LIFE MATTERS

Where can I buy a rocking chair?

By LINDA PETERSEN
Posted 7/2/20

During these stressful times, it is very easy for me to use platitudes to try to make others feel better, or even to make myself feel better. Ever the optimist, clichés often roll off my …

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LIFE MATTERS

Where can I buy a rocking chair?

Posted

During these stressful times, it is very easy for me to use platitudes to try to make others feel better, or even to make myself feel better. Ever the optimist, clichés often roll off my tongue.

The Philadelphia Tribune published an article on “inspirational sayings to get us through the corona virus”.

My own positive affirmations have seemed inappropriate, so the article was of great interest to me.

During the Great Depression, with a frantic nation, President Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural address included the saying “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. This popular cliché is meant to be reassuring, but is it? In reality, my greatest fear is to die from COVID-19!

Who among us, alive in 1988, can forget the song “Don’t worry, be happy!” It has been my mantra throughout life, and would normally be an appropriate saying. Although happiness is intrinsic in my life, now it is tinged with worry and fear. It would be selfish to be truly happy when so many people are getting sick and dying.

Perhaps a better consideration is Bob Marley’s “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, cause every little thing’s gonna be alright”. To infer that everything will be fine does make me feel a smidgen better, but can I trust that everything WILL be alright?

Author Vivian Greene shared her meaning of life. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Ah…an apt saying for our quirky summer days where rain shows up out of nowhere and douses us with torrents of water. Dancing in the rain, getting soaked, water dripping down my forehead, feet squishing in my shoes, clothes clinging to my body, splashing in newly developed puddles, and laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks would surely take my mind off the killer virus, but only briefly.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill felt that whatever happened, people just needed to endure. “If you are going through hell, keep going!” Ah, not very encouraging at all. Perhaps a little more hopeful is the familiar old Persian saying “This too shall pass.”

The cartoon illustrator, Charles Schulz, (of Peanuts fame,) had said “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia”.

Perhaps physicist Marie Curie, who did research with radioactivity, made the most appropriate statement. “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.” True. Those of us in Rhode Island are lucky to live in one of the two states where the rate of the corona virus has gone down. This, of course, has not been by accident, but by increasing knowledge about what prevents the spread of the virus and sticking to it...and sticking to it…and sticking to it even when we are worn out and discouraged.

My mentor and role model, Erma Bombeck, best addressed my anxiety. “Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” I don’t need to get anywhere; I just need to be able to relax amidst this COVID-19 firestorm. Mindlessly rocking in a comfy chair sounds just about perfect. Where can I buy one?

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