Thursday, 21 October 2010

Sorting out lives and getting things done

If only! How much easier it is to sort out life when that particular stage is well and truly over. However, it really is a matter of thinking 'If only I had done this, or that, things would have been different/better.' Whatever.

I would like to think I can manage my life better these days, now that I am somewhat older than 59a (thanks Isabelle, you youngster over yonder) but such improvements are faltering, few, and on the fringes rather than on the central issues.

As I am, perforce, having to be more active and decisive, perhaps it will be possible to convince myself that the worm has turned, that intelligent decisions will be made, and that my cringing and non-assertive aspects of personality will wither away, allowing a transformation to shine forth and bloom.

Before I went away, I issued a general directive to the dearest and the nearest. 'Sack the cleaners' I said. I was not happy with their cleaning, and they had cut corners and ignored past requests to do this, that or the other. On my return this injunction had been avoided. You might think that the powerful personality of Dr P would happily have taken action, but No. He did not feel he could do it.

So it was up to me. My stomach heaved and my heart pounded as my mind rehearsed the action: how to phrase it, what reasons to give, whether I could bring myself to do it. Surely Dr P would and could do this little thing for me, the darling of his life, his wife, lover, friend and carer? After all, said my suddenly burbling subconscious, he's  the Man, and Men are supposed to do this sort of thing. Not little, feeble, helpless women. (What a pathetic subconscious you are, I told it, to be giving in to untold centuries of conditioning like this.) My stomach still heaved away, but as the cleaners were leaving, I seized the bull by the horns, bit the bullet, put my shoulder to the wheel, to coin a phrase and put it in a nutshell, as they say in the classics, and told them that we did not want them to work for us any more, as Dr P is not well, and I had to make all sorts of arrangements.

All this made me feel bad, but also good. It has been done.

Now all I have to do is find new cleaners, get them to come for longer and on a day that suits me. The other major task is to get home based respite care organised. I began trying yesterday but there are (inevitably) other people to telephone, and I need a good amount of time to get all this done. I cannot do it while Dr P is up and around and needing attention and help. It is necessary to have peace and quiet, and to be organised in my thoughts. The bureaucracy and the policies seem very complicated, and I have to take notes, and try to remember who said what. It all makes me feel my own powers are failing, and certainly my memory is not that good any more, and we need me to do this well and effectively. Tomorrow I intend to arrange for the commercial agency which provided the carer during my trip to provide care twice a week in the interim.

Yesterday I went to one of the Italian classes, having got Dr P up, showered, dressed and fed before leaving the house. Although it was choir practice night, I decided not to go, and also did not go to the other Italian class this morning, but did go to the art history lecture. the other thing I did was to get a new head (?) for Dr P's electric razor. His shaving had become a one-sided affair, and when I looked at the shaver, discovered that there was a big hole. When I got home I had to put it all together, and clean it out, and then help with the shaving. This was a multi-skilling experience I could have done without. Friends then called around, and then the day was done. Dr P has gone for a sleep, and I am wondering whether to feed myself, or whether to just quietly starve over a glass or two of red wine.....

Maybe I will have some prosciutto and canteloupe with the wine. I decided, after eating lots of Spanish jamon that Italian prosciutto is the better product. See how travel educates and broadens the mind, not to mention the palate?


Frances said...

IP: Please don't worry. You are in a stressful and deteriorating situation, and it is common for one's brain to forget, to muddle, to let one down under stress. And later bounce back.
Friends have found Tai Chi helpful: on the other hand, you have enough to do already.

molly said...

I'll second that Frances! Tai Chi, when I take time to do it regularly, is very calming, and good exercise to boot! Do you daydream, as I sometimes do Persi, of a time when you will be responsible only for yourself?? Sounds like bliss, doesn't it?

persiflage said...

Thanks for comments, Frances and Molly. Coming back and seeing the changes has been very painful. And yes, wondering whether there will ever be a time for myself only tears me apart somewhat. However we have just had a long talk, assessing our condition and needs and that was helpful. When I think of so many others in our situation I wonder how we all cope.

Pam said...

I sympathise a lot, if this is any help.

Meggie said...

O I do feel for you! We seem to be having a really bad patch, after having some relatively calm patches.
In a way it is rather terrifying to contemplate being on ones own- even though solitude is often craved.