November 29, 2012

Days of Either/Or

Disability Tip of the Day: If you are unable to do your own shopping and you live in a small town that does not deliver food., you must rely on hired people or friends to bring in sustenance. When someone takes the time to pick up supermarket food for you, it is best not to respond to their delivery with the comment “Wrong brand.”

Before I got sick, I would wake up in the morning fresh with ideas for the day - plans for teaching, plans for painting, plans for the construction of musical instruments. I would balance these against household chores - which I usually did with joy, and backing - which I did with relish.

During my several months of severe illness, about the only thing I could do was to lie awake in pain and wonder whether I would even make it through the day. Today I can do a bit more than that but my active times are still limited to a few hours in the morning and a few in the late evening with a range of sick attacks as day filler. What this means is that my limited energy has to be carefully parceled out and choices must be made: clean the floor in the bathroom or cook breakfast, make a drawing or fill out disability reports. What used to be done in an hour now takes a day. What used to be done in a day now takes three days to a week. Life has become an either/or challenge of a limited energy budget.

The illustration above from my Small Long Book of Marvelous Cats are the Mechanical Cats (just occurred to me that they should be called Meowchanical Cats) and their verse goes like this:

Mechanical Cats do all the chores
They clean the oven and mop the floors
They roast the chickens and grate the cheese
And just about everything as you please

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