Stress and the Meaning of Life

For this week’s Small Moments Monday, I am so excited to present my friend Kristin, from Taming Inanity.

You know those people who just seem completely unflappable?  You know the ones, those people who can have challenges heaped upon them and they still manage to stay (relatively) sane and upbeat.  That’s how Kristin has always seemed to me. 

I remember getting to know her on Twitter during those middle of the night feedings when our babies were younger.  I sat there, bleary eyed, nursing Matthew, checking Twitter to see how many times she’d been woken.  We bonded over extreme exhaustion and I’m grateful to have had someone who was going through the same experience I was.  Misery does, in fact, love company. 

I seek Kristin out when I’m having a rough time, as her silliness and quirky sense of humor can brighten any day.  She’s the kind of person I would love to have living next door…someone who could be the Laverne to my Shirley.  We would be the cause of far too many mishaps. But, the fun we’d have would be ridiculous.

I love this post that she has written to share with us.  It shows a more serious side of her personality and it speaks volumes about what a beautiful person she is.  I consider myself so lucky to have met her.

Stress and the Meaning of Life — by Kristin (KLZ)

My life goes through what I’ve lovingly dubbed “stress cycles”.

It seems that for whatever reason, every few years everything converges on me at once to create a cyclone of crazy through which I must navigate.

When I was 21, I was in college full-time and getting things ready to graduate. I was also working an internship full-time, buying a condo, looking for a permanent full-time job and packing my things to move.

I’m embarrassed to say, I watched a lot of Fear Factor during those four months. My brain could not compute anything more intelligent than that. I sat and stared at the screen. I may have drooled.

After I graduated, I thought I may have escaped the horror of these stress cycles. I planned a wedding and got married without anything else attacking me. I got pregnant and had a baby and our lives were as calm as that period of time can be.

But now? Now we are trying to find David a new job. And buying a house for which we have no closing date. And planning Alex’s first birthday party, in that new house for which we have no closing date while coordinating my sister’s bachelorette party. And dealing with renting our condo out. And both my parents turn 60 in the next two months. Did I mention my in-laws are in from out of town for ten days and would like us to entertain them?

The events themselves are not unusual but the rapidity with which they’ve piled onto one another is astounding. They’re also all directly dependent on one another. We can’t buy the house without renting the condo but we can’t rent the condo until we find out the closing date. Fun things like that.

Yet even in the midst of all this stress, there is peace.

Seeing my son smile as he sits a top his father’s shoulders, using David’s hair as a handhold for stability, I can’t help but see how beautifully blessed I am. My heartbeat slows, my shoulders relax.

These tiny things, these small moments, are what it’s all about.

Sitting on the floor, making jokes with my mother, sister, husband and future brother-in-law while my son plays happily, is a small, loud moment that brings me inner calm. Should we be sitting on the floor? Perhaps not. But how else would we see the magic that flies from my son’s finger tips? How else would we catch the knowing looks that pass amongst us? How else would we revel in being together? There are other ways for other families. But this one is ours.

I can’t imagine another place to be that would bring me so much joy.

No matter what house we’re in or what stress cycle we have thrown at us, we are together.

And that is the biggest little thing of all.

And now?  Hop on over to Taming Insanityto say hello to Kristin.  Be sure to check out my absolute favorite posts, We’re Not In Chicago Anymore, Dressing Myself, Things I learned as a Child, and Sweet Charity.  I have absolutely no doubt that you’ll love her as much as I do.

Thank you so much, Kristin, for coming over and hanging out with me today. 


  1. susie

    I have too many weeks of things piled one on top of the other.

    I think the key is one minute at a time as you have done.

  2. What a pleasant surprise to follow your link and find a guet post by one of my favorite ladies! I loved this post! I agree, when the world feels like it’s falling apart, it’s the little things that keep us together!

  3. Kristin, you are one of my fave bloggers! thanks for this post. little moments are what make the stress cycles worth it. :D

  4. Maryline

    In her post, Kristin captured exactly the attitude I'm looking to adopt. But right now, I have a hard time not letting the stress of the little things hold me back.
    Looking forward to reading more Small Moments Monday to help me achieve the inner piece of the small moments despite the chaos around us!

  5. What a pleasant surprise to follow your link and find a guet post by one of my favorite ladies! I loved this post! I agree, when the world feels like it's falling apart, it's the little things that keep us together!

  6. Kristin

    Kristin-you made me cry a little bit. I really like these small moment Mondays. I need a lot of reminders to chill out I think.

    Also I wish I had Twitter when I was up in the night nursing.

    Can Craig give me a mobile theme tutorial?

  7. TamingInsanity

    Thanks for having me, I'm really, really excited to be here.

  8. I believe there are stress vortexes and we occasional fall into them.

    And seeing those little things – noticing them – is our tether that keeps us in our life and lets the vortex swirl around us.

    The vortex moves on, and if we've tethered properly, our life is there waiting for us.

  9. Alli_n_Son

    Life happens like that for me too. It’s all or nothing. I always savor the nothing.

  10. Tanya

    Kristin I loved this post. I can easily relate to how perfectly everything seems to converge at once.

    The amazing thing is how quickly it all works itself out when you focus on those small wonderful moments.

    Thanks for providing one of them today!

  11. Perfect post for me today. I have been super stressed this week, getting caught up in all the tasks that need to be accomplished and not relishing int he peaceful moments underneath. Thanks.

  12. Nichole

    This post was a great reminder to take things exactly that way–one minute at a time.

  13. Nichole

    She's one of my favorites too!

  14. Nichole

    You and Kristen both share the challenge of working and raising kids at the same time. I can't even begin to imagine the stress that introduces into your lives.

    You are both examples that you can do both really, really well.

  15. Nichole

    Having Kristin was such a treat for me too!
    Her positivity is contagious.

  16. Nichole

    I didn't have an iPhone when I had Katie and those midnight feedings were torture. Having the phone with Matthew helpted me to get through the feedings without dozing off in the rocking chair.

  17. Nichole

    It was my absolute pleasure…your post was such a great reminder to be present and to take comfort from those moments with those that we love.

  18. Nichole

    I am going to print out this comment and put it in my wallet.
    The next time life feels overwhelming, I'm going to reread your words.
    Beautifully written, Lori.

  19. Nichole

    The nothing is my absolute favorite.

  20. Nichole

    Holding onto those little moments is what helps me keep my sanity when life feels crazy.

  21. Nichole

    It's so tough sometimes, though, when your brain tells you that if you can just check off your tasks, THEN you can have time to focus on the little things. But, if put in that order, the list never seems to get done.

  22. kris

    This is a lovely post.

    Another lovely post about noticing and holding those small moments.

    You should feel so proud of this series, Nichole.

    I love coming here.

  23. ksluiter

    This series is one of my most favorites! I ALWAYS look forward to Mondays. Because even though Mondays can be crazy? This post always slows me down and makes me happy!

  24. Nichole

    You have absolutely no idea how happy this series makes me.
    And to think that it brings others joy makes it even more wonderful.
    Love you!

  25. Nichole

    I'm so happy that I do these on Mondays, as I'm pretty sure that I had never before looked forward to the week starting!

    I'm so happy that it brings you joy, Katie. :)

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