Sunday, August 29, 2010

Do Nothing

     So many of us are caregivers, and many more of us are worriers.  We want to be able to fix the world:  men have no proprietary edge on that. When we can't fix what is broken, we take care of it in the best way we can. There is healing in being able to do something, anything, to make the situation better. In my case, caring for my sister means baking cookies and sending cards and eating breakfast with her when I visit. Those things won't heal the cancer, but they help heal the soul, both hers and mine. And that's about all we can ask for, since we aren't really in control of the universe.
    Caregiving itself is a heavy task, one I'm happy that I needn't do on a 24/7 basis. How do we refresh ourselves when the energy we have been giving to others depletes our own reservoirs?
    Martha Beck in the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, writes an article titled "Lying Low," the gentle art of surviving when things fall apart. "If nothing's working for you, if you feel as though you're pushing against the grain, the most productive thing you can do is nothing." Step four in her article is to "Rest like you mean it." I breathed a deep truly relaxed sigh after finishing her article.
    When there is nothing to be done, do nothing, and then bake cookies.

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