“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” Robert Browning
The baby and I sit on the floor of the playroom, stretching and reaching, grabbing towards the toy that I’ve put just within his reach. At six months, his reaching is fully developed. His grasping, not so much. But he tries, over and over again, and he is getting so good at it. He reaches, he reaches … he grasps!
And I cheer.
So much of what we do these days is focused on trying to do more, and more. My whole life, actually, has been one step after another in reaching and achieving, building towards … what?
Seven months in bed with a pregnancy?
Six months in chemotherapy for cancer?
And then what?
For the first time in my life, I’ve really had to slow down. To stop, actually. To rest. To not work. To barely even get up and shower each day, much less achieve something of greatness. It’s … not going so well.
It’s frustrating, actually. I’m not dealing well with the fatigue and isolation that chemo brings. I try, but then I exhaust myself with the trying, and end up not two steps forward, but three steps back. I know I should do less, and yet it’s a lesson that I re-learn weekly, as I tire myself out trying to be mom, and wife, and person, when in reality I should be simply … fighter.
Fighting the cancer.
The words above are from a poem that have echoed in my head the past few weeks as baby Little Bear reaches, and grasps, and reaches again. That I knew. What I didn’t know? The title of the poem: Less is More.
Less is more.
Right now, fighting the cancer is what I need to do. Loving my babies is what I need to do. Appreciating my family is what I need to do. Everything else can wait.
Less is more.