk into the office, he always had a big smile on his face and he would tell stories that would make everyone laugh. He had been through so much in his lifetime and had figured out that work was just work. There was no need to sweat the small stuff. The most important things in life weren’t things; they were the health and happiness of his family and friends. He would take one look at me when I was all stressed out about the work I had to accomplish that day and say, “This too shall pass.” Although the crazy lady in me wanted to deck him, the reasonable part of me would agree with this. I was too tough to let him know that he was right so I would say, “Really, when?” Then Don would just laugh, smile his cheeky grin and wink at me as if to reassure me that everything was going to be OK.

When Don found out he was dying of cancer, he made it a point to take me out for lunch and share his thoughts and life lessons with me. He said, “You are a wonderful person that has so much to offer this world. Don’t ever let work bring you down. Always remember that ‘This too shall pass.’” Over the years, this phrase has stuck with me and whenever I feel myself getting overwhelmed, I think of Don saying this with a big smile on his face and it reminds me to keep things in perspective and focus on the important things in life. He was always so happy-go-lucky even when he knew he was dying. It is so true what people say about “Older and Wiser.” They have lived through so much more and know that it’s a blessing to be on this earth and that life is a gift.

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