in: Advice, Character, Sunday Firesides

Sunday Firesides: What Feels Like Stress Is . . .

Amidst all the preparation required to leave for a trip — all the ticket purchasing, itinerary planning, suitcase packing, and checklist reviewing — you sometimes start to wonder:

“Man, is dealing with all this stress even worth it?”

We’re taught to think that stress = bad. And stress certainly can be detrimental when it isn’t limited in degree and duration, and shouldered in the service of some good goal.

But, stress can also be an incredibly life-elevating force.

Everyone has a standard baseline for how much effort and bandwidth they expend in their normal, day-to-day lives.

Planning and executing any kind of out-of-the-ordinary event — a party, a project, a performance, a vacation — invariably requires an investment of energy that rises above this comfortable status quo.

What feels like stress is simply the feeling of that spike.

What feels like stress is the getting in gear that’s needed to escape the sticky, motion-sucking mud of inertia.

What feels like stress is the crossing of a boundary marked by two signs: “Now Leaving Your Typical Routine,” and “Welcome to the Land of Memory-Making.” It’s the friction-filled but necessary passage into the only place where it’s possible to create the kind of singular moments you’ll remember long after every other day has coalesced into an indistinguishable blur.

And that’s a trip always worth taking.

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