As I sit here writing this post, I am enjoying a 2004 Malbec accompanied by the music of James Newton Howard.  The door is open and the hint of a breeze checks in like clock work every few minutes.  I did very little today…. and I found myself almost annoyed at the notion of a day spent in lethargy.

Many of us are seeing a slow start to this year, many even saw a slow end to the last, and for this, the presence of stress has embodied our lives.  Be it that cocktail of a poison that distinguishes not respiratory, nerves, heart, nor personal life, social life, work life.  Stress is going to happen, but should be embraced for it will generate character amongst those, that in the face of such workless days, gave thanks that life carries on in such adversity.

In this calm night I reflect on an interview I saw about a year ago on the Daily Show.  It was between Jon Stewart and a man named Ishmael Beah.  Beah is one of the many from the war torn regions in Africa who suffered through an abduction in which his parents were murdered before his eyes and an ultimatum of join them or join us (being the rebel armies of the Sierra Leon) was passed down.  As a young boy he was taught to fight and kill an enemy which he knew nothing of.  Yet throughout this interview he is almost sprightly, be it a bout of courage, or an inner strength that few posses.  He talks of learning to sleep again after escaping such armies, leaving the audience, Jon Stewart and myself taken back in the profound nature of such a common aspect of life.  Many burdens, even the current economy, seem to pail in comparison to the nightmare that was Beah’s everyday.

Humble in the notion that such chaos lives, I pray everyday for a life that is rounded with work, friends and family yet often have forgotten to give thanks for the life that my maker has already granted me.  If I can help but one person find a state of calm in our current climate I will be grateful, so with this I offer a challenge to anyone who is interested:

It is Friday, you have a weekend ahead of you so…

  • Workout; be it weights, cardio, yoga, or Wii Fit
  • Turn off the TV (especially the news), pour yourself a glass of wine (red or white) and put on a good CD (relaxing stuff…Norah, Ray, Mayer, Celine).
  • Call your parents, tell them thank you
  • If there is a significant other in your life (guy, girl, different sex, same sex…. doesn’t matter) tell them you love them, and mean it.  I don’t care if you are in a fight and not talking, this is not a concession or weakness, it is an olive branch of compassion, and needed now more than ever.
  • -for the photographers-  don’t photograph anything (unless you have to).  relax, clean your gear, and watch the light without the viewfinder getting in the way.