Friday, 17 May 2013

Chores And Challenges

Once upon a time there was a man in a wheelchair. This man lived in a nice little apartment where all the doorways were wider than normal, where the counters were lower than normal and had room underneath so he could roll right up, where the bathroom had lift bars and extra room so he could roll in and out. This man felt very lucky and was happy to live on his own.

This fairy tale is not mine. My apartment is a standard apartment with standard counters and standard doors. The floor is carpeted and it is nearly impossible to roll up to the counters. To accommodate for this, I use my walker in the kitchen as a kind of rolling platform, allowing me to sit and yet still letting me reach the counters and cupboards.

Back when I could walk and stand, I did all my own chores. I washed my dishes, cleaned my counters, vacuumed the floors and did all the other little chores around the house. I am not a "house" kind of person; I prefer utilitarian, more reflective of my view that a house is just a place where you store your stuff. My expression has always been "it's not where I live, it's how I live". Nonetheless I know that if you own a home, you must maintain it.

I have always enjoyed some of the house kinds of things that had to be done. I loved working on the house, fixing decks and painting rooms, renovating and changing. Oddly enough I also used to love washing, drying and putting away the dishes. I made me feel accomplished to see an empty sink and a cupboard full of clean dishes. Except for nasty, dirty pots. Those I would do without; let 'em soak.

Unfortunately this is lost completely to me now. Not only do I no longer have a house, if I did I could not do these things. I can do the dishes somewhat but even that can be an exhaustion for me. On the other hand I wish I had hired a housekeeper long ago. I am not a fan of dusting or cleaning the bathroom.

All in all the loss of ability around my home has been a double edged sword. Losing the ability to do the things I like to do hurts me; having to hire someone to do the things I don't like to do helps me. Still, it is a sword I could have done without.

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