The Forgetful Frog #16: On a Laughing Hiatus, Avoid Frustration

The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog February 17, 2016 08:49

forgetful-frog-image3-300x2301-300x230-13By The Forgetful Frog

The hyena is laughing. My husband assures me that I am on hiatus. I keep saying I want to do something productive. In fact, I am probably driving him crazy, trying to figure out what that can be.

He keeps reminding me that my job, right now, is to get stronger and recover completely. He keeps reminding me that I am on hiatus. I keep telling him that it’s a laughing hiatus.

At least once every day, I find myself pondering how incredibly lucky I am to be married to my husband. He is brilliantly clear thinking and generous in his taking care of me. He is so kind and attentive. But, at the same time, he remembers to help me help myself, as much as possible.

Usually, I ask him to review my writing, but I will not show this one to him. He would, I’m afraid, be uncomfortable with the praise. It feels strange and foreign for me to purposely avoid asking for his opinion. I value it so highly, I ask for it on all things important.


As usual, it feels like a very long time since I wrote. It always feels like that, and usually, it has been much more recent than it seems. I wonder if I will ever adjust to the way time passes for me now. After more than half a century of experiencing time, I am now finding that my temporal sense is completely off. For example, I have a seemingly distant memory of greeting my husband this morning, when we got up together. It feels like a long time, days even, since I saw him.

I am always eager for his return. I always miss his company. But I know how important it is for us to spend some time apart. It seems that I need some time alone, but that does not prevent me from missing him a bit, during that time. For me, at least, this is a pretty good balance. It was, I think I recall, easier and more natural to find that balance when I was not disabled.

Healthy relationships are tricky to navigate, even without extra complications. It is sometimes a drag, being over 50 years old, but it is also a blessing to have the extra experience.

Today our contractor, Joe, was back working on our tile job in our bathroom. He is a wonderful man. A pleasure to have in one’s home. I can’t recall where my husband was, perhaps out shopping. I have been making my way around with the walker, when my husband is not nearby. Now and then, however, I have a bout of confidence and a wish to be stronger. At those moments, I will reach for my cane.

Generally, I only feel confident when my husband is around. However, yesterday, I was feeling cheerful and strong. Without too much deliberation, I decided to use my cane to walk from the living room to the bedroom. Sure enough, something went wrong, and I dropped the cane. Immediately following the sound of it clattering onto the floor, Joe came running and asking if I was okay. I was shaken up and flat on the floor, but I was able to say yes, I was all right.

Fortunately, Joe is a strong man, like my husband. He was able to help me up and get me safely to the sofa. I was embarrassed, and felt bad that Joe was drawn into this difficult moment. I was very apologetic. His reply was comforting, and made me nostalgic for times when life was kinder. “This is so much not your job,” I said sheepishly.

“It doesn’t matter,” Joe replied with a sympathetic smile. “It’s just the right thing to do!”

I am trying again to crochet. This is one of those things that I used to be able to do with skill. Now, it is extremely frustrating and disappointing every time I try. My hands are so shaky.

After a stitch or two, I feel my fingers tensing and even cramping. I have started numerous projects over the last few months. Each time, I have given up because I was not having fun. Today, for the first time, I remembered how much fun I had when I was first learning to crochet.

I am now thinking that if I can forget my many years of successful efforts, and harken back to my learning years, maybe I can enjoy it. Maybe I can re-experience the fun of learning the craft. The trick to enjoying it is going to be avoiding frustration. Remembering to go slowly, one stitch at a time, and being willing to undo poorly completed stitches or even rows.

This morning, I made a chain of 20 stitches. I began my first row, and set it down after perhaps a dozen stitches. Writing this paragraph has been my break, and I will try again now.

To be continued….

 The author, who asks to remain anonymous, is a foothills resident in her 50s who writes with the help of a computer tablet and speech-recognition software. She hopes that her notes on coping with the physical and emotional aspects of disability will help others facing difficult challenges know that they are not alone.

The Forgetful Frog
By The Forgetful Frog February 17, 2016 08:49
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