Daily Words of Wisdom
So stressed you could scream? This simple strategy can take you from panic to peace in a single phrase.
Don't worry about the mule going blind; just keep the wagon loaded.
—Mary Ann Lowry, 55, Thousand Oaks, CA; life coach
"I love this little mantra that my father learned from his father, who grew
up on a farm in Texas. The basic message is, 'Put one foot in front of the
other, and keep moving forward.' The saying always makes me smile even in the
worst of times. I used it just yesterday: On the way to meet friends for
breakfast, I got a ticket. I started getting all worked up about the fine,
traffic school, being late. Then I reminded myself not to worry about the mule
going blind: I could let this incident ruin a beautiful day, or shift my
thoughts from the future to the present, from anxious to mellow. And I
The kids will never remember; you'll never forget.
—Cheryl Lage, 44, Richmond, VA; freelance writer and editor
"As a mom of 7-year-old twins, when I'm anxious about my children's health
or my own maternal faux pas, I'm soothed by this comment my husband made early
in our parenthood; I repeat it to myself almost daily. When the twins, a girl
and a boy, were 2, both had to go to the emergency room a day apart. I was a
wreck, but I remembered what my husband had said, and he was right: The kids
are happy and healthy and don't even recall what happened."
Support is a phone call away.
—Renée Peterson Trudeau, 43, Austin; life-balance coach
"I keep a support-system note card pinned to my office bulletin board and on
my refrigerator. On it is contact information for friends, babysitters,
housecleaners, doctors, handymen, and counselors. All I have to do is call!
Recently, I was heading out of town and having a hard time covering child care,
airport transportation, volunteer commitments, and making sure my family had
some ideas for meals while I was gone. I called my wonderful neighbor and asked
if she could help me brainstorm. Not only did she come up with creative
solutions, but she also offered to have my family over for dinner one night!
Support is always there — I just have to get comfortable asking for it."
I sing to myself — little snippets of songs that seem apropos, like "...breathe in, breathe out," from "Machinehead" by Bush.
—C.J. Lyons, Pittsburgh; pediatric ER physician
"Once I was treating a little girl with a head trauma and we were
short-staffed, our CT scanner was out of order, and I needed to be in six
places at once. The music in my head helped me to stay in control, reaffirming
that my team and I knew what to do, and that despite any obstacles thrown in
our path, we were going to help this girl. And we did!"