Stuck at Home

One of the reasons I started this blog was to talk about the exciting things I’m getting out and doing.

Ironically, since I started it, I haven’t been getting out and doing much.

I did get to the Small Business Roundtable last Wednesday, as well as a free three-hour class offered by the Small Business Center on Thursday. Both were interesting, but nothing to write home (or blog) about.

MrH and I had hoped to get out on Sunday, either to the beach or to walk downtown, but he had a project with a Monday deadline, and when he didn’t finish on Saturday, Sunday’s plans were toast.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m thrilled to have the work coming in, and we can sure use it right now! But not being able to go out and have fun together is definitely a downer.

The Root of the Problem

The problem isn’t just the work on his desk. Another part of the problem is that he’s having to take on a lot of the stuff I used to do, the little errands and chores that keep the house running smoothly. It’s hard for him to be at his desk working when he has to run across town to pay bills.

I’m doing what I can to take the extra pressure off his shoulders. It’s been relatively easy to take back the laundry and the dishes. I’ve made a freezer inventory and started planning meals, so he doesn’t have to come home after a day at the office and cook dinner. He still ends up finishing dinner or rinsing the dinner dishes a lot of the time, but it’s a start.

I’ve even started a list of monthly bills, so I can keep track of what’s owed to whom and, when clients pay him, where the money needs to go. It’s one less thing he has to stay on top of.

It helps. But I’m not sure it’s enough.

Gotta Get There Somehow

I can’t drive. And if you live in an area where nothing is within walking distance, not driving really sucks. I can’t run out while my husband is at the office and drop off bills, pick up groceries, or take myself to meetings, classes, and appointments.

Our county does have a paratransit system. If I call before 11:00 am the previous day, then call back after 2:00 pm to find out my pickup time, I can get a relatively inexpensive ride anywhere within the county.

Which works for appointments and meetings, as long as they don’t run late into the evening or take place on weekends. And it’s not so great for errands like grocery shopping or paying multiple bills.

I could probably cobble together a system to do those, such as ordering groceries online or by phone and using the transit to pick it up. But that adds another layer of complication and potential expense. I’d definitely look into it if I lived alone, but I don’t think it’s the most efficient way to do things as matters stand.

I could get someone else to drive me. Unfortunately, our older son works afternoons and evenings and isn’t usually up earlier in the day. And our younger son is on a nocturnal schedule and can’t drive me anywhere when his dad and brother have taken off with the cars.

I don’t mind asking a friend for a ride somewhere we’re both going, and offering a few bucks for gas. But I hate to ask someone to cart me around just to take a little weight off of my husband. They have work and lives, too.

So what do I do?

Well, one thing I can try to do is get the bills paid a little earlier each month, so that my husband can drop them in the mail instead of running around paying them individually.

Another thing I want to do is to restock my kitchen with basic staples such as pasta and beans, so MrH isn’t caught having to stop at the grocery store on his way home for lunch or after work. That does require an up-front investment of time and money, but I think the savings on the back end will be worth it.

I’m going to suggest once again that my husband bring his lunch to work, rather than coming home in the middle of the day. While we both enjoy the break and the time together, it tends to stretch long, and it’s not a very efficient use of his time. It would save gas money, too.

So, like anything else, we’ll keep working away at it, trying this and that, until we find the method that fits. (And then something will change, and we’ll be right back where we started… ;->)

But darn it, I still want to go to the beach!

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