by Shadra Bruce

I don’t pretend to ever be able to solve all the world’s problems, although I often think that if normal people with common sense were in charge of the country instead of Republicans and Democrats worried about re-election that things would be better. I don’t even pretend to be able to solve all the problems in my own family, which, with five kids, a 200-year old house, and student loans coming due sooner than later sometimes seem overwhelming. I can’t even solve all of my clients’ problems, even though I do my best to make them happy.

Sometimes, though, I have a solution to all the problems I am facing:

Take a deep breath.

Let it go for another day.

Pour a glass of wine.

Sit on the front porch.


I’m not advocating alcohol, and you can replace “glass of wine” with “bubble bath” if you’d rather, although I would not sit on the front porch for that…

My point is, we can’t fix everything. We can’t even fix most things. We need to be able to accept that, step back, and let it go.

As much as I believe that stress can be used to motivate you to achieve success, managing your stress is a crucial key to contentment, and that means being able to accept that some things are beyond your control.

Good Fences Don’t Always Make Good Neighbors

I have recently had experience with practicing what I’m preaching. Our next door neighbor is a dear old lady who rents from an out of town landlord. For years, we and other neighbors have been telling the land owner that his trees are dead, dangerous, and must come down. During a recent windstorm, our concerns were validated (yay?) when a large chunk of the tree came down on my beautiful new white picket fence and crushed part of it.

New York has a falling object law that says the person who sustains damage is responsible for the cost, when a healthy tree is involved. That, of course, is the law this landowner is choosing to quote as he refuses to pay for our fence.

Down the road, I’ll most likely have to take him to civil court, sue him for the cost of repairs to my fence, and hopefully get a judge to order him to remove the two dead trees before they cost additional damage.

For now, though, I’ve called my contractor and I’ve poured myself a glass of wine.

It can’t be fixed tonight. It will still be there tomorrow. In time, it will all be settled. For now, though, I’m going to position myself on the front porch so that I can’t see the broken part of the fence; I’m going to enjoy the onset of Spring, and I’m going to take a deep breath, drink my wine, and let it go.

Disclaimer: I’m speaking only to the over-21 moms, and I’m not advocating drinking as a solution to anything. I’m promoting the idea of walking away from stress and being ok with tackling the big issues another day when you need to.