Unproductivity: Reason 333- Empathy

I think I finally figured out why I have a problem being as productive as I would like to be or as I should be or as I could be.

I think it’s my empathy. It’s getting in the way of my productivity. Or maybe it’s my sympathy. Not quite sure. But I do know that I am easily taken away from the things I should be doing in order to help other people.

For instance, today, one of my adopted babies needs a ride to orientation for a job. Sure, she has a real mother, but her mom is out of town right now. She usually rides the bus but the bus doesn’t go to where her orientation is. She’s young. She’s pregnant. She needs someone reliable. I, of course, know all too well what that is like and so I swoop in with my supermom cape and go take her to where she needs to go. Which also required a return trip to pick her up four hours later.

And then, there’s Pepper. My mom’s beloved feral giant cat. He’s been sick for a couple weeks with an upper respiratory infection. My mom borrowed a cat carrier but the cat seemed way too big to fit in it. After chasing it into the bathroom, I locked myself in with the cat, a towel, and the carrier. I eventually got the cat. It didn’t even try to kill me, which is what I thought was going to happen. He just let me pick him up. Then I knew he was really sick. So I mentally prepared to take this cat to the vet and have it put to sleep, which was going to ruin my whole day. I don’t like digging holes, I don’t like deaths, and I don’t like funerals. Even though I am technically an ordained minister, it’s just still not my thing. I knew I would lose my shit and I was not looking forward to it. Luckily, they gave pepper an antibiotic shot and a steroid shot and he should be good as new. Or at least as good as a ten-year-old cat can be. In the middle of all that running,

I did finally come home and work for a bit while. But I think that’s the problem. Well, my empathy and the fact that I really need to learn to leave my phone in another room during the day. I just get so paranoid that something is going to happen to Mel that even when I have the ringer off, I look at my phone at least every 30 minutes to make sure there are no calls from the school. I guess I could plug in my house phone. And then call and find out what the phone number is. Maybe I will put that on my to-do list. Or maybe I will try to stop being so helpful. If I had a regular day job I couldn’t just up and leave to help people. Maybe that’s the key. Learning how to say no.

Either way, I’m working on figuring it out.

Rereading Be an Island: The Buddhist Practice of Inner Peace. Maybe the answer lies there. Time will tell.


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