Back on the chain gang … with a smile

What with all that’s been going on in my and my family’s lives, especially our son Sean’s illness, I haven’t really been tired in quite some time.

No, seriously.  I stopped being tired last December and moved on to exhausted.  By March, I had transcended exhaustion to whatever lies beyond.  And that’s how it’s been, pretty much every day until last week.  Don’t ask me how I kept going; other than sheer stubbornness and lack of other options, I have no idea.

Well, the week before last, my supermodel wife Nina finished the year at what’s left of the charter school where she was teaching, and would be home all day for a while.  (Until the next position opens up. Which probably won’t be long, as one of the local school districts where she used to sub is apparently salivating at the prospect of having her back.  I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.)  The upshot is that last week, after much planning and my wife’s tacit approval, I took a vacation.

Sort of.

It wasn’t a complete vacation, of course – it couldn’t be, as there are things Nina physically can’t do in taking care of Sean (lifting, exercising, mixing meds, that sort of thing).  So I had to be available to do his physical therapy, get him into his wheelchair, into his bath chair, into bed.  There were other things too, but it was mostly the brute work.  Otherwise, Nina is more nurturing than I am, so on the whole I suspect Sean considered the week an improvement on the usual.

But for the most part, it was Nina handling the majority of care for him last week, instead of me.  And the rest of the time, I was either holed up in the office on the computer or in bed with a book.  (That’s what I find restful, what can I say?  I leave golf to the coordinated people.)  To the point that now, after eight-to-nine days or mostly rest, I’ve come from beyond-exhausted to a-little-tired-but-nothing-a-good-night’s-sleep-won’t-fix.

What does that mean for the future, other than you probably won’t hear about me being hospitalized anytime soon?  Well, it means starting today I’m getting back to work. Not work I get paid for, but there are so many things that need/want doing around here, and just haven’t been getting done because … well, see the above.

It isn’t necessarily exciting work, mind.  But it’s work:

  • Cleaning the kitchen.  The house has needed a really thorough scrubbing for some time, but last month our landlord came back from his new home in Colorado (to do some necessary work on the place for an upcoming city inspection) and chewed on our legs a little about how we’d let things go.  So Nina and I are playing catch-up – mostly me, due to the physical labor involved.  I’d like to get everything in the kitchen done by the end of this month, which means scrubbing the stove burners, the range hood, most of the walls and about a quarter of the ceiling; clean the oven inside and out; clean the refrigerator inside and out; wash the kitchen window (inside and out); and once everything else is done, mop the floor.  Basically, a late “spring cleaning.”  And then in July, I’ll see what can be done about the utility porch … (At least the bathroom won’t be an urgent big deal – as the landlord had to tear out and replace half of it, it’s the cleanest it’s been in decades.)
  • Getting back to the club.  I was doing pretty well at exercising almost every day until my needle hit E several weeks ago.  Now I want to start returning to the fitness club, hop back on the elliptical and see what develops.  This time, I’m going to try doing it first thing in the morning; late evenings didn’t work well because the exercise gave me an adrenaline rush that was costing me sleep.  Hopefully I can move that energy boost to the morning and ride it into the day.  Worth a try.
  • Improving care of Sean.  His exercise regimen is in a constant state of flux; as he slowly regains physical abilities and control, certain bits of his workout are subtracted and new ones added.  So we’re starting to work some new things in, concentrating more on re-building muscle in his arms.  It’s (always) a work in progress, one I hope to focus on more.
  • Linking up with a few old friends.  I’m thinking of one in particular, who was in some rough waters when I last had a chance to spend time with him.  Almost a year ago.  That acquaintance is one I really want to renew, for both our sakes, but there are others as well.
  • Writing.  Well, as you can see, that’s already happening – at least the blog is up and running again.  And a small publisher has expressed interest in my novel.  Plus I’ve got so many finished stories that could use buffing and sanding, unfinished pieces, outlines I haven’t developed, and ideas I haven’t even outlined, and I really ought to tackle some of them.

So, don’t expect any dust on me, eh?  And I’ll be here every day (or close to it) to share the triumphs, the joys and the spiritual lessons along the way.  Which means you have something to look forward to as well!  Hey, everybody benefits!

Watch this space, wink, wink …

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