Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sick Days

I think I may be starting to understand Mary’s tendency to believe herself to be unwell all the time. Her life has been structured so that she is kind of unnecessary. They have staff to look after their son, staff to clean, the staff at the main lodge will prepare meals for them if wanted. The only reason for Mary to get up and do something is because she is motivated to do it. And it can be hard to be self-motivated all the time. Being sick excuses you, in a sense. You are allowed to stay in bed, or watch tv, or read a book all day long and no one judges you.

When I was working, every day the decision was made for me about what I would do; I would go to work. Weekends meant doing all the life-stuff that I neglected while working, plus whatever fun or relaxation I could fit in. It was exhausting, but on the other hand, kind of liberating - fewer decisions to make. Now that I have all this free time, I understand Mary better. She has never been a self-starter. I remember having to drag her with me when I went to do stuff as a kid - trips to the bookstore or playground; she would go, but only if someone made her. And if you didn't make her do something, she would complain about being bored. Now there is no one to make her. On some level, I think she feels bad for not doing anything, so she goes for the sick excuse. Maybe she’s been doing that so long she’s convinced herself of her ailments. I don't know. Writing it out I feel bad, maybe Mary has a chronic issue that just hasn't been diagnosed, maybe I shouldn't judge.

I’m trying to convince her to join me on my daily walk, to get into a routine. I suggested she take the fancy camera Charles got her for her birthday and we could do photo walks. Tomorrow will be day one; let’s see how it goes.

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