Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The house is dirty...
Dog fur rolls across the floor like tumbleweeds
and the grass is too high
and the dishes need washed.
So many projects are running around in my head--
ideas of painting the kitchen and staining the deck and powerwashing the siding
and replacing the old and broken down and worn out
but then the car needs brakes
and the dog needs medicine
and I have to buy books for next year before the loan money arrives.

Do you ever just get frustrated?
So many things I'd like--a new tub that isn't chipped, a car that's not more than a decade old, shoes that will get me through my next year's internship (lots of standing for long hours and such). But it's not going to happen because little things come up, over and over again and suck away what little money was set aside.

So today I take time to at least make the house look good
and myself feel better
and mow the grass
even though I have a quiz tomorrow
but when will there ever be time otherwise?
And you say you will help but when my part is done you aren't ready
and the frustration grows because you do not run on my schedule.
And then we fight.

It will get done--it always does.
But sometimes it takes a while to unlearn old expectations
and remember that I do not have to get frustrated
because now you actually keep your promises.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Each spring, my school has a big end-of-the-year dance/party/celebration for all of the graduate students. Each department tends to have their own small-ish affairs as well, but the larger event is always very much looked forward to by all. I don't tend to go out much with my peers (partly because I'm not much into the crazy college-kid-type bar scene, partly because my closer friends aren't into it either, and partially because I'm married and sometimes just want the chance to sit at home being lazy with my husband), but last year I really looked forward to the chance to let loose with friends and introduce D to everyone that had only heard me talk about him. The night of the party, D had been at work but got home in plenty of time--we ate and he watched some tv while I got all dressed up and ready. But when the time came that I was ready to leave, he was still there parked in front of the tv in sweats. Of course, when I asked him to get ready he only did so grudgingly, complaining that he only rarely got time to do what he wanted and relax and didn't feel like getting up to go somewhere until he was ready. We eventually made it to the party (later than I had planned) and ended up having a pretty good time, but we didn't stay long, and I was frustrated by the fact that it had been such a hassle.

This used to be the pattern, you see. Throughout D's addicty years and even early on in recovery, if there was something he just didn't want to do (for whatever reason), he either didn't do it or moved at the speed of molasses to get it done, complaining all the while about his precious lost "me time." Even things that he knew were incredibly important to me would end up getting tossed by the wayside simply because he didn't feel like getting up for another hour. All the prodding and poking and dragging and nagging and pleading I could do weren't enough--we were constantly late, and I was often let down.

Today is the annual end-of year celebration again. My friend Sue invited D and I to join her at her house for dinner beforehand, but unfortunately D will not get off work until right when the party is set to begin. Knowing this, I told Sue that I would be there, but might be going stag because I didn't know if D would want to come after work, if he would be able to leave in time, etc....really just covering up for the fact that I didn't want a repeat of last year. I pictured the same scenario--D getting off of work, going home, not wanting to put on different clothes and head back out again. I was prepared to simply go alone with friends and not worry about dealing with the same kind of attitude I had gotten last year.

A week ago, D commented that he would come straight from work to Sue's house for dinner, or possibly meet us at the party if we were finished or he ended up stuck at work later. Two days ago, he turned down his boss's request to have him work a later shift this evening because he had already committed to my school function. This morning, he asked me which tie he should take with to work to wear tonight. And the most amazing thing is that none of it was said grudgingly or with annoyance. I get the feeling D is actually excited to be able to go tonight.

Of course, there is always room for disappointment later, but it's these little changes in attitude that have truly marked the biggest differences in our lives over the past year--and for those, I am eternally and overwhelmingly grateful.

Edit: We had a fabulous time. :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Kingdom for a Pillow

Today is one of those days where I know what I need.

What I need, today, is some self-care. The good news is that I'm aware of it and not just letting myself get flurried into a dozen different activities and directions until I've completely lost myself. The bad news is, it's a very difficult day to practice any kind of self-care at all.

The biggest thing is, I'm really tired. D's car is in the shop (to the tune of many hundreds of dollars, oh joy), and in effort to save money, we chose not to rent a car but simply share mine for a few days until his is fixed. Really this isn't a bad thing, especially considering that this week in particular is a very light week at school and on the days where I need the car I am able to simply drop him off and pick him up. The problem is that last night D worked the closing shift, and though he called me to come get him at around midnight (not so far from my usual bedtime), when I arrived there had been some sort of crazy last minute issue and we ended up not getting home until almost 2:00 am. And then, of course, I had to be at class at 9 (well, really 8, but I chalked that one up to Not Dying). So anyway...tired. Usually my lack-of-sleep MO is to just take a little nap the next afternoon and go about my life, but unfortunately today I am stuck awake waiting on the plumber. Because of course we needed something else to spend our money on, the dishwasher decided to start backing up into the sink last night and spraying dirty, disgusting water all about the kitchen. It was a party. I also have a quiz tomorrow, so I originally thought that I would just force myself through the waiting-on-the-plumbers time period by getting that done so that then I could nap, but that's not feeling so productive either.
Sing it with me folks---You cain't...always get...what you waaaaaaa-aaant. Ah, well. My goal is, by the end of the day, to get what I need.