When you can’t do much.
As I sat in the car, again, and watched my family heading out for a walk beside the river, it dawned on me that I was looking at everything the wrong way round. I glanced over to the car beside me and saw an elderly woman sitting like me, seemingly doing nothing. I wondered whether she knew how to be still and content, whether she had learned the knack. I nearly put down the window to speak to her but I have been warned about my tendency to over-share with random strangers these days so I held back!
What nobody tells you when you’re disabled is that you need to have or discover an oasis of contentedness within yourself to carry you through many many times of solitude. An oasis that strengthens you as you watch everyone doing all the things you haven’t been able to do for a long time.
I don’t crochet. I don’t knit. I don’t sketch. But now I write. At the moment I’m sitting in the car waiting for my children to finish their piano lesson. So I’m creating this blog post. I am so thankful that this absorbing pastime has arrived to make me feel I’m achieving something. It’s one of the many gifts at our fingertips that I’m learning to hold onto. I’m curious as to how that white-haired woman was passing the minutes. Maybe she had got so good at it she didn’t need any props to make sense of her time. Maybe she knew how to just be.
How good are you at doing nothing? You should try it sometime. So I’m young to be learning this but one day, age will want you to learn it too.
And remember this: doing nothing does not mean being nothing.