Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sometimes Even a Small Load Seems Heavy

I don't have a lot of responsibilities around the house any more. My husband, who is a definite contender for the Best Husband In The World pageant, does all the cooking, most of the cleaning, the lion's share of childcare, all the yard work, most of the grocery shopping and takes the trash out.

My main tasks are to do Ellie's and my laundry and keep up the bookkeeper for our very detailed budget that tracks every penny in and out as well as keep the bills paid. I also scrub the toilets (Scott's most despised household chore), joint laundry like bedding and towels, and help with loading and unloading the dishwasher. I'm also the one who still takes care of choosing gifts for family members we exchange with, getting them wrapped and shipped as needed.

It's really not that much.

But somehow, our towels and bedding don't get washed as often as they ought, nor do the toilets get scrubbed as frequently as I'd prefer. My laundry is way behind. And I've got all of November's receipts sitting in a pile on my dresser (and it's a large pile).

About all I'm really keeping up with is getting the bills paid on time (I love my bank's internet billpay!) and keeping Ellie in clean clothes.

(Even there I fail in the sense that she's got a few favorite outfits that she's disappointed when they're all in the hamper and she has to choose something else. But I don't really feel all that bad about that because she has a huge wardrobe thanks to friends who give us handmedowns and it doesn't kill her to have to wear something else once in a while.)

Last Friday, I told Scott I needed help wrapping the mountain of gifts that needed wrapping. (Ellie's birthday is right around the corner in addition to Chanukah that started last night.) But I didn't nag him, and he had plenty of other things to do, so when Monday rolled around, I pushed myself to get everything wrapped and a few boxes ready to ship out.

And of course, what should have been maybe a 2-hour job at most took me literally all day. And I was so far beyond exhausted that I was cranky by the time Scott and Ellie got home.

And I still haven't touched the pile of receipts that need to be organized and entered into my Excel spreadsheet so I can be sure we're not overspending. And I've got doctor's appointments of one kind or another just about every day this week, so I don't know when I will get to them. I don't think I've been this behind in bookkeeping since my week in the hospital in July and the following few weeks.

I don't have that many responsibilities anymore so I really don't think it should be such a big deal to get the ones I do have done in a reasonable amount of time. But my energy is so limited, and my joint pain sometimes makes typing very painful. Good excuses, but they don't get the job done. I think I need to learn how to power through, although it seems like when I do do that (like on Monday), it backfires on me and makes me feel worse.

Whine, whine, whine.

I gotta find a way to manage these things because I can't dump yet more responsibilities onto Scott's plate. (Plus, I'm way better at getting bills paid on time than he is, and that's why I've taken charge of that pretty much since I moved in back in 1999.)

I probably need to apply Flylady's 15-minute methods to my chores. She advocates doing household chores (or anything, really!) in 15-minute increments, using a timer so you really stop when the 15 minutes are up. I did that last spring when I went on a decluttering binge and it was amazing how much you could do in 15 minutes if you set your mind to it and didn't let yourself get distracted.

It's a thought, at any rate. I'll let you know how it works.


Sherril said...

You've had a lot come down on you in a relatively short time. I really think you're dealing with it all remarkably well. I had 12 years from my original diagnosis before I became unable to work full time. Mine was a much slower process. When I compare myself to some others I see (I know, I shouldn't do that), it's taking me eons to come to acceptance of the facts of life with chronic illness.

I still frequently feel overwhelmed by NOTHING compared to what I used to accomplish in a day. Then I remind myself that I'm still going through rough waters with filing for SSDI etc. (or my counselor reminds me to remind myself) and I go to work on one of the many relaxation techniques I know or am learning, instead.

Aviva said...

Thanks, Sherril. It helps so much to know I'm not the only one out there struggling. I also compare myself to others and wonder what the heck my problem is when they're coping so well with what has to be worse issues than mine. Hang in there. And thanks for the support. It means a lot.

Sherril said...

p.s. - There's a yahoo group for people with FM who are doing FlyLady. I think it's called Flying with Fibro.