“…and a shoutout to Sharon in Accounting for submitting her financial report on time from her hospital bed, even with spotty WiFi. Way to show that losing both arms in a car accident doesn’t mean you can’t type with your nose! Everyone else, what’s your excuse?”
We in the US seem to take particular pride in demonstrating our inability to maintain a sane balance in our lives, viewing those who don’t exhibit an indomitable will as not trying hard enough.
Persevering in the face of adversity is laudable. But then, is experiencing difficulty doing so a weakness? Or just confirmation that we can be vulnerable and have limitations, and that’s perfectly acceptable?
It’s not always possible to rise to the occasion. Cancer patients experience this. They are told to “be strong, you can beat this!” “Never give up!” They are supposed to be warriors with limitless energy for the fight.
Lemme tell ya, sometimes you don’t feel like a fighter. Sometimes all you can do is just show up, and that’s a victory.
But there’s always that one person who manages a quasi-superhuman feat while undergoing a particularly grueling treatment. We’ve all heard about their inspiring story because they’ve been held up as a shining example of what can be accomplished even in the darkest of times and most difficult of situations. So if they can do it and you can’t, what’s wrong with you?
Maybe there’s nothing wrong, maybe it just means that the most important thing in your life is to focus inwardly on your healing in whatever way you need to. Why should relentless productivity overshadow self-care?
Every being has limits, and where exactly they lie will vary between individuals and depend upon their circumstances. Not having the energy to push on where someone else did does not make you a lazy or unmotivated or selfish person. It just means that, yep, you’re still human.
A wise man once said to me, “There is no special place in heaven for people who don’t take care of themselves.” It’s time to stop acting like there is — so go home and get some rest.