Heartwings says, “The virtue of doing may cause one dismay.”
Those of us Yankees raised in the traditional way of our ancestors, may well have inherited their ethic: To be busy, to be doing what is useful and good, to keep our hands occupied, is our watchword. There is even a saying that goes something like, “the devil finds work for idle hands.” This means, I expect, that if we don’t keep busy, we’ll get into mischief of some sort.
Perhaps because I had a mother raised in Germany, or perhaps because I had a Yankee father, I was always urged to be doing something, even if it was reading a book. My chief daily chore was taking care of our chickens. They lived in a hen house with a yard fenced in with chicken wire. I had to carry their mash from the barn and in the spring, summer, and fall, fill their water container from the faucet by the henhouse. For this I was paid the princely sum of fifty cents a week. In the winter I had to lug the water from the house, which was much more difficult.
Nowadays, fortunately I have no chickens to feed, only two human beings that need three meals a day, and our pitcher with the filtered water needs only to be carried from the sink to the table. Until fairly recently my life seemed relatively tranquil and most of what I needed to do could be done easily within my available time span. Then along came Parkinson’s Disease: a collection of symptoms clustered around the nerves and their connection to the brain.
My chief symptom is slowness. It takes me much longer to get things done than I am accustomed to, even though I have had two years or so to get used to it. This is made more difficult due to my childhood programming vis a vis the virtue of doing. For instance, I have to deal with my dismay at taking more than an hour to fix a meal when it used to take so much less time. My kind husband would say, “Don’t worry about it, take all the time you need.” That doesn’t silence the little voice that tells me I am too slow, or even that I am lazy.
Dealing with the frustration is a daily chore I wish I could eliminate, yet so far, I haven’t been able to. The voice of conscience seems to have no mercy on the hands that fumble when I work at cutting vegetables, or the feet that I must walk slowly and mindfully with lest I stumble. I know I do just fine, yet when the dinner isn’t ready in a timely manner, it says I ought to have begun sooner, and that’s no help.
I don’t mean to complain, only to share in case someone else who shares my dilemma might feel comforted to know she or he is not alone.
May you make peace in your heart wish any disability you may have.
Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert
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