Restlessness, The Two-Headed Beast

There have been few times in my adulthood that I can remember not being restless. One of those was in June four years ago. I was in Columbia for the quarterly meeting of the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging Advisory Board, and Sue had made the trip with me. After my meeting we stopped by the Office on Education to inquire about early retirement for Sue. At that time SC had a program whereby teachers could retire and continue teaching. The meeting was very productive.

With both meetings behind us we headed to the Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The resort had become our annual anniversary getaway. The last day of our stay we rented a small cabana on a private part of the beach for $50. I can remember how peaceful it was. We had lounge chairs, ice water, and snacks. We napped, took dips in the ocean, talked, had a great time, and my mind was at rest.

By all outward appearances I am a very calm guy, but on the inside my mind is always engaged, especially at night when I should be sleeping. My name is Stan Means, and I am restless! I think I have been most of my life, but the last year and a half has been much worse. I would like to lay all of the blame on Sue being in the hospital for months and dying almost a year ago, but I believe it is more than that.

Paul said that Godliness with contentment is great gain, and Thomas Edison said that restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. I believe both are true and are two sides of the same coin. My mother bought me a key chain for my 16th birthday. On the back was first part of the following prayer.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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