Stress. We all face it. We all live with it from time to time. But, how do we deal with it? How do we keep it from consuming us?

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Stress. We all face it. We all live with it from time to time. But, how do we deal with it? How do we keep it from consuming us?
This last week has been one of the most stressful weeks I have experienced in a long time. It reminded me of many years ago in college when a term paper was due, and you still had references to check, research to do, footnotes to document. Then, after that was all done, there was the typing, proofreading, editing and retyping. Most of all - THE DEADLINE!
Some of the readers of this column and my Facebook page are aware that I have been writing my first book. I have spent the last four years squeezing in time to write pages and pages of thoughts and words - trying to visualize what the end result would be.
For me, it has been a daunting task. I would imagine that almost all writers go through periods of creativity and production, as well as times when the words just will not come. It has been like that for me.
But, this past week...overwhelming, to say the least. Long hours, little sleep - knowing that come March 31, my manuscript must be postmarked to my publisher. Trying to put over 60,000 words into manuscript form so that my editor can grab her coffee, put on her glasses - and scour my pages for any needed corrections - terrifying.
The pages of the book include my innermost thoughts, evidenced by poetry and short stories in a collection so personal that it scares me to death to know that the results of my blood, sweat and tears will now be read by someone else...edited and critiqued by someone else...with the hope of being published as an actual book that you can hold in your hands.
My week - this final week - just trying to make it through. Trying to make it through computer glitches, copying and pasting, rewrites, edits, deletions, composing, compiling...and not to mention, dealing with day-to-day life. There is still laundry to wash, dishes to do, grandchildren to spend time with and cats to feed.
As the week progressed, the stress increased. At 5 am on Thursday morning writing this column, I found myself doing some relaxation breathing to keep my stress at a manageable level. As I was getting my thoughts together for this column, I happened to check my calendar for that day, and realized that I had to go to Winchester for a doctor appointment! How in the world would I have time to do that? And, you know how it is with specialist's appointments - you don't dare cancel because you will have to wait too long for the reschedule!
So, now I have added even more stress to the next 48 hours of my life! Plans had to be shifted, and now the short-term goal was getting this column done so that I could hop into the shower and head to Winchester. Now, my morning plans to finish up the final 12 pages of placement into my manuscript have to be moved to the afternoon. I would now be about five hours behind schedule.
Stress and how we deal with it is critical. Hot tea with cream and sugar, that's a good start. By the way, something just dawned on me! Many times, we create our own stress. We make our lists, we plan our activities, and our intentions are always good. But, then there is procrastination. That little birdie inside our heads that says, "I'll do it tomorrow." Tomorrow comes, and we say it again. Then we say, "I still have time, I'll do it next week."
That week is here, and so is Easter week, which in itself is generally busy. Nothing like cramming everything in one week. Yes, that is sometimes - well okay, many times - the life of Trish Morgan.
There is shopping to do for my four grandchildren, Easter baskets to prepare, church activities to attend, and then produce a little 'ol thing called a manuscript...all by March 31. Yep...the simple life LOL.
It's wonderful to live the simple life, but the craziness and unpredictability of life gets in the way sometimes - and it gets complicated, many times by our own doing.
All we can do is accomplish one thing at a time, one day at a time. For me - nothing but focus and determination to complete what I set out to do many years ago. Get this manuscript in the mail...and breathe, just breathe.
God's blessings, my friends. Don't sweat the stress.
Please make time for your favorite place of worship this weekend. Take time to count your blessings, and make time to renew your relationship with God. And breathe, just breathe.