“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
~ Dalai Lama
. . .
I have been care-giving for three weeks now.
It’s been joy-filled, arduous, contemplative and demanding. It’s time to step back.
To all of the care-givers in the world who have endured so much more, for so much longer, I salute you with every positive accolade known to man and enfold you with hugs from the deepest recesses of my heart.
I also encourage you to take a break.
While I know it’s not always possible, I do know that everyone has a limit and I reached mine. Recognize yours. Honor the need to stop. Take care of yourself, too.
My hiatus came in the form of a side trip to visit my mother-in-law. During the pleasant two hour drive there, my stomach began to rumble and I thought, “I’m hungry.” It was the basic recognition of a most basic need.
“What do I want to eat?” I wondered.
For a brief moment I felt selfish, thinking about satisfying my palate with something other than what I’d been cooking for my parents for the last 21 days. (Which was dang good, by the way.) But the foodie in me overruled the notion and simply said, “Feed your soul.”
I spied this restaurant and walked in, not knowing what to expect. Suddenly I became aware of feeling enveloped in an elegant, enduring, empathetic embrace. Sigh… my countenance needed that. (Remind me to bring my camera next time…)
Perusing the menu over an extraordinary cup of black coffee, I was delighted to discover a culinary concept based on the four elements: Air, Fire, Earth, and Water.
Basic-ness at its best.
I ordered the Lobster Bisque. A salad with grilled salmon, fresh spinach, strawberries, and a lovely, citrus-y vinaigrette. Chocolate Truffle Cake with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise. And the house specialty homemade French Fries with Parmesan Cheese and White Truffle Oil. (My soul was hungry.)
Considering the previous stomach rumbling, I was surprised when I could only eat a fourth of it. Knowing when to stop is as essential to eating as it is to care-giving.
Plus, it gave me something to savor later.
Soul-satisfaction may not always be immediate (and it doesn’t have to involve food), but recognizing the need to replenish yourself is as basic as Air. Fire. Earth. Water.
And forks in the road.
Enjoying a bliss break,
What do you do to take care of yourself when you’re pushed to your limit?