Tuesday, April 3, 2007

One Small Accomplishment

During the worst depressions, I have always found that it's helpful to recognize that there are people who are--or have been--in worse shape than I. Helen Keller frequently comes to mind, and I love this quote from her book. "I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."

When I can barely function, my memory is shot, I can't read, I don't feel like going online, I can't concentrate on anything I care about, and feel totally lousy, I have always tried to find one small task each day that I can accomplish.

Sometimes, it is a baby step like sharpening the pencils on my desk, going through my change and putting 50 pennies into a roll, writing one email to a friend, walking outside and sitting in the sun--even if it is just for 10 minutes--running a load of dishes through the dishwasher, or reading a children's book.


One activity I have always enjoyed is "handwriting." Years ago, I bought a writing tablet, which I keep by my bed. On my worst days, I take it out and just write my letters. I have lovely penmanship. Cursive writing reminds me of simpler times and childhood memories. The physical act of writing makes me feel good.

Although these activities seem negligible when I'm well, I've learned that the smallest step forward is important when I'm ill. As Carl Rogers said, "What I am is good enough if only I could be it openly."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're lucky you have nice handwriting. While I like the idea of enjoying simple accomplishments, my handwriting sucks and it wouldn't give me any pleasure to see pages of it. But the underlying thought expressed in your blog is one I embrace!

Kathy in Kentucky

Rob Johnson said...

Susan,

Another great "tool". Does your book have a section listing some of these tools? If not, have you considered writing a "Wellness Activity Book"? With your gifted and creative mind, I think it would be "awesome"!

Rob

Wellness Writer said...

Rob,
Actually, I've been toying with the idea of doing a Wellness Activity Book for three years. Your comment may bring it to the forefront!

Susan

Rob Johnson said...

Susan,

Not to apply any pressure, but I hope you do ... or ... you'll just have to keep blogging and putting all your neat ideas in eprint.

Rob

Wellness Writer said...

Rob,
It's no pressure. I've been working on the proposal for a wellness book for the last few weeks, but may decide to do this one first or reorient the other one.

Susan