Pervasive Sense of Falling Short


A DEAR READER asks
for my insights or suggestions
on caring for a parent who is declining.
I’m certainly no expert.

My mind is blank,
but her question unlocks a door
and shortly after reading her email
thoughts come rushing.
I reach for a pen and paper, start a list.

Isn’t it funny how I didn’t think I had anything to offer?

And later I see,
how Ma’s been gone over a year
and it’s never once struck me
that I have anything to contribute that might benefit someone else,

and how,
when I’ve thought of those last years and specific moments of care
I usually thought in terms of what I could have done better or more or different.

Also,
when people have commended me,
I have (in my mind) discounted the praise,
not out of humility so much
as out of a pervasive sense of having fallen short and not done well enough.

This was so helpful for me to see!

Maybe this doesn’t belong on the blog.
Maybe it does.
Maybe I’ll blog about the thoughts I jotted on the paper.
Maybe I won’t.
Maybe I just needed to tell this insight I gained from a reader’s question.
And so I have.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking and talking about leadership, writing, ESL for refugees, faith, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. CLL Spouse. Friend to the incarcerated. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. My work has appeared in Moody Magazine, Leadership Journal, Guideposts, Upper Room and many other publications. I lead workshops in personal experience writing and accept speaking engagements as schedule permits. I also listen.
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2 Responses to Pervasive Sense of Falling Short

  1. slachie says:

    As someone who completely identifies with “a pervasive sense of having fallen short”. There is so much comfort in knowing that you are not the only one after all…

    Like

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