The Things I Miss The Most…

If you’ve been following my blog for much time, you’ll know that I suffer from chronic pain and mobility issues. I’m in pain 24/7 and if it wasn’t for my pain meds I’d be climbing the walls for certain. Without pain medication to “take the edge off” I wouldn’t be able to function at all. I’m thankful that I can still do a little, even though it’s not a lot.

I was thinking last night about all of the things I used to do and how much I miss doing them. It’s terribly depressing. I can’t believe I’m in this predicament at only 56 years old. I am thankful for what I have and what I can still do, but I do miss all the fun things I used to do just 15 short years ago.

Most people take things for granted, as I did. I never thought I’d be in this shape. I never had to think about what I couldn’t do because I could do anything I wanted to do, if I chose to do so.

These are some of the things I miss the most:

  1. Walking & Hiking – I used to be a cross-country backpacker and had put that on the back burner while I raised my children. I still took walks and when we moved here to SW Missouri, we established some trails and I started walking them every day. NowI’m lucky to walk to the bathroom. I have to think about every step and every movement because if I step wrong I could fall. If I fall, I could suffer an injury that would reduce my mobility even more.
  2. Cooking – I used to love cooking. I was damn good at it, too. I have many cookbooks and I always enjoyed trying new recipes and switching them up a bit to accommodate my family. I’m barely able to throw a frozen dinner in the microwave these days. I know that’s a simple task, but there’s still the movement around the kitchen collecting silverware, napkins, plates, etc., and pulling the fixings out of the refrigerator for salad or some other side dish.
  3. Cleaning & Organizing – Yes, I said cleaning. You don’t know how much you miss such a mundane chore until you can’t do it anymore. My house was never immaculate. I had kids and pets. Shit gets dirty. I didn’t stress over it but I cleaned the house once a week. My house used to be organized. Everything had its place. I even packed away the kids’ summer clothes in the winter and winter clothes in the summer. These days, I can’t clean weekly. What most people do each week is what I do once a month. I do a little each day. That’s all I can do. My house is horribly unorganized these days. I have boxes shoved in closets and I don’t even know what’s in them! I’ve started going through things but that’s going to take me the rest of the year to get done! If I’m lucky!
  4. Going to the Movies – Oh, how I love seeing a movie on the big screen! I used to take the kids to the movies a couple times a month. I’d grab my “movie” purse, which is huge, and I’d smuggle in candy so all we had to pay for was popcorn and drinks. Those were the good ol’ days! Now, going to the movies is painful and awkward. I walk very slow and I feel like I’m going to get trampled. I only have one hand available because I have a cane in my right hand. Someone always has to carry my drink or popcorn. I try to grab seats where other people aren’t going to walk over me to get to other seats. The last time I went to see a movie, people were walking over me and kicking my feet in the process, which causes excruciating pain up and down my legs. I was in tears. We were in the very back row of the theater, too!
  5. Shopping – Yes, even grocery shopping! It’s exhausting, even in a scooter, trying to maneuver around idiots who have to have a stinkin’ family reunion in the middle of the aisle. It’s hard to reach things, even things that aren’t really that high. It’s hard to reach down and get something that might be back a little too far on the bottom shelf. Last Fall, I had the bright idea of going to the Mall and I thought I was going to die. I had my rollator with me so I could walk a little and then sit and rest a little. It was still too much. Any shopping is something I have to work up the courage to do. You just don’t understand unless you’ve experienced chronic pain.
  6. My Home Business – I made my own bath & body products; soaps, bath salts, lotions, body sprays, etc. I loved it! I started with tried and true recipes and then through research and trial and error, came up with my own recipes. I had managed to create a base of repeat customers and was hopeful about the future of my business. I had to close in 2010 because like cooking, it’s a lot of movement in the kitchen that I just can’t do anymore.
  7. Restorative Sleep – I used to sleep good and hard every single night. These days, I’m lucky to get 5 hours of sleep. Not restorative, restful sleep either. It takes me a long time to fall asleep because I can’t find a position that’s comfortable. Between the pain and not being able to relax, it takes me sometimes 2 hours to fall asleep. Then, I’ll sleep for 45 minutes to an hour or so and wake up again. I do this all night long.
  8. Exercise – I always hated exercise when I was younger, aside from walking. Now I wish I could do any exercise without excruciating pain! I bought a recumbent bike a few years ago thinking I might be able to do it but that was a big fat NOPE. I have a glider that I do on occasion and the only reason I can do it at all is that you don’t have to bend your knees to do it! It’s still painful and I push through, but sure wish I could do it more and without pain.
  9. Playing on the Floor with The Littles – The fun of having grandkids is being able to play with them. I used to get down on the floor and play Legos with my son. My daughter and I used to sit on the floor and do puzzles on the coffee table. Nowadays, if I get down on the floor it’s because I’ve fallen and I won’t be able to get up.
  10. Taking The Littles to the Park or Zoo – The last time I went to the zoo was when I was in charge of my grand daughter’s preschooling. Boy, we had a grand time! She learned a lot that day about animals and their habitats. My legs had just started bothering me so I had a little trouble but not like today. If I tried today, I would have to have a scooter or be pushed in a wheelchair.
  11. Hanging Photos – I used to switch up photos of my kids, nieces, and nephews all the time. I just don’t have it in me anymore to hang new ones, and now I have grandkids and tons more photos!!
  12. Gardening and Yard Work – Our yard used to be the nicest one for miles. Total strangers would stop to tell us how nice our yard looked! I loved working in the yard and in the garden. I even helped Dad with the mowing. It was peaceful on that riding mower. Therapeutic in a way. I can’t mow these days because the vibration reverberates through my body and THAT is painful as hell. We always had a nice garden with all kinds of vegetables, from Anaheim Peppers to Zucchini. I had tulips, irises, roses, and lilacs in flower beds around the house. Now, I can’t do the work. I miss the veggies and I miss the flowers. My lilac bush is still alive and the irises are growing wild…but so are the weeds. I hate it.

There are so many things I miss from my “old life” but I try to be thankful for what I can do now. It’s hard to stay focused on the good when there’s so much negativity all the time. It does cause some depression but, like I said, I am thankful for the things I can still do.

The Ex-Files – Milk & The Kitchen Floor

I ran a daycare in my home for several years when my kids were small. I had to do something to bring in money to pay the rent, keep the lights on, and feed my kids. CP wasn’t doing much working during that time. Mostly he just sat on his ass in the middle of my business, cramping my style, and playing solitaire with a deck of cards that I would have loved to shove down his throat.

One day, I had 7 kids counting my two, for the entire day. I was extremely busy and a bit stressed, mostly because of CP. I always tried to sweep and mop the kitchen floor at least every other day because when you’re feeding a bunch of kids at least 2 meals a day, it gets rather messy. CP was naturally sitting at the kitchen table, playing with his stupid cards and in my way, as usual. I thought, Dammit, I wish you’d go sit in someone else’s way for a change. He did finally leave. He probably went to his cousin’s house.

It was mid-afternoon and the kids were either doing puzzles, napping, or watching PBS. It was calm for the time being so I figured I’d have time to sweep and mop the floor. I swept first, obviously. I had most of the floor mopped when the toddler woke up from his nap. I quickly finished and went to get the little whipper-snapper.

The house was still semi-calm. I sat down to rest and do puzzles with 2 of the boys who were ages 6 and 7. Then I read a funny story about a rabbit who got lost. The day was coming to an end. I helped the kids get ready for their moms to pick them up. When they had all been picked up, I went to the kitchen to start dinner. About the same time, CP came home.

CP decided he was going to finish off the coffee left in the pot. He liked milk in his coffee, so he grabbed the gallon jug of milk from the refrigerator. It was virtually a full jug. I don’t know how he did it, but he dropped the entire jug and it hit the floor with a big crash and milk splattered everywhere. I said to CP, “Good grief. I just mopped the floor!” He laughed and apologized. He said he would clean it up.

He did clean up the mess, mopped the floor again and everything. The problem was that he had to show me how much dirt came off the floor when he mopped. I probably rolled my eyes, thinking here we go again. I knew what was coming and I was right.

He proceeded to tell me how he would mop the floor. He went through the entire process in great detail while I stood there completely disgusted and ready to stick that mop up his ass so far he could taste it.

When he finished this detailed explanation of the process, as if I’m stupid and never mopped a floor before in my life, I told him, “I didn’t do a thorough clean because I had 7 kids here all day, as you well know.” He started to say something and I cut him off, “I don’t have time when the house is full of kids. I have meals to fix, and activities to do, diapers to change, kids to take to the potty. I also take the kids outside to play, read to them, play with them, take them to the park and other various places, all while trying to fit in the household chores that won’t get done unless I do them myself. So, I guess if you’re not satisfied with the way I mop the floor or anything else around here, then maybe you can get off your ass and do it yourself from now on.” I walked away… He grumbled something under his breath and went out to the garage to pout and drink beer… I guess this is how I ‘drove him to drink.’ Ha.

Finally, now I can fix dinner. Geesh!

He did this kind of thing all the time… He always had to tell me how he would do something, how his uncles used to do something, or how his mother did something. Quite frankly I didn’t give a shit how anyone else did anything. I did things my way and I still do.


The Worst Chore Ever

I can deal with cleaning clutter, wiping cabinets, organizing, vacuuming, even cleaning toilets. The thing I hate to do the most is DUSTING! I hate it. Seems that no matter what you do, that damn dust always comes back – sometimes the very next day! It’s especially bad when you live out in the country like I do.


As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been cleaning and decluttering for the past couple of weeks. It’s rough when you’ve got pain and mobility issues. I do a little, rest a little, do a little more….one chore at a time, and sometimes only one chore a day. Today, I tackled the cube shelving in the laundry room. The dust was so thick under the clutter, even the cats were sneezing!


I threw away a bunch of stuff I have no idea why I was even saving. Forgot I had it, haven’t used it in years…..why keep it? Some things I saved for the youngn’s. I figure the old air popper, single serve coffee maker, and a set of ceramic canisters could be useful to one of them. I’m not using them after all. No telling what I might find the more I delve into this cleaning and decluttering project – a project I’m not sorry I started, at least not yet.

Someone suggested I put the unwanted stuff in the yard with a “free” sign on it. I might try that later in the Spring. Right now it’s too wet out. I can’t even begin to tell you how many things I’ve tried to give away in the past, absolutely free and no strings attached except it must be picked up – I have even offered to deliver to certain places if I had a reason to go that direction – NO TAKERS. What the heck?? We’re talking old televisions that still worked, chairs, heaters and fans that still worked, adult and children’s clothing in good condition…. The televisions were the old kind but still worked! I figured it’s better than nothing if someone needed a tv to hold them until they could get a better one. I guess I was wrong.

Anyway, I’m taking it day by day. I decide every morning what I’ll tackle that day. Some days I may not even do anything. It might take a year to finish, who knows. I will get it done if it kills me…. I just wish someone else would do the dusting!


What are your least favorite chores to do?

The Ex-Files – Spite

I was 8 months pregnant with my son. I was running a Day Care in our home to make money to keep food on the table and the electricity on. Oh and then there was the rent. We were always behind but I had to do what I could to keep the landlord from evicting us. He was very understanding, more than he should have been.

CP was in one of his ruts where he was laid off from a job and not getting off his ass to find another. He seemed to think the food was going to magically appear and that the electricity fairies were going to keep the power on. He always said something stupid like, “We don’t need electricity.” WHAT?! Seriously, you may be wondering? Yes. I’m serious. What did he think was keeping his damn beer cold and making his coffee every day? What did he think I was going to do with the 7 kids I had in my house every day with no power? That meant no Sesame Street, no cooking meals, no lights, no freezer and refrigerator to keep our food, no cold milk for cereal, no clean clothes, and many other things. I wish I knew what the hell was wrong with him!

So, anyway… I was busy with kids all day long and he was sitting around in my way. I was preparing meals for my Day Care kids, doing laundry, cleaning up messes, and doing activities with the kids. We had outside playtime, preschool activities, and I also had a few learning centers set up. I was busy so when the dryer buzzer went off this particular day, I ran to the dryer, threw the clothes in a basket and took the basket to my bedroom. I was thinking I’d get to it asap and just tossed the basket on my bed. It just happened to be on CP’s side of the bed. Big mistake.

He came home after a few hours of “shootin’ the shit” as he called it, with his cousins. I guess it was around 7:30 pm. He was tired and as per the norm, he went to bed with no dinner. Even though I cooked, from scratch, because anything less than that would have pissed him off. But I digress. He went to bed before 8:00 pm.

He never thought about ME. I still had our daughter to bathe and get to bed, bedtime stories to read, a kitchen to clean up, toys to put away….and my own shower and relaxation – HA. He was in bed because HE was tired, from NOT working, but from visiting with family. By 11:00 pm I was finally finished with MY chores, exhausted and went to bed.

Let’s not forget the very first line of this post. Go back and look. I’ll wait.

I got ready for bed and quietly entered my bedroom. I couldn’t turn on the light because CP was sleeping so when I got to my side of the bed I tripped. What did I trip over? The fucking laundry basket I sat on the bed earlier in the day. I nearly fell on my stomach (all 8 months of my son there) but thankfully I was able to catch my fall on the nightstand with my right arm, spraining my wrist in the process. I was so pissed off when I found out what it was I tripped over, I went to the living room with my pillow and slept on the couch.

In the morning I said angrily to CP, “Thanks for putting the laundry basket on the floor in the dark of the bedroom for me to trip over last night. I almost landed on my belly.” He replied, “Sorry, but you put the laundry basket on my side of the bed so I thought you did it for spite.” So apparently, since he thought I did it out of spite then it was ok for him to almost cause me and our unborn child serious injury??? THAT is spiteful behavior!

I think that’s when I really started to hate him.

The Problem is, women think

This is the fourth installment of a series. If you missed the first three installments, you can find them here: The Break-Up & The Concert, Finding My Own Place, and  Financial Burden.