Lessons from a long marriage
Ok, so we know I've developed skills I didn't know I had and I'm capable of things I wouldn't have thought possible but it occurred to me today that actually I have Ash to thank for much of this new me. I think I've told this story before but just in case you weren't paying attention, or in case you've just joined us, I'll mention it again. A very long time ago, when we started decorating the first house we ever bought, I was about to screw a door handle back into place when Ash came along and began to tell me exactly how to do it. As I was just inserting screws into holes that were already there, and as I was feisty even then, I handed him the screwdriver and walked off without a word. From then on I left him to get on with all of the jobs needed to keep the house functioning and gave barely a thought to DIY other than to use the phrase 'could you just ........' on a very regular basis. And he did. tap leaking? Ash would fix it; patio required? Ash would build one. tree branches needing lopping? Ash would be there. On and on it went and nothing that I asked him to do would faze him until dementia crept into our lives and gradually there was less and less that he was able to do and the list of things requiring attention got longer and longer because of course I couldn't do them could I! Now though I've realised that over the years I've absorbed quite a lot of useful information partly I think from unconsciously watching what he was doing and some, I'm sure, from osmosis and as you'll have noticed I'm starting to feel confident about putting that knowledge to use. Not everything of course because I really do know my limitations. I'm actively frightened of electricity (a good thing I hear you cry) and I'm puzzled by plumbing but otherwise I now find myself carefully considering whether or not I'm capable of tackling a job before I decide to pay someone to do it. The chainsawing is obviously a case in point and I'm loving that, in fact only today I managed to fill two large baskets with logs that I'd created with my own fair saw but there are also the pictures I've managed to hang in my new bedroom, the sticks I'm chopping on a regular basis and the lawn I mowed through the summer without getting the stripes too wonky. I haven't quite progressed to a drill yet but I have a friend who's promised to lend me hers when I've plucked up the courage (and I do feel it's got to be tried even if it's all a disaster) and I'm considering buying a sander of my very own because there are a couple of pieces of furniture I'd quite like to have a go at renovating. So all of this is good and I know my confidence and skills are developing mainly as a result of really needing them but I've also realised that if I hadn't hadn't married someone quite so capable all those years ago I'd never, ever have been able to do any of this and that's something to be very grateful for.
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I must admit I’ve never have been a person who dwells very much on the past - good memories or bad. Meditation is also really good for helping me learn not to follow any thoughts that are not helpful. I think it’s something I will have to practise a lot more though as we live with dementia .