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Managing Life: The 6 "Fs" Method

Updated on November 5, 2011
Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Momis a keen observer of life. She hubs to share her personal experiences and opinions in helpful, and often amusing ways.

This hub is in respose to a fellow hubber's request. After reading my "Why I'm Sick to Death of Men" hub, Amber Korn wrote, "You sure do have your plate full. How do you get through it all?"

Well, Amber, that's a darned good question. Thank you for asking. There are many days when I feel like pulling my hair out and yelling F#^%(@%# everthing. And you know what? For the first 4 decades of my life, that attitude served me quite well. But now I need a more mature coping strategy to deal with people who get on my more mature nerves.

So I've identified some other "F" words that work for me. I hope they'll work for you, too.

Read My Paws!

F#1. Feet

When the going gets tough, the tough get moving. Nothing clears my head quite like a brisk walk -- or even a slow walk. Being outside in the grandeur of Nature always makes me feel connected to my God and to the world around me. It's pretty hard to feel down when you look up at the sun or watch the wind rustle through the leaves. Bonus: Coming across a kitty who lets me pet her.

F#2. Fur

But I don't leave cat encounters to chance. Our house is a very, very fine house, with four cats in the bed. Each provides solace in his/her own way. Sometimes they merely tolerate me burying my head in their fur or hoisting them into my arms for a cuddle. Often they intuit that Mom is hurting. They'll climb onto my chest to give me heart-to-heart resuscitation.

Studies show that petting an animal is an excellent stress reliever. Personally, I think purring is about the most zen sound around.

I Need You, Too, Sweet Feline

F#3. Friends

We all need someone we can lean on. That's what friends are for! I try hard not to overburden any one person or call a pow wow for every little problem. After all, I don't want to use up all of my lifelines!

Just getting away from the situation is helpful. Scheduling a coffee, lunch or chick-flick date with a pal feels like a treat. It's also really cheap therapy.

Inevitably, I end up putting my own problems into perspective. Because, inevitably, my friend has things going on in her (or his) life also. It's all about sharing and listening. Sometimes I get useable advice and sometimes I'm able to offer useable advice. It's all good!

F#4. Family

I am of the age where the definition of "family" is shifting. Mom's dead (God rest her soul). I can still talk to her, but I it's just not the same. Dad still loves to be consulted. However, I've come to realize his viewpoints are more narrow and out-of-date than helpful. My sister is a nurse. So if the problem I'm facing is medical in nature, I know where to take it.

Interestingly, our 30-something niece is emerging as a sage to be reckoned with. She's immensely practical and pragmatic. More and more we find ourselves (Hubby and I) bringing her in on family decisions.

And I'm finding time with my son more enjoyable, too. A year or even six months ago, I wouldn't have dreamed this would ever be the case. But it's a blessing, and I'll take it.

F#5. Food

No discussion of coping mechanisms would be complete without comfort food. I am as guilty as the next woman of turning to chocolate, cookies, cheese and chips (not together, of course) as the occasion calls for them. I have been known to indulge my sugar or starch cravings to the bursting point.

But I am just as likely to find my comfort in the preparation, rather than the consumption of food. There is something supremely calming about cooking. Say what you will about blades in motion, chopping is not my catharsis. To me it's all about bringing order to a chaotic hodgepodge of ingredients; simmering my troubles into delicious submission.

F#6. Faith

I've saved the most powerful for last. And now that I'm here, I'm realizing it's not easy to be flip about faith. So I will play this capsule reasonably straight.

For me, faith is a one-on-one relationship with my Higher Power, who I choose to call God. I have come to rely on God to get me through some pretty sticky jams and some pretty dark days. But as the saying goes, "If God brings you to it, God will get you through it."

My worldview is informed by the 12 steps of recovery. As such, I carry with me the tools to handle anything and everything life throws at me. I don't have to like it. But I know I'll survive it ... if I'm intended to.

I want to touch briefly on the topic of "service" here -- giving back and helping others. I've found it's pretty hard to stay stuck on the pity pot when you're visiting people in a psychiatric hospital or a rehab facility. "There but for the grace of God go I" is my motto. I always feel rejuvenated after a night of service.

In the end, it comes down to asking for guidance. No matter how much is on my plate, I've learned I can break it down to bite-sized pieces by repeating three simple lines:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

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    • spryte profile image

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      MM...I LOVE THIS HUB! And now I truly understand how you manage to get through it all. I'm not the pity pot sitter type either...so I understand that sentiment. I'm not saying you can't have a good little pity party but it's not solving the problem and eventually you have to get off the pot and tackle the issue.

      And I'm stealing your "heart to heart rescusitation" comment. Well, not in writing...but it's just too darn good not to use amongst family and friends. Makes me think of all the kitty hugs I've received when I've been blue.

      Big thumbs up!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Oh there you are! I just followed you over to Shades' hub. Coming back to find where the party is after a few hours away is always such a challenge!

      Well thanks for the comment. One of these hubs I'm going to write about our darling Penny who originated the heart-to-heart meld. Before she died she taught it to our new cat Jimmy, who will also get his own hub in the near future.

      My butt spent so many years on the PP I can't even count 'em. Sometimes I kinda miss wallowing in that "misery loves company" barstool BS. But like I can't go back to being 30, I can't go back to solving problems like I was 30 either. This way is muy gooder for me and my family!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Mighty Mom - you're well named - what wonderful F-words to get you thru life!

      I think doggy hugs are great too :)

      And yes, faith really is the final buttress, isn't it? And when like in you, it goes hand in hand with hope and charity, it's an unbeatable recipe for handling life.

    • spryte profile image

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      MM - For some reason, I think everyone has gone to bed. I think last night's cabinet decisions exhausted everyone :) I'm heading to bed now too I think. I'm in the mood for hubby snuggles or heart to heart rescusitation from my five cats. See you tomorrow!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi Shalini. Faith, hope, charity and LOVE. Gotta remember the L word, too! And you're right. I used the word "Fur" intentionally rather than "Feline" because dogs are wonderful too. I wish we had one. Soon!

      Spryte, night night! Sleep tight with your man and your babies. I will be offline visiting my dad and then walking on the beach with hubby tomorrow and won't be back onto HubPages till Sun night. Can't hardly wait to see the State of the Union. Lawdy, lawdy!

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      My Tribute to Mighty MOM (MM)

      Whenever MM faces lifes challenges

      There are certain ways she changes

      First of all she takes those nature walks

      And to herself she has those talks

      It does calm to be around a pet

      mostly it tends to help, you bet

      She even takes the support from family

      with whosoever she feels so homely

      Sometime she may get attached to food

      which surely gets her back in good mood

      Sometimes she turns to her friends

      Who do their best to make amends

      Finally she turns to Almighty God

      WHO in support gives the nod.

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Delightful, CW! And you're a poetess, too! But how did you know I talk to myself? I didn't write that in the hub -- even though it is soooo true!

      I'm heading to bed now. If you haven't already, go check out what our beloved president is up to. He just wrote a hub about money. It's pretty *dirty* in a funny kinda way!

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      MM- I do that kind of talking all the time (I sure hope like my granny when I get older I don't do the loud talking)...hehe

      Sure will check out his hub. Good night and have a great trip. Come back with loads of happy memories.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      Mighty Mom: You left out one very important F word (No - not that one!) but rather FEELING, as in feeling Pepe as he gives you a full-body massage!

      Seriously, lovely hub! It is calming to read it, and points out how the simple things in life can give us so much. Thanks you for writing it!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Good night for real now, you guys. CW -- I know there are others still up and about so I won't have to worry that I am leaving you to talk only to yourself:-)

      Christoph -- LOL. Good catch on missing F word! Well, TWO good catches;-). What would I do without Sr. Pepe? Even though (alas) my full-body massages are only of the virtual type, they are always FANTASTIC!!! And I am most appreciative!!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

      The courage to change the things I can,

      And the wisdom to know the difference.

      Theres another PP, as in "peas in the pod"

      MM thats PP's favourite quote! and thats one of the good things on getting older, you aquire that "wisdom" through experiences like your having now, to be able to know the difference.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Good for you, MM. All those things are very good self-therapy techniques.

    • Pam Roberson profile image

      Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia

      MM, this is such an inspirational hub. :) I think most women tend to feel overwhelmed a great deal because it's our nature to nurture, and we often find ourselves pulled in many directions at once. Thanks for spelling out all the "F's" to sanity. :)

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 8 years ago from Hong Kong

      You certainly know a lot of "F" words.

      thanks for the great read.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Awesome, MM. All these marvelous F words would have been a gold mine for Crosby Stills Nash & Young, if only they would have thought of it.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great ways to cope! I use a few of them myself. The feet, fur, and faith are my best ones.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Beautiful hub MM, you are truly a very strong woman and an inspiration to all of us :)

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thanks all, dear Hubber FRIENDS. I am now back from my weekend away dealing with FAMILY and happy to have my little FUR creature Jimmy on my lap. Yes, Benson -- I do know a lot of "F" words. LOL! Might have to add a few more capsules to this hub. Forgot (oh -- there's another "F" word) FREEDOM and FUN!

    • profile image

      pgrundy 8 years ago

      Great tips MM! I am much soothed by cooking too. I don't even have to eat what I cook (but I do of course) in order to be calmed by preparing the food.

      I'm not much for religion, but I did have a friend who told me once that praying is like flipping a light switch--The lights come on whether you believe in them or not. That helped me a lot. I use prayer all the time now without being especially religious. I'm not an atheist, more of an agnostic. I just don't know and don't like to act like I know about God or religion. But the thing about prayer is, it works! So from a purely pragmatic standpoint, why wouldn't you use it? The thing is, people have to try it or they don't know it works.

      Thanks for a great hub. Hope things get a tad bit less stressful for you soon!

    • sixtyorso profile image

      sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

      Great hub. Gives a few insights into your character. I find you strong and Mighty Mom is such an apt name.

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi PG and Sixty. Good to see you back, Pam. Missed your charm and wit. I am sure there's a story behind your new avatar! Once again we find a bonding commonality. Although I personally did not have any problem selecting a "God of my understanding" I know people who have issues with the whole "God" thing. Glad you found your way to prayer!

      Sixty -- Now that this is written I am remembering other "f" words I left out. FANTASYS belongs in here, too. And FANTASTICALLY supportive FANS too! TG for HubPages and people like you! Good bless!!!

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      MM, What a wonderful hub, I also use some of these techniques to get through the hard times. They help.

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I bet you do, G-mom. There's another "f" word that is strategically missing but it's a great stress reliever. FONDLING (and where it leads). Happy coping! MM

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I love your tips Mighty Mom! Life can be challenging but if you just keep the "f's" in mind, I believe you will be fine! :) LOL I enjoyed your hub. Keep loving life to the full. Can I now have chocolate cake please? :) (Grin)

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thanks, Ripplemaker! Chocolate cake -- I dunno if I feel like sharing. That's one of my FAVORITE "Fs" -- FLUFFY and FUDGY chocolate cake! But since you're here and being supportive, you can have a big old slice with me. FRIEND to FRIEND:-).

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

      Mighty Mom has a fantastic guide to life's challenges that everyone can follow. I loved your hub MM. Great job.

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Dottie, you are too kind. Thanks, dear lady!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      LOL I would love a big bite of your fluffy, fudgy chocolate cake! I will not refuse! And thank you for sharing! :) Eating with a friend can turn a day around. Esp. after a heavy one. :) Thanks MightyMom :)

    • sixtyorso profile image

      sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

      aww mighty mom you are too kind *blushes*

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Ripplemaker, hope you are ok with chocolate chip cookies and tea. That's what I'm serving today. And you are most welcome to join me for a hubber to hubber chat! You too, Sixty. But please leave your Santa costume at home (have you seen what Misty did, the little vixen!!!).

    • sixtyorso profile image

      sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

      MM I did but that must be a doppelganger. It can't possibly be me. I would be naked with only the hat. Besides I am sure that I would have seen Misty taking that pic and invited her to join me.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I'm okay with chocolate chip cookies and tea! Yummy! :) I'm ready for a chat too. LOL Thanks for the warmth shared on this cool november day.

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Sixty -- LOL. I think you must be a dobbleganger! That explains a lot!!

      Ripplemaker, Tea and company. lovely idea for a November day. Wish it was cool here. They are predicting 75 degrees. That's just so not right! But here on HubPages the weather is always perfect -- as is the company!

    • Miss G profile image

      Miss G 8 years ago

      Great hub!Those "F" words are the best!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thanks, Miss G. You know what they say, if you can't fight 'em, f 'em:-)!!!

    • linjingjing profile image

      linjingjing 8 years ago

      Mighty Moms Guide to Lifes Challenges

      This is a good idea

    • k@ri profile image

      k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

      Thank you Mighty Mom. You have brought tears to my eyes today twice! My cat has been staying closer than normal to me and my faith is strong. I truly believe "If God brings you to it, God will get you through it." Still, it's always good to hear! Hugs and love to you!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Faith and friends -- furry and human -- will get us through anything. And you are right that "If God brings you to it, God will get you through it." The other saying I didn't used to understand but now make perfect sense is "This too shall pass." Whatever is so looming over you at this moment will move on. Maybe even later today!

      Keep your eye on the beacon. I always find strength in light!

    • marketingmergenow profile image

      marketingmergenow 7 years ago from Spokane

      Great hub MM,

      There are great ways to cope with life’s frustrations that come your way. Unfortinately, in this demanding world stress comes from many sources. Just recently I heard from the radio the health

      Problems that stress can do to your health. Some of which can even be quite serious. Believe or not now research reveals that noise can also significantly raise your stress level.

      Surprisingly, many of the coping strategies they mention some of them were also mentioned in this hub. So your hub is right on target. I really appreciated the useful information in this article.

      I have used some of them myself for stressful days. I won't hesitate to tell you that they work! Thank you.

      marketingmergenow

       

       

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      hello Marketingmergenow. I thank you for visiting my hub. There are sooo many contributing factors to stress these days. Some are unavoidable, but others just seem to pile onto them. It's good to know that others use some of the same techniques I do. In fact, I hadn't reread my own hub in months and saw that my friend k@ri came here and commented and I know she is having a down week. So I'm glad to offer some suggestions. And realize that i should follow my own advice!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      We face challenges every so often. These are very Useful Tips. Cute Kittens. :)

    • profile image

      Dean martin 6 years ago

      "I always find strength in light!"

      Try full strength mm gets you there quicker - red hammers - a real slammer!

      jeannie sends her love, keep them cards and letters coming in.

      *(everybody loves somebody sometimes) * :)p

    • okmom23 profile image

      okmom23 6 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      MM, Love this hub! The guidelines, boundaries and solutions are right on target. Well done!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thanks so much okmom! I get the sense you have similar outlook on life. Best wishes for a stress free 2011. MM

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