Loss and the Balancing Act

Aug 25, 2016

I went to a retirement party for a colleague tonight. It’s been a long week already, with renovations starting on the basement, the boy in a cast, and me getting my period, so I was already exhausted and weak. I used my cane and stayed for less than two hours. The man who was retiring was very happy to see me there, and it was great to see everyone else too. Those guys (and even a few women now!) are a funny lot, and there always was a really good sense of camaraderie. I’d always attributed the closeness we all had to the dangerous situations we could get in. When you’re relying on someone to possibly save your life, it helps when you’re not just a one dimensional character.

I felt a sense of loss again, especially viewing the pictures of his career. As images of pristine rivers, remote locations accessible only by helicopter, snowy mornings, goofing around outside and hanging out in hotel rooms flashed on the screen I couldn’t help but be aware of what I’ve lost, likely forever. This man went a whole career being able to do that, and my body can’t even last to 35 years of age.

 

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Oddly enough though this time the loss doesn’t seem to be settling in. When people asked me what I’ve been up to, the only real answer I can give is simply “life”. Day to day drudgery of making meals, keeping the house clean, spending time with my family, walking the dog, or even simply walking in general, takes up all my time and energy. I get some sort of sickness or injury monthly that takes at least a week to heal from. I have to recover from the weekend and the extra activity of having my son and husband around. Feeling like I do now, and have for the past year and a half, I can’t really picture what life would be like for me if I had to work. How could I even have a work life balance? My definition of that balance before didn’t include meals and cleaning in the life column. It included the fun things, like friends and extra curricular activities. If I had to work, would there be any of me even left? I’ve never felt so grateful for the disability insurance I have than I do right now.

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