One of my challenges is figuring out how much time I should spend with David vs. how much time I should spend on my own projects. I am finding, somewhat to my surprise, that I enjoy being with David, especially when he's in a stable period. A good thing. The problem is that I tend to get drawn into his activities at the expense of doing my own household chores and hobbies. And that can be very frustrating.
For example, David likes working with his hands on projects around the house, and wants me to drop what I'm doing to help him "for just a few minutes." He especially likes working on his pet project: a 1950 truck that he has rebuilt and lovingly calls his "hot rod." Although, when he's frustrated with it, he has less-than-printable words for it. The hot rod has been an ongoing hobby for the last 15 years (I'm really not kidding). Sometimes he's had it running, but he can't resist tinkering with it to make it faster, etc. The nice thing is that working on the hot rod has given him confidence in his skills, and something to focus on. This is the first summer in 3 years that he's been well enough to concentrate on it; a good thing. Jon and Ben have also been able to work with him on troubleshooting, so that he can get it up and running (yet again); a very good thing.
David and his hot rod (during one of its renovations; he later put the cab roof back on)
I listened to the program, Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday, and I appreciated the message (as well as the music) about problem-solving. I especially liked the thought that large problems can be solved by perseverance and taking it one step at a time.
So what's the solution? I don't have all the answers. I did decide that I'm going to relax a bit more and enjoy spending time with him, instead of resenting the time helping him. I also am doing some things just for myself. I started going to a book club with some friends, and we're reading "Three Cups of Tea." (Such a good book!) One of the wise village elders where the author was building a school reminded him that some things take time to build and not to expect everything to be done all at once. He also let him know that it was important to build relationships as well as projects. It was a good reminder.
David has done a good job lately of keeping his moods fairly even, with a few dark days thrown in to keep us on our toes. We've also had some fun family events: our granddaughter was baptized a few weeks ago. It was a sweet experience made sweeter by having all the children and grandchildren in the area there; something that doesn't happen very often because of conflicting schedules. Then, a few days later, we added a beautiful new granddaughter, Kylee, to the family. They make everything that we have struggled with worth the effort.
Isn't that the way life is: a mix of trials and joys? The trick is to learn to relax and enjoy the ride, which is sometimes easier said than done.