Coping, Friends & Family

Guilty As Charged

Hart and I both have colds. He’s sitting on an airplane, going to a trade show, which will be busy, loud and exhausting. I’m sitting on the couch, watching baseball playoff games while perusing cookbooks, crocheting and reading.

I am completely overwhelmed by cooking and cleaning. I can let cleaning slide, but cooking is a necessity. Yet shopping, prepping and cleaning after dinner is just too much for me. (And I haven’t liked either meal service that I’ve tried.) For Hart, leaving work at 6 p.m. calls for celebration.

I’m trying to establish a “workday” routine that allows for all I need and want to do each day without wearing me out. This list is for when Hart is at work, which leaves evenings for spending time together and hobbies (or for me to overtaken by pain):

  • Blogging and returning blog-related e-mail messages — 2 hours
  • Cleaning, running errands, paying bills, grocery shopping and cooking — 2 hours average
  • Exercise, yoga two days a week and walking the other three — 1.5 hours average
  • Amazon sales and eBay (we’re selling a bunch of stuff and books) — 1 hour
  • Writing, either nonfiction health pieces or to try my hand at fiction (which will require lots of studying and practice) — 2 hours minimum

That’s eight and a half hours, which is nothing compared to Hart’s days. But for the sake of my health, I don’t want to exceed six a day.

Can you tell I don’t feel like contributing to our household? After three years, I am (mostly) OK with not earning money. Now I’m focused on making our number of hours of work comparable.

This isn’t about feelings of guilt or inadequacy, but because Hart comes home from most days completely spent. He hits the ground running each day, goes non-stop when he’s at the office, answers e-mail before he goes to bed each night and rarely stops thinking about work.

Hart’s talked about taking a couple years off to go to grad school. He’s also always wanted to start his own business. I want nothing more than to for him to be happy, but… there’s that pesky mortgage and necessary health insurance.

How is it fair that I get to take count practicing yoga as part of my work? Or take time off for lunch and a pedicure? Or read when I get tired?

I’m forever questioning the severity of my pain and [insert other migraine symptom(s) here]. I should be able to get more done in a day than I do, shouldn’t I? Am I just hiding behind the statistics on the impact of headache on quality of life?

Where’s the balance? Is it even possible to achieve one?