Last week was intense. My soon-to-be-95-year-old mom spent three days in three different hospital emergency rooms, following a fall in which she hit her head. This on the heels of Covid. (Long story short, Mom is amazingly resilient and she appears to be recuperating.)

What I witnessed in her these last few days is the profound healing power of care and attention. At every emergency room one of her children was by her side. Since her return home she’s had daily visits from at least one of us. Yesterday, she got the added benefit of a visit from Smitty the Wonder Dog, whose power to heal is not to be underestimated. Nurses greet her warmly, by name, and stop in regularly to check on her and encourage her to stay hydrated. Despite there being little to do beyond giving her our focused attention, Mom’s physical, mental and emotional health is clearly improving.

During this same trying week, I did an experiment. On myself. I committed to maintaining my own self-care. Every day, I either took a walk or went to the gym. I also ate pretty well and mostly got to bed on time. This may not sound like a lot, but in the midst of all that was going on, prioritizing my own care and attention felt like a huge accomplishment, and it left me feeling truly successful at the end of the week. Tired? A bit. Stressed? Of course. But not nearly as much as I would have been. And with a great sense of achievement, too, which continues to delight me no end…It turns out, a little care and attention goes a long way.