Life goes on

8:30 a.m. I could tell that Peggy hated to go to work much worse than usual this morning, because she complained about it much less. Christmas is special to her, and she so recently lost her mother.

I cleaned house yesterday so little needs doing today. Peggy asked for a light supper, and I have no social plans. I worried that someone would invite me to dinner, but few people know I’m alone.

Christmas would ordinarily be an easy day in Labor and Delivery because of the lack of elective C-sections. Yet, there were nine births during Peggy’s shift yesterday, and she took it as a bad omen.

Peggy’s distaste for her job might be easier for me if I didn’t have it so good myself. Of course, good is a relative term. What I mean is that I have no big remodeling projects left, so my chores consist entirely of housework, yardwork, shopping, and other repetitious activities. Since there are only two of us, I worry that I’m not doing my share. Peggy works thirty hours a week and spends another two hours commuting; how many do I work? I really don’t know. It’s hard to count work that is done a little here and a little there.

I would guess that, however tired of her job Peggy is, I’m equally tired of mine. The best part of housework is that I don’t have to travel to do it, and I don’t have to get along with other people. The bad part is that it’s mind numbing. I would even say spirit killing. We own so much more than we need. This is not an opinion shared by Peggy.

The bad part of Peggy’s work is the unremitting stress, and the fact that everything has to be charted umpteen times on computerized forms that are never designed by the people who actually use them. She thrives to an extent on the adrenalin, but the forms (and what they represent) have turned her against nursing, which has become an ounce of patient care and a pound of covering everyone’s legal ass.

Peggy’s father didn’t decorate for Christmas. I would guess that a lot of widowers don’t, but that most widows do. Peggy said that most men probably wouldn’t decorate while their wives were alive if it was up to them. Probably, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy it.

On December 19h, we celebrated our 37th anniversary. The Episcopal priest who performed the ceremony warned us that every wedding he ever performed during Advent ended in divorce. That doesn’t seem likely in our case, but nothing should be taken for granted. After all, there was the woman who divorced her husband after sixty years. When a reporter asked why she did it, she replied, “Enough is enough.”