Don’t Give ‘Till it Hurts

It’s easy to feel stretched thin. The kids, the dog, work, family. Time for chores? For shampooing the rug and dusting the tippy tops of the valences? Forget it. There’s never enough time to do it all. In The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” Gosh, he must’ve been a working mother in a past life, or maybe just looking on the inside my head. Or maybe it’s just a part of the human condition. How many days have you felt like you couldn’t catch up, like a hobbit on the brink of collapse?

The problem with or maybe the cause of all this is that I like saying yes. I like doing for others. It feels good. Giving, helping, accomplishing-feels pretty darn fabulous. Selfishly I like to be the person doing it all. Seeing your efforts sparkle in someone else’s eyes is priceless. That is, only if you aren’t stretched so bad you can actually take a second to see it.

Sometimes we miss it. Sometimes when you go past the point of what you can take, where the giving is painful. Times when there’s not enough of you to give.

It’s been said, “don’t give till it hurts, give till it feels good.” Most days I want to throw my hands up, but every once in a great while I can say that dammit, I did something today that was amazing.

Today I had that sort of day.

I feel lucky I got to witness a special moment of someone else’s joy. Today was a good day and the thinness didn’t feel so buttery.

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