Day 7: Empty
It’s a gloriously overcast, rainy Saturday that inspires coffee sipping, naps, and general languidness. It’s a nice demarcation between the work week and play days. As a person who works at a forest protection nonprofit, sometimes it’s a struggle to disconnect from the mission because things like climate change, deforestation, and environmental racism don’t rest on Sundays. Activists and other change-maker types often get burned out because it feels self-indulgent to rest when others can’t and when there’s still so much to do.
I once read this story about a man who was so distraught by all the pain in the world, that he piece-by-piece gave away his organs and body parts until he was dead. Most of us aren’t quite that dedicated, but there is a burden of responsibility that comes with trying to make a difference.
I’m not going to talk about self-care here, though. Nearly all of us could be doing more, myself included. None of us is off the hook. This world wouldn’t be such a mess if we all cared a bit more and tried a bit harder.
Do what you’ve got to do, and rest when you’ve got to rest. Just don’t forget to go that extra mile when you can. Sometimes when the tank reads EMPTY, if you rap the gauge with a knuckle, you’ll find you really can give a little more and go a little farther.