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I’m Stressed

At my gym I work out next to two attractive seventy something gray haired ladies who are the best of friends. They are known to hang together on the treadmill which they take verrrrry slowly, or to work the machines together taking turns doing their repetitions. In between they chat with all the regulars and the trainers and frequently me.

I only know a little bit about their personal history. One of them is traditionally married. The other is not.

When I walked into the workout room the other day, the single lady was waiting for her friend and on the machine for quads. For some reason we started chatting and she was saying she didn’t know why, but for the last few days, she’d been feeling particularly stressed. In my usual way, I empathized and blamed it on the constancy of the events that have been pummeling us daily since the election. Just this week there was the Texas flood, the DACA crisis, the North Korean threat, the coming of Hurricane Irma, Trump’s son testifying in a Senate committee for his meeting with the Russians during the campaign and the pathetic debut of Mrs. Clinton’s book in which she blames everyone else other than herself for her defeat.

I tell her I try to shut out the chaos with classical music and a resolve to only listen to the blabber for part of the day.

“Mmmmm,” she said. “I paint. But maybe I ought to turn off MSNBC when I’m painting.” This seemed to cheer her up.

When her friend showed up right after our discussion, her friend asked her how she was feeling and she said she had been depressed, but now she was feeling better. She had just decided to turn off MSNBC.

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