I often think about how I spend my spoons or how I should be spending them.
It’s all selfish spending. Healthy selfishness the CFS/ME clinic call it. Doing things for yourself to gain independence and self worth; having a shower (to be honest it’s probably best for everyone if I spend my spoons on being clean), seeing my friends, watching a DVD, making myself a drink…
So I spend the few spoons I have on myself and on things that are for me. I wish I had enough going spare to spend on my family though.
It sometimes eats away at me that I cannot express my appreciation to my family for all that they do, and have done for me. My mum always replies that they’re all just carrying on as they would, as any family would. She always replies that I would do exactly the same for them if the tables were turned. But I can’t help but feel helpless in showing them how grateful I am for all of it. For the ferrying me around to medical appointments, cutting up my food, cooking and cleaning for me, being my shoulder to cry on, helping me along on the harder and sadder days…
The other day I did something that is only a drop in the ocean compared to all that they’ve done, and continue to do, for me. It is a start though.
I emptied the dishwasher! And then I reloaded it! (And then I shed a few tears of happiness because I’d done something to help for the first time in years.)
It’s silly I know but it’s a big deal to me; to try to do something, anything, to help. Our house gets very busy in the run up to Summer because my family runs a holiday camp in the holidays. With everyone so busy, having to do one less household task is always welcome. It’s appropriate that it happened to be the dishwasher. My mum often jokes around when I’m in the kitchen and reintroduces me to it because I haven’t used it in so long.
I never did much around the house before I was ill. I was lazy and I’m definitely not housewife material!
Everyone was out and I didn’t want them to come back and face having to deal with all those dirty dishes once again. So I gave it a go. Sometimes I put the odd glass in the cupboard if my mum hands them to me, and for a while one of my targets was to put my own mug in the dishwasher but this was the whole thing.
All the bending and stretching and stooping and carrying and coping with the noise of clattering cutlery… It took me a while but I don’t think it was too much. Not in that moment. I couldn’t do it every day, not even every week, but I did it that day.
I used my spoons to do something that wasn’t for me. Doing the dishwashing might seem like a ridiculous way to give back to one’s family but to me it is a mammoth task and that just makes it even more of an accomplishment.