Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A workout for the compassion system.

I cannot believe how long ago it was since I posted anything here in the blog for daily life and memories. I plan to write lots of the latter once the outside season is truly over. There is also a long list of half finished rants and reflections on that blog and a shorter list of same on the garden blog.

But just a quickie here, so I remember this.

I am getting over a cold, or is it a light version of flu? Who knows, who cares. Anyway, a few days of minor discomfort and lack of energy were suffered. I am getting impatient with the up and down nature of recovery that seems to go with this bug. I feel fine when I get up but need a nap every few hours. I really should not complain. I cannot even remember the last time I had a cold. Somewhere I read that it is good for the immune system to get a little workout now and then. I don't know if this is true but it makes some sense.

Then it occurred to me that it is good for another human ability to get a workout. Let's call it the compassion system. When one feels no pain and is well rested most of the time it is all too easy to lose sight of what a struggle life is for the many among us who feel unwell all the time. 

I have friends who have to do this. Whether it is dealing with the acute pain of rheumatoid arthritis, the life-sapping drudgery of anemia, the horrid combination of fatigue, pain 
and depression that is fibromyalgia, the daily roller coaster of Parkinson's, the constant strain of coping with legal blindness in a visual world, daily life just takes so much energy it is a miracle these people have anything left to give.

Yet they do. One smiles through the pain and deals with the public in a demanding professional job. One goes to the tiring, physical job and looks after her special needs child even though she looks forward to going to bed from the moment she gets up. One grits her teeth, does what needs to be done and tries to help friends even though she is in pain, exhausted and depressed. One manages to find joy and gratitude in a restricted life and enriches the world through the beauty of her art. One learned new skills without any help from "the system"  and goes to great lengths to go to job sites. 

When I am unwell, which is rarely, I am not a nice person.
I just want to be left alone to crawl into my lair until I feel better. I could not do what they do.
This little episode is reminding me to bow deeply and send a big wave of admiration to all my struggling friends.