a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

how to manage stress

< by Jill, and also her dad >

In the aftermath of the cockroach incident, I emailed my dad, seeking advice on two topics:

1. How to manage stress

2. How to pick out a good cat

I wouldn’t normally crack open the vault of personal emails, but his response to the first question merits publicity. It’s simple yet wise, yielding as much truth today as it did years ago. His response to the second question is equally insightful, though slightly less direct. Here goes:


Most of the time we get all tied up worrying about everyday things we pretty much have no control over. … I have learned to divide my stress into two categories and forget about the first category and deal with the second category.

Category 1

S – superfluous

T – time

R – reviewing

E – everyday

S – stupid

S – stuff

Category 2

S – special

T – times

R – requiring

E – evaluation

S – study (and)

S – serious (actions)

With category one out of the way, at least you have a smaller field of things to deal with.

As far as a cat goes, if you decide to get one let mom pick it out for you. That’s not my area …

At you service 24/7.


Lessons learned: (1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. (2) When in doubt, ask mom.


  Larry Who wrote @

Sound advice. Moms always know about cats.

  Malkire wrote @

I think his advice is spot on! What a wise man for a dad. I may have to reference thus for my students

  on thehomefrontandbeyond wrote @

what a smart man – on both counts

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