My days slipped into a routine without me even noticing it. I hog the bed as soon as David starts his morning ritual. By the time he heads out the door, I sit at my laptop to check out morning status posts, cute animal pictures, game requests, and jokes. I head over to check my email and peruse the news. Usually I multitask, running clothes through the washer and shifting them to the dryer when I return letters or write a blog post. By 9 AM, the dogs and I head for the back yard. Koi viciously snarls and snaps at the hose, tugging with all of his might to “help” me unwind this coiled snake. I slowly water each bush and hanging basket, all the while yearning for the blessing of rain upon our scorched world.
By the time I reenter the house, the laundry’s dry. I hang, and fold, and put everything neatly away. Then I tackle another small chore—put away the clean dishes stacked so neatly in the dishwasher, vacuum and mop the floors, dust off the find layer that’s settled onto the furniture since the previous week, scrub the tubs and toilets. No matter what the task, I usually finish between 10:30 and 11:00.
So I pull my hair back into a ponytail, don my Skechers, and head for the gym. Determined to regain my life, I push through thirty minutes of aerobics and another thirty minutes of weights. I mentally mark off the day of the week—Monday, Wednesday, Friday dedicated to upper body. Tuesdays and Thursdays focused on lower body. Weekly weigh-ins show no weight loss, but the tape measure’s become my best friend. I’ve honed almost eighteen inches off of during the last three months. Each half-inch shift gives me the push to head back to the cross trainer. Logic tells me that I spent a decade taking care of someone else, and I should allow myself time to regain my physical endurance. I arrive home sweating like a pig. No delicate “perspiration” for me! A quick soak to stretch out my muscles, and then the rest of the day remains open.
And so I find myself with plenty of time, practically for the first time ever, to do anything I want (within budgetary reason). Some days, I’ll pick something on Netflix and do a marathon television session. Other days, the TV sits silent all day while I catch up on reading all of the books my favorite authors published over the last four years when Mom’s care shoved reading into an occasional luxury. I’ve even constructed a list of projects to do around the house—like painting the kitchen. Writing, the one thing I clung to tenaciously as HD demolished my mother, now shifts to a leisurely pleasure.
Yesterday, I began researching some of those little details writers place into books. My curiosity queried on how long a horse can trot pulling a wagon, and how many miles per hour it would go. I needed to know what courses a nurse took going to John Sealy Hospital School of Nurses in the early 1900s. I spent my afternoon with Google and Bing (sounds like a vaudeville act).
I find great pleasure in discovering the miracle of having plenty of time. I think I’ll luxuriate in it (and maybe brag about it) for quite a while.
Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman