A little stress is a good thing

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We took a family trip to Colonial Williamsburg last month. It's a fascinating place, worth visiting at least once, although there's enough there for several long visits if you're into that sort of thing.

The actors are all incredibly authentic and never seem to break character. They stop in the street to have conversations with visitors, and even with one another. They seem to have a wealth of knowledge about the people and times of the colonial era, and our inquisitive kids certainly put that knowledge to the test. ๐Ÿ˜

Thomas Jefferson and Martha Washington

As knowledgeable as they are, and as much fun as it is to bounce questions off them and get answers back as if it actually is still the 18th century, I was also impressed by the thoughtfulness of their answers.

One of the kids asked the blacksmith if he was stressed out. The building, and the work, looked hot and dusty and dirty. Sure, they're educating visitors, but it's authentic too. They are blacksmiths, and there's others training as wheelwrights, tinsmiths, brickmakers, tanners, etc, since they produce many of the items used as props and to repair the buildings, to keep everything authentic. (As much as possible, when you're dealing with the realities of having to fund it, make it attractive to visitors, and integrate it with a world 300 years out of sync.)

Blacksmiths
The fire looked like a blowtorch, due to the huge bellows she was operating

Anyway, his answer wasn't glib or overly-dramatic. It was just honest. He said he is a little stressed, but after a pause, he also said he thinks a little bit of stress is good for everyone. It pushes us. It helps us prioritize our time and what we have to do.

Being overworked and overstressed isn't healthy. But having no stress at all isn't healthy either. Imagine having no ambitions or responsibilities competing for your time, nothing you care about that weighs on your mind even a little, forcing you to make decisions about what matters most and where you'll focus your time and energy today. Imagine the wasted opportunity of a life with no stress at all.

Here's a few other photos of the various other trades I mentioned.

I'm not sure when we'll revisit, since this was our second time. Probably not for quite awhile, although it'd be fun to go back when covid is a distant memory. There were quite a few buildings, or floors of buildings, that were closed off to visitors. As it turns out, having to wipe down wood every few hours with disinfectant is bad for it. Imagine that. Overall though, we had a great time.

Author

Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.


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