My Grief

Part 3 - The daily struggle


Friday, 10th February 2006

Today is Friday, the end of another working week, and physical exhaustion remains a problem for me.

I arrive home from work a little after six o'clock (on a good day) and sometimes twenty to seven. I start to cook a meal at that point, and we are usually eating some time around seven or seven-thirty.

Every second Monday, there will be a phone call to or from Julieís parents. After dinner on Tuesday (or another free day), if it's early enough, and sunny enough, Daniel and I might drive to the local park for a few rounds of cricket. In practice, this happens no more than once a week and sometimes not at all. On other days, there may be a phone call, or some reason to go out. Tuesday after dinner seems to be one of the only times available to me to do grocery shopping. I am thankful that our local Coles is open every day until midnight. However, the local Coles has much less variety than the Coles at Hornsby, and frequently I am unable to find an item Iím looking for.

Wednesday is another busy day. I try to get a clothes wash done on a Wednesday morning, and I'm grateful if the weather is sunny enough to dry the clothes on the line. Regardless of the weather, I must find at least thirty extra minutes in the morning in order to do a clothes wash. There will nearly always need to be a clothes wash on the weekend as well. Sometimes there will need to be a small wash on another day of week.

Daniel has his tennis lessons at five o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon. Thankfully, the mother of Danielís friend Andrew Frazer, Robyn, picks Daniel up and drives him to Hornsby, but I have made it my job to get myself to the tennis courts by six-thirty in order to collect Daniel and drive his friend Andrew to his home.

On Thursday, I normally have some reprieve from the busyness, but this week I needed to attend the rehearsal of the wedding of friends for whom I will be recording video.

On Friday, Daniel attends the youth group at St Johnís Anglican Church in Asquith. I can arrange for Daniel to go to his friends, and the parents there have said that Daniel can go there as often as he likes. This would give me an opportunity to have a couple of hours to myself, either to be alone for a while, or to go out to dinner with someone. On one hand, I hate being alone, and yet going out is too exhausting after everything else I've had to do.

On every day, the washing-up of dishes must be done (with which Daniel normally helps), accounts need to be dealt with, letters need to be written, clutter needs to be tidied, emails need to be replied to.

It feels like I have no recreation time. By the time I have finished all that has to be done, it is often ten-thirty or eleven o'clock. I then have a choice to go to bed without having had any recreation time for myself, but knowing that I will survive the next day better with good sleep, or I can unwind by tinkering on the computer or watching television or a DVD, which will mean going to bed much too late and so making me tired for the next day.

Somewhere in all that, I must find time to exercise. The best time for me is before breakfast, but at six o'clock (the time at which I must wake if Iím going to have time for a walk), it is only just becoming light, and it will be very dark at that time before Summer Time reverts to Standard Time in March. Not to mention the problem of waking at six in the morning if I've been to bed too late the night before.

Well-meaning people have offered suggestions for how I may cope better with my busyness.

It's been suggested that I cook a weekís worth of meals, then freeze them, and defrost them as required. This may work well with stir-fries, rissoles and such, but it makes steaks and chops leathery. Even freezing the meat and cooking it fresh makes steak and chops less tasty than cooking with fresh meat. When I wasnít working full-time, I had the luxury of buying meat as needed. Nothing needed to be frozen. The lamb chops were tender and juicy. Last night, I cooked chops that Iíd frozen, and they just werenít the same. They were drier and more leathery. Life is unpleasant enough as it is without spoiling my food as well.

Another suggestion was to do the same with lunches - make a weekís worth and freeze them. This is okay, depending on what you like to have on your sandwiches. Anything with salad goes revolting when frozen. Lettuce, which I like on most sandwiches, is revolting when defrosted. Again I say, life is unpleasant enough as it is without spoiling my food as well.

Another suggestion was that I must swallow my pride and allow people to help me more. I have a major struggle with this point. In one respect, I know itís right and would be helpful, but I just can't do it. On one hand, I hate feeling like I'm a burden to others. I've written on this subject earlier. But sometimes, it's more hassle to accept help. Take the clothes washing, for example.

It's easy for me to throw a few clothes into the washing machine. The machine's cycle is then automatic, and then I need ten or fifteen minutes to hang everything on the line. It would be more hassle to drive to someone's house with a bag of washing, and then have to return to their house to collect it. Surely it's wrong to expect someone to come and collect my clothes, wash them and return them.

It's been suggested that I should let people bring meals to me. The problem here is that the food I like to eat is considered bland by most people. In other words, most people's cooking is too spicy for me. And I like the meals I cook, and I like to cook them freshly.

On another subject, my need for touching and being touched is fairly constant, but cyclical in its intensity. There are days when I think that I am coping okay by myself, but there are other days when my need for affection is all I can think about.

I get lots of cuddles from Daniel, but his cuddles are so “male”. I donít know how to describe it. It's nice that Daniel is affectionate, but cuddles from him are not a substitute for what I need (nor should they be). I like the femininity of women - the softness and the smoothness. Even hugs from other family members (and some friends) are nice, but again, no substitute for what I need.

And then there's lust. Just mentioning it is embarrassing to me, so I dare not go into the details here of how it's affecting me. Suffice to say that I rarely have a clear conscience.

With my need for affection, the state of my spiritual life and my sheer exhaustion, I am not enjoying life at the moment.


Music used under license from Freeplay Music, LLC, 1650 Broadway, Ste. 1108, New York, NY 10019 USA -

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