Sunday, January 13, 2008


I had seen the "YOU" series of books for a while (you know the ones, "YOU on a diet", etc.) but didn't know much about them. That was until my in-laws sent us "YOU Staying Young". Now, my in-laws are in their late 70's and just recently gave up tent camping - they're healthy stock!

The book has opened my eyes to several concepts, some I've had in my mind, but just not as strongly supported.

One concept is the concept of venting. The book, and another source that I can't recall right now, state that although venting may seem to feel good, it is actually counterproductive. That venting or griping about an upset actually makes matters worse. It reminds me of the story about the "worry tree", which was read recently at my Rotary during "Words of Wisdom".

The Worry Tree ! Author unknown

The Carpenter I hired to help me restore and old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree", he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is", he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Every time I had heard this story I thought the moral was that you shouldn't subject your family to your problems, but now I understand that the real benefactor is you. That by not giving your worries power, you minimize and shrink them. That by choosing to be happy in your life, you can minimize the sadness.

1 comment:

yertle said...

That's interesting. It seems right in line with the book I just finished -- Happiness Now, that says that happiness is a choice and it is always available to you in every moment.

I have been wanting to get the YOU getting older book since I have always wanted to live to 100 in good health. I don't know why, but I just want to see how much things change in that time.