The scales of my life are quite weighty at the moment, with more and more things piling into them on a daily basis it seems. Over the past several days, my mother in law (who has been suffering from progressive dementia for the past six years) slipped into renal failure and is now in hospice care. In the process of making all these arrangements, checking on her daily, trying to complete the car repairs from the minor accident I was involved in a couple of weeks ago, and also deal with an ever increasing work load at the office, it’s been a bit difficult to achieve any kind of balance in my life. And although my husband is the Libra in the family, I’m the one who really craves things to be on an even keel and to have my ducks in a row at all times.
I’ve been thinking about the balance in relationships, especially in marriage, for I think a natural division of labor and responsibility usually develops between a couple, often unspoken, but simply mutually agreed upon by experience and preference. This week I’ve been handling the medical details, since I’m more comfortable in that arena and speak that language, while Jim has been in charge of the car repair since he’s the most experienced in that realm. We fell into those activities quite naturally, it seemed, without discussion. He knows I hate making phone calls, so he’s done all the talking with insurance adjusters and mechanics. I know he’s uncomfortable with illness, so I’ve spent the most time with his mother, talking to the hospice staff and trying to make sure she was comfortable.
Of course, inequities will occur, even in the best of systems. Housework is usually one of them, isn’t it? Men seem to be missing the gene that causes anxiety when the laundy piles up, the dishes aren’t done, and cobwebs hang from all the corners. Alternatively, I can’t muster much enthusiasm for watching auto racing in stereo surround sound. So, occasionally even the most evenly matched couples become out of balance. Perhaps a new circumstance comes into play, one that neither party has ever dealt with before.
Sometimes, adjustments must be made.
Through it all, keeping a good balance is key – in relationships, and in life in general.
So wish me luck, as I keep working to even the scales.