Just the thought of being nursed brings a grimace to my face. Even now while consuming my oatmeal I’m trying not to think too much about the older and probably toothless version of me that’ll someday be eating oatmeal out of the spork a nurse holds up to my embarrassing mouth.

Though I’ve made it another day, and I want that lack of ambition to be reason enough for things to improve in my life, I’m not sure that’s possible, given how deeply I need to know that an accident can be a miracle, the way a sparrow waits under an eave for someone to drop a piece of their muffin on the pavement.

I just want to see how long I can keep standing, I tell myself, but that’s code for I’m trying to make Time learn its lesson.

When I arrive at work and nobody awards me with a ceremonial warrior’s sword for my capacity for accepting I have limits when it comes to giving and receiving care, I’ll know that they believe there should be no limit to how much I am willing to give away, and that they think I should want nothing more than to feed, massage and hold someone until it kills me.

But they have no idea that I have no interest, and refuse to make it my life’s purpose to be their empathy shield, caring for others for them. Why not share in the empathy bounty? Statistics as of late show caring too much for others a sure fire way to shave a decade off your life and have a heart attack before 50, and I’d like to make it to at least 70, so I’m making it my mission to set the right caretaking boundaries while I still can, or at least die trying.