It’s not perfect, it’s not pretty, but it’s good enough.
On the night of October 12th, I was woken up to my husband struggling to stand up. His back was done. He was already struggling the week before with his back but that night was the turning point for the next part of our 2020 journey.
We moved him to our spare room with a higher bed. Gave him pain meds and waited until the morning when we could call for emergency physiotherapy. Over the next three weeks, he was almost bedridden. Little to no standing, no sitting, no bending and absolutely no heavy lifting. Even 6 weeks later, he is still on a no bending, no lifting, little sitting plan.
The amount of pain he was in was more than I’ve ever seen him suffer through (I’ve seen him through a broken foot, other back injuries and major cuts). I will tell you that I felt useless as I had no way to help him.
While he recovered, I had my own lessons. I learned the art of good enough. I learned to accept help and I learned to wait.
I am not my husband. We have very opposite skill sets. Both in our businesses and in our household responsibilities. My husband does the cooking, anything really labour intensive and mechanical. I do garbages, manage our finances and do all our planning. I’m also the goofer for any home projects. Yep, I get the forgotten drill bit, run the garbage, go get the shovel, find a measuring tape … you get the idea. So when suddenly I had to fill in the roles my husband couldn’t do, I experienced my own learning.
The lesson of accepting help: I don’t ask for help and it’s hard for me to accept help. It’s something I’m working on. However, when we invested in sit/stand desks to allow my husband to work for short periods of time, I knew that installing the specialty legs would be hard to do alone. A friend offered to come over and help. She offered; not once, not twice but around 4 times. Eventually, I realized that I needed help and she wanted to help and I said yes. I am thankful I finally said yes because after watching them put two desks together in a few hours I realized that it would have taken me many many hours of swearing, bruises, and maybe even crying. My friend, her husband and her son had fun putting the desks together and I got working desks and a fun visit all for the price of a pizza, pop and a couple of beers! I think I should accept help more often!
The lesson of waiting: I’m not always patient. Once I’ve made up my mind or put something on my to-do list, I like to get it done. In this case, I knew that some things that my husband would do had transferred to me. I also knew that some of these tasks would take me longer than it would have taken him. I had to plan for the extra tasks and the longer time to completion. Deliveries and mail pickups were easy. I just had to plan them into my schedule. However, filling in the septic tank, closing the pool, mulching leaves, planting fall bulbs and plants were going to take me so much longer than it would take my husband. My husband kept encouraging me to wait. I think he wanted me to wait so he had a chance to get better and do it himself. I didn’t fully wait. What I did was schedule an amount of time each weekend I would give to these tasks and then spread it out over a number of weeks. This gave him time to recover and I didn’t push myself so bad that both of us ended up in bed with back pain. The result was it took me 4 weekends to get it all done. By the time I got to the leaves, most of them had fallen and many had dried up so I only had to do it once! When I got to the pool, my husband was well enough to supervise and give me some help! The best part, the weather had turned beautiful and I could do my outside chores with a t-shirt on!
The biggest lesson was good enough is enough: I was supposed to till the ground before planting the fall bulbs. But the tiller broke. S&$%. I planted the plants anyway and I’ll figure out how to clean up the garden next year. I have no idea if I planted some of the fall plants the right way up. We will find out in the spring! I figure that life finds away. My plants will find away. And that septic tank… well it’s covered. Not perfectly. But it’s good enough. I can seed it in the spring. As for dinners, well I cooked. We didn’t live off of takeout for three weeks. My meals were simple but they did the job. The bottom line is that nothing was done the way my husband would have done it and we will have some re-work to do in the spring but for now… I got it done and it was good enough!
Overall, I’m proud of myself. I pushed myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do on my own. Some things I had no idea what I was doing. I learned that I can keep us fed even if it’s not fancy. I learned that 1lb of garlic isn’t really a lot of garlic, I learned that I have no idea which way to plant peonies roots (thank you internet). I learned that when the air is pushed out of the pool lines, you do not want to be bending over the basket (that water was cold!) and I learned that I hate filling in the septic tank (maybe we should move in three years). The biggest learning was good enough is enough, saying yet to help can be a win-win and that doing a little bit over a long period of time can create some good benefits.
I don’t wish back pain on anyone and I’m happy that my husband is slowly getting better. However, I’m grateful for good friends, amazing weather and lessons learned.
What have you learned recently?
“I will do all that I can, with whatever I have, wherever I am… and I’ll let good enough be good enoug.”unknown
“I will do all that I can, with whatever I have, wherever I am… and I’ll let good enough be good enoug.”
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