Wednesday, April 4, 2012


There was a book by the title of this blog post that I read many years ago, and decided to re-read this past weekend. I was amazed how relevant its words of wisdom are today as they were on the day I first read this book, though some of the content is a bit dated.

The book's subtitle is "predictable crises of adult life."

While I do not intend to add a "book reviews" column to this blog, I want to relate how I am feeling about the passages that my life, and the life of my beloved partner, have been going through.

The book discusses the daunting, challenging, and stressful events of adult life and provides suggestions on turning these difficult events into opportunities for growth. That is far better, and more consistent with my life philosophy, than dwelling on the negative, "why have things changed for the worse?" type of thinking.

My partner and I took a passage together about five years ago, when we attended our last leather fetish event. Went to a leather bar for the last time five years ago also. We realized that we were not interested in those types of activities any more. Late nights. Socializing, or attempts at same, with drama as a result. Going out became more and more expensive and a huge hassle. We found that staying home was just fine with us.

Nowadays, my partner is in one of his major life passages. He had a milestone birthday last November, then his world turned upside down soon thereafter with a serious downturn in his health. Once able-bodied, strong, and independent, he has had to become more dependent on me to do many more things that he ordinarily would do. Suffice it to say, that adjustment has not been easy for him.

Let me nip something in the bud, though. My partner is not bed-ridden. He is able to function, and do simple things like the laundry (for which I remain thankful), and work at his job from home.

My world has been a bit curvy, too. Family and close friends know what's going on, yet my curves aren't nearly the depth of what my partner is going through. I've been through those curves before in 2004 and 2010, and managed to reset myself. What I didn't want, though, is for these curves to be thrown at me at the same time my better half needs my full concentration.

I do not intend to publish to the world what else is going on in my life, but it's significant. Requires lots of work and concentration on my part which is compounded with time that I devote to my partner. Pretty much all else has gone out the window. Many fewer trips with seniors to visit. Once-weekly to take senior pals grocery shopping, when it used to be more often. Almost never see the family any more. I just don't have the time. And ride my Harley? I wish. Only for commuting, no joy-rides through the countryside.

Compounding all of this is that my partner is on an absolute tear on remodeling significant parts of our kitchen. He "must" have a new floor, now. I agree, the old floor is a mess and is long past its life. I have to replace it -- all 460 square feet of it -- but I was thinking about doing that work later this summer, not this minute. But to partner, "this minute" isn't soon enough. I think his anxiousness has something to do with how fragile he is feeling due to his illness. I tell 'ya, that illness really plays with his head sometimes.

As he faces surgery for a hernia repair hip replacement and long-term treatment with antibiotics that can better fight his underlying illness -- who is left to do what needs to be done? Me.

Why not hire contractors to do this work? If you have to ask that question, you really don't know my ultra-reclusive partner that well. He will not have any strangers in the house while he is recovering, yet his "testadura" demands re-tiling the kitchen floor immediamente. Subito. Rapido. Adesso. Pronto!

Caregiver. Remodeler. Partner. Tile-setter. Health-care Advocate. Friend. Confidant. Builder. Lover. Supporter.

Alas, right now... not "biker."

So that's the down-side. The upside?

We will have a new kitchen, which will accommodate my partner's needs as well as my own culinary creativity.

The kitchen work will be great exercise that my ol' tired body needs, and hopefully will help me shed a few pounds, too.

My partner will get better. His soreness from the hernia hip situation will be gone. The I.V.-administered antibiotics will fight the monsters within him and get 'em; I'm positively focused this will happen. I have faith.

My senior pals are rallying around me, instead of the other-way around. From bringing me Easter baskets to calling me (instead of me calling them), they are extending their warmth and caring that helps me feel less guilty about not being as attentive.

My family is in constant contact. They are showing how much they care and love both of us every day. For that, I remain truly grateful.

I truly believe that God doesn't give someone more than he can handle, but I also know that my skills in multi-tasking and juggling are being sorely tested.

Life is short: make positive passages.


Anonymous said...

When the current crisis is over, I am coming home to take you away for a much-needed vacation. Sister M will stay with your partner. You need a break!

We love you, care about you and my brother-in-law, and you can count on me as your twin brother, as well as all of the whole fam-damily to take care of BOTH of you. You can't save the world with its weight on your shoulders. I'll help to relieve that.

Love you always, ore e sempre,


Paul said...

Da un paio di anni sto assistendo mia madre invalida e capisco la tua sofferenza. Ho una famiglia che mi vuole bene e questo aiuta a tirare avanti.
Anche per me la moto serve solo più per recarmi al lavoro e aspetto tempi migliori per i viaggi di piacere.
Auguri a te e al tuo compagno per i giorni difficili che vi aspettano.
From a couple of years I am seeing my invalid mother, and I understand your suffering. I have a family that loves me and this helps to get by.
Even for me the bike is just more to go to work and wait for better times for leisure travel.
Best wishes to you and your companion for the difficult days that lie ahead.

Booted Harleydude said...

Mille grazie, Paulo. Io apprezzo che Lei capisce la mia situazione. Io auguro il Sua conforto di madre e la pace. Io mi preoccupai della mia anziana zia per molti anni, ed io so quello come il quale è la Sua situazione. Buon fortuna.