The debate in our house and blog rages on. Well, it sputters. Mrs. Lion won’t pursue her points. If I push back at all, she just growls and stops talking. I’m not built that way. The conversation has been about how best to travel with me. Mrs. Lion does a great job looking for ways to make things easier for me and for her. Some of her ideas upset me. Instead of working through them with me, she just withdraws. Let’s talk about some of them here.
The biggest ongoing issue is about time management. Mrs. Lion’s post yesterday was about how she has so much to do and how I fail to understand her need to unwind. Fair enough. I fully understand that we all need time to unwind. The problem is that there are things to do besides work and unwinding. The problem isn’t that Mrs. Lion is lazy. She reacts to pressure by withdrawal.
It’s the same thing that happens when we disagree. When things mount up, she gets upset. It’s true that there are a lot of things she needs to do that I once handled. My disability makes it impossible for me to continue. That certainly puts a burden on her. Still, maybe if we plan, we can reduce the pressure and still get things done.
I hesitate to make suggestions about this because Mrs. Lion will almost certainly feel badly about anything I say that involves doing stuff. I know it comes from a long history of being critisized. I get it, but I think it may pay to try.
Mrs. Lion works from 8 AM to 4:30 PM with a half hour off for lunch. She works from home, so there is no commute. Her unwinding time is usually from 4:30 until she starts preparing dinner at about 6:30. We eat, and then I watch TV, and Mrs. Lion goes back to Facebook. This schedule doesn’t allow any time to deal with to-do’s.
If Mrs. Lion could find one hour a day to attack the to-do list, I think it would get everything done with little pressure on her. The problem is where to find that hour. I agree that she needs to unwind. That shouldn’t mean she needs to withdraw from me, but she does need time to play on her iPad. Work is stressful for her because her job requires a lot of careful thought. I get it.
If we ate dinner later, she could unwind for an hour and then attack chores for an hour. The problem is that we don’t eat lunch and I really need dinner before 7 PM. Maybe an hour after work for that to-do list. She would finish at 5:30, and have an hour to unwind before making dinner. Then, we could go on as usual. Just an idea.
Mrs. Lion was stressed during our trip because she needed to guide me through unfamiliar places while handling luggage. I agree that was tricky. She came up with a few ideas that would make it easier on her. The biggiest was to put me in a wheelchair. That way, I could carry the luggage and she could just push me and the bages around the airport. She doesn’t understand why I don’t like that a bit.
Sure, it was hard on both of us for me to walk the miles through the various terminals and gates. I liked being able to do it with her help. She suggested that she get the rental car while I wait at the terminal. Can’t work. The car is under my name with a corporate discount. I have to be present to both pick it up and drop it off. It would add hundreds of dollars to the cost if we rented in Mrs. Lion’s name.
I could see how it would be attractive to park me and take care of things, then pick me up when done. I just love standing alone in the airport waiting. Oh yeah, good stuff. I’ve been thinking about it, and I just don’t need to go anywhere badly enough to get depressed by my disability because I feel like an anchor around my mate’s neck. I’m better off at home alone.
I agree that we need to make things easier for Mrs. Lion. If it means that I don’t travel, so be it. I’m hoping we can find a compromise that lets us travel together.
Both of the things I’ve been writing about fit together. The first problem isn’t just about Mrs. Lion carving out time to do things we need done. It’s also about how it affects me when we start discussing it. I feel guilty that I can’t do more around here. I figure that Mrs. Lion will eventually tire of it and go off on her own. Even if she grits her teeth and hangs on, I know she is unhappy. I’m not going to get better. All I can do to help is to keep quiet about what I need.
The inescapable truth is that I depend on Mrs. Lion for many essential things. I hate how that feels. Since we got home from our trip, the feelings have gotten worse. I don’t want to be dependent. Invariably, things that make living with me easier for Mrs. Lion make me more dependent. It may be easier to buy a wheelchair and roll me around. It would be horrible for me. Whenever I have to remind her of things that need to be done, I feel the sharp pain of knowing that it’s my fault she has to do it.