When the doer cannot do

by Amy on April 14, 2017

It’s Thursday. I have had the flu all week. And today I learned I have a bladder infection too. Bonus!

I cancelled a tennis match, a podcast interview, three tennis lessons (two for me and one for my kids), missed an entire week of jiujitsu because I couldn’t drive the kids, skipped the Facebook Live posts to market my upcoming free call, missed my son’s baseball game, didn’t walk my kids to the bus stop or pick them up from the bus, cancelled a meeting with their third grade teacher and didn’t get to go on a school field trip, plus I didn’t write for two days.

I did drink a lot of theraflu and sleep.

All this time in bed feeling miserable has got me thinking…

Being sick is HARD. My throat hurts like hell and this body ache is awful. But the doing nothing part… that is the HARDEST.

Especially when it means cancelling a week’s worth of things.

I am a doer, an achiever, a healthy fucking striver dammit.

This week was an experiment in what happens when your “healthy striver,” poops out and the DOER isn’t able to DO.

Here’s what happened.

  1. DENIAL: I can totally play tennis tomorrow. I played that other time with a cold. And I won! Plus Ron is coming to watch me. This will all go away by morning. Next morning: This is not going away. Arghhhh.
  2. ANGER: What fucked up message is the universe trying to send me now?!
  3. RESENTMENT:! I am not looking for growth opportunities! Fuck! And why is my husband not home by now?! You would think he could pick up a damn sock this once, me being on my death bed and all.
  4. SADNESS: I want my mother!!!!!!!
  5. FEAR: If I cancel all these tennis lessons my coach is going to fire me as a client. And the podcast with Emma. If I cancel on her, she is going to hate me! And Mrs Hunting-Knight will never let me volunteer in her class again.
  6. GUILT: My poor children have no one to wave goodbye to from the school bus.
  7. OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR: I can’t believe I am checking my Facebook feed AGAIN. Wow my Facebook feed is annoying. I’ll just check it one more time.
  8. IDENTITY CRISIS. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? If a doer does not do stuff, does she still exist?
  9. THE UNEXPECTED: My kids are making breakfast for each other. This is actually happening.
  10. HARD TRUTHS: All these after school activities are making me crazy. I can’t do jujitsu twice a week. What the #$%^ was I thinking?!

And most of all, I learned about kindness. Sometimes kindness is in the doing. It is in the meals we make for our family and the appointments we keep to our colleagues. It is in the waving goodbye and the throwing of kisses and the value we provide to our communities.

But for the doer, the real test is to know kindness to OURSELVES. To be able to miss out when we were wishing to play because we know it is not kind to our bodies to push like that. To be able to say “I’m sorry but I have to cancel,” when we fear that we might disappoint someone we respect even though we know it is not kind to our bodies to push like that. To curl up in bed instead of opening up the computer even though there is a launch coming because we know it’s not kind to our bodies to push like that.

And most of all kindness to ourselves is to trust that all is well, we are the same beautiful spirit, even and especially when NOT fixing dinner, NOT driving kids to jijitsu, NOT playing tennis, NOT marketing a launch and NOT being interviewed for a podcast.

I am beautiful laying here in the clothes I’ve been wearing for two days (although I really should change) sipping theraflu and watching OJ: Made in America.

If a doer cannot do, does she still exist?

Yes she does.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

michelle April 14, 2017 at 2:21 am

One also becomes very familiar with acceptance of “now”, compassion for being human with limits thereof, and the grief this all brings to soften our hearts…..as there is nowhere to run……..it is living in the heart of the depths inside…..the very deep inside of ourselves…….where we can befriend our very gentle selves………
Glad you are taking gentle care of you!!


Amy April 14, 2017 at 3:14 am

Wow, beautiful. Thank you.


Virginia Reeves April 14, 2017 at 2:23 am

Hope you beat that nasty bug real soon Amy. Yes, being kind to oneself sometimes takes far more effort and concentration than sharing all those nice gestures and doings with others. Your perfectionist demon rose up telling you others will be upset or not like you anymore. As you recognized, that is rubbish. And the unexpected – yay for the kids!


Amy April 14, 2017 at 3:15 am

Yes very well said Virginia.


Gill Hardin April 14, 2017 at 3:02 am

Hi Amy,
All I can say I feel your pain. I can’t stand being SICK.
This is an order get well in 48 hrs or else it will be hell to pay. We need you to accomplish your week behind plans. We your community need you. Get on the horse and ride into the the journey of strength, joy, laughter and life!

Feel better soon,

Gill W. Hardin


Amy April 14, 2017 at 3:16 am

I’m already feeling better!


Karen Hodgson April 14, 2017 at 8:04 am

Get well soon Amy, and you will …. I have had flu too this last week and cancelled a trip to Paris because I felt my body couldn’t take it. That was amongst the ither things I didn’t do. And it does work, i’m better akready instead of the usual 3 week dragging things out …You are right to remind us to be kind to ourselves once in a while. Love Karen in Brussels, Belgium


Lisa Benesh April 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Thanks Amy-
I read this as I am on my second day of antibiotics and feeling a plethora of the feelings you mentioned. This is very helpful. Thank you!
Lisa Benesh


Guthrie Wilson April 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Amy, have you heard of colloidal silver? Juice Plus and Bragg’s cider vinegar?
Guthrie Wilson


Janet April 16, 2017 at 12:41 am

I really connected with your message. I too am a “doer” but suddenly 5 years ago it all stopped. I cannot walk for more than 10 min, let alone do some exercise other than yoga; I cannot sit for too long & I spend most of my days laying down in bed, I live in pain 24/7, I cannot work. I’m only 55 and while I’m proud of what I achievied in my career I now feel totally lost at sea. I question my purpose now, my life’s calling completed as best I could. What do I do now? Every ounce of energy I expend I pay for dearly in the ensuing days after. It’s very discouraging. I have nothing that inspires my heart or my brain to even strive for. I love your message of being brazen in life, for I was at one time, & probably still am if the time is right.


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