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January 23, 2006 / allyo

Weekend wrap-up with some angst on the side

We had a nice weekend. Everything seemed to fall into place for the most part. The house is (mostly) clean, several errands were run, we went to a lovely little family social event, spent time with my family, and managed to score some veg-out time on the couch as well. I went to church yesterday (at least partly because I blogged about going. the blog = today’s Jiminy Cricket, perhaps?) and it was really nice. I’m definitely committed to making a go of it this time. More on that later.

The not-so-great part about the weekend was that MD’s leg is acting up again, after a few days of being almost back to normal. Have I talked specifically about his physical issues here? If I have, fast-forward a paragraph or two, because here we go. MD has a bad hip, bad knees, bad ankles, and occasionally, a bad foot or two. The knees are from years of playing soccer. The rest…I’m not sure really. He has a touch of arthritis, and has always had somewhat physically demanding jobs. One of the best things about his current job is about 75% of the time is spent at a desk. But still, things flare up on a seemingly regular basis, and right now his hip is the problem. It started back in December as a painful but relatively minor annoyance, and our chiropractor had referred him to a physical therapist right before Christmas. The next day, he slipped on the ice, fell, and bruised the bone and muscle and tore a tendon or two in that same hip. It’s been excruciatingly painful for him. Finally, last week, he was feeling much better. But for some unknown reason, it started hurting again – badly – on Thursday.

I’m really grateful to him for pushing himself this weekend anyway to get things done. Maybe it’s selfish of me, but I needed the house to be clean, the floors to be swept and mopped, and the damn kitchen table to be cleaned off.

(It’s too bad some of my raise can’t be put toward a cleaning service, but if we end up having an extra $100 a month or so, it’s going to have to go to re-hiring our dog walker.)

I used to think a lot about how his physical problems really impact our quality of life. How we can’t just go hiking, or even for a nice long walk, any time we want. It makes losing weight really hard for him, and with his blood pressure and cholesteral issues, that has potentially grim long-term effects. (Like, heart attack, death, type of things). I’ve mentioned before how he worries about ten years from now when Jamie wants to toss or kick a ball around – will he be able to do it?

Anyway, I was thinking about those things this weekend, and I hate thinking this way. At least I’m not the one that’s in pain all the time. And he does the best he can. But yesterday was our Sunday to go to my dad’s, and he started making noise about not being able to go. And I was doing my very best to be gracious, but all of a sudden, we’re on our way home from the grocery store, and he’s saying he’s not going to be able to go because he’s in so much pain, and I just start bawling. Big tears, sobs even. He’s very concerned of course, and keeps asking me what’s wrong and all I can do is sob, "I just want you to go!" Geesh. Grow up lady, you know?

And, of course, he went. And was miserable. And I felt terrible. I just miss him so much. He’s not home very much during the week, and while I’ve made my peace with it, it doesn’t mean I like it. How can I?

Sigh. Here’s a question for you. I know I look around and see these really happy couples and families, that go on vacations and go to the park and ride their bikes and go to the movies and all that. And they look so happy, and normal. But are they any happier than I am? I mean, everyone has their own trials, right? But is it so out of line for me to want to be able to do some of that? To spend some time doing something other than just keeping my head above water? Is it?

Does everyone feel this way? Or is it just me?

And on the other hand, I am SO MUCH happier than I was, say, three years ago. So, why isn’t it enough? Why am I one of those people that’s always pushing for more, more, more? And how do I stop?

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5 Comments

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  1. Amanda / Jan 23 2006 6:59 pm

    I’m sure those “happy and normal” couples are looking at you and wondering the same damn thing.

  2. whylime / Jan 23 2006 8:39 pm

    I’m not sure this is the answer you want, but given what you’ve told us about you and MD, I think that you are dealing with exceptional trials. You’re dealing with those trials exceptionally well, too, by the way. In a sense we’re all just barely keeping our heads above water, and everyone has their trials, but yours are particularly difficult at times.

    Besides, what IS normal? Is it going on dates? Is it having a kid and a dog and a husband and a job? Who’s setting this standard and who’s living by it?

    It sounds like overall you had a good weekend. I totally relate to the need to have a clean house on occasion, yet never having the time to get to that point. Go, you!

  3. mortimersmom / Jan 24 2006 1:14 pm

    I so totally know how you feel. My husband has Cystic Fibrosis, which is deadly. But on a day to day basis, the only things we can’t do are big physical activities, like hikes and canoe trips. Does it keep us from being happy? Sometimes. but overall, I think it’s about the time you spend together, not the actual activity. we are huge on board games, especially retro ones from the fifties. A good game of Park and Shop is more fun than a sweaty hike any day!

  4. momzom / Jan 24 2006 4:26 pm

    Reading your post I had a flashback to myself, crying quietly on the playground (hoping my kid wouldn’t notice) feeling alone, sad, abandoned because my husband wasn’t there, and incredibly sad to see scores (it seemed) of dads playing with their kids, giving mom a rest, or the whole family out for a fun morning. So, um, no you are not the only who feels that way. Not by a long shot.

    As far as wanting more, and how to stop, that’s a very tough question. Sometimes wanting more is great, because it pushes you to get more, or at least say “More!! Now!! Please!!” which I think all women, and all moms should do often. Without the please. If you’d not wanted more three years ago, you wouldn’t be in a better place now. But then there’s being happy with what you have, loving the one you’re with, finding contentment with the fact that all families are riven with imperfections, and humans are frail and flawed and sometimes don’t even do the best they can.

    I don’t think that’s particularly illuminating, just reassurance that it is really hard. Could you divvy up your life and say, “Hey, actually I’m good and content with 1-5, but want more from 6-10” so that you see yourself as a person who isn’t always craving more, but who discerns and wants to improve particular areas. I do much better when I break my life down into discrete parts rather than having vague feelings about the whole mess. Another useful technique is saying, “Okay, I don’t like this, but can I live with it?” If the answer is “yes,” I find it calms me down. I don’t have to like being alone as much as I am, but I can live with it.

  5. karrie / Jan 26 2006 7:44 am

    I hear you Ally. My husband has struggled with multiple health issues (2 back surgeries when I was pregnant, diabetes, depression, gastric bypass, and also sleep apnea) Even though his weight loss has relieved some of the immediate causes for feeling unwell, he still has several unhealthy habits to unlearn. (like staying up all night) I have had those moments of envy you described too.

    Last Easter it was absolutely gorgeous here. I took ds out for breakfast, a walk and to the playground by myself while dh was home sleeping the day away. I was so envious of all the “normal” couples enjoying that early spring day as a family, that I fought back tears several times.

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