Then again, there is real delight in quietly fitting one thing in after another when the day must be full, and the result at the end of the day is only healthy fatigue from which a good night’s rest will refresh us entirely.
There is one thing that is very evident—a feeling of hurry retards our work, it does not hasten it, and the more quietly we can do what is before us, the more quickly and vigorously we do it.
The first necessity is to find ourselves out—to find out for a fact when we do hurry, and how we hurry, and how we have the sense of hurry with us all the time. Having willingly, and gladly, found ourselves out, the remedy is straight before us.
Nature is on the side of leisure and will come to our aid with higher standards of quiet, the possibilities of which are always in every one’s brain, if we only look to find them.
To sit five minutes quietly taking long breaths to get a sense of leisure every day will be of very great help—and then when we find ourselves hurrying, let us stop and recall the best quiet we know—that need only take a few seconds, and the gain is sure to follow.
Festina lente (hasten slowly) should be in the back of our brains all day and every day.
“’T is haste makes waste, the sage avers,
And instances are far too plenty;
Whene’er the hasty impulse stirs,
Put on the brake, Festina Lente.”
The Care of an Invalid
TO take really good care of one who is ill requires not only knowledge but intelligent patience and immeasurable tact.
A little knowledge will go a great way, and we do not need to be trained nurses in order to help our friends to bear their illnesses patiently and quietly and to adjust things about them so that they are enabled to get well faster because of the care we give them.
Sometimes if we have only fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes at night to be with a sick friend, we can so arrange things for the day and for the night that we will have left behind us a directly curative influence because our invalid feels cared for in the best way, and has confidence enough to follow the suggestions we have given.
More depends upon the spirit with which we approach an invalid than anything else.
A trained nurse who has graduated at the head of her class and has executive ability, who knows exactly what to do and when to do it, may yet bring such a spirit of self-importance and bustle that everything she does for the invalid’s ease, comfort, and recuperation is counteracted by the unrestful “professional” spirit with which the work is done.
On the other hand, a woman who has only a slight knowledge of nursing can bring so restful and unobtrusive an atmosphere with her that the invalid gains from her very presence.
Overwhelming kindness is not only tiresome and often annoying, but a serious drag on one who is ill.