Monday, December 3, 2012

Self-centered and selfish

This has been a very enlightening day. Come to find out what I thought were just random postings about how things frustrate me and how hard it is sometimes to take care of Ron, I come across as being self-centered. I guess that means selfish, too. I really don't mean for it to sound that way because I'm really not. I was told that is probably why one of my former readers was kind of nasty to me at times.

Hmmm.... Could be. I don't know. I've spent the last several years doing more than I write about and taking care of more business than I write about. Sure, I write about the frustrations of cleaning up after "accidents" and Ron's health. After all, that's the main reason the blog was started - to keep my sanity during Ron's health issues that continued time and time again. Without some of the opportunities I had to write what I did, I'm not sure I would have been able to face the challenges day after day.

When I write that I'm frustrated with something, it's not because it's necessarily about "me" but the situation. I am only human. I love my husband. I've had to deal with more than a lot of people, but less than a lot more. Finding fault with me for how I handle the stress in my life is only human for others as well.

I've had people find fault with the "trips" that we've taken... I'm 56 years old and we've been married for 28 years. In those 28 years, we didn't have a honeymoon (since we both had kids) and we had no real "vacations" unless you count the following:
  • Trips to the lake with Ron's ex-wife and her husband - we shared a mobile home for a long weekend a few times over the years when Keith was little.
  • 1995 - took a 4-day driving trip through TX. Our first "family" trip that didn't involve staying with family.
  • 1998, 1999, and 2000 - we drove to CA to visit Ron's family, who lived in Sun City at the time.
  • 2001 and 2002 - we drove to FL to visit his family who had moved from CA to FL.
  • 2004 - flew to FL for his step-dad's funeral (yeah, that was some vacation).
  • 2005 - drove to AR to see his mom before she was put into a nursing home there.
  • 2006 - drove to FL to see his mom after she was moved back to FL to a nursing home.

I've been more places while Amy was in the Navy and before Ron retired. Amy and I went to Disneyland in 2007 with Shaun and Jenny. I took Isaiah to WA in 2009 and then I want back again this past summer. In all of those trips, they weren't extravagant and I counted my pennies each time, keeping track on a piece of paper practically every dime we spent to make sure that I only spent what I had budgeted for the trip. I bought souvenirs for other people - rarely ever anything for myself because I figured the trip was my gift. Very selfish of me, wasn't it?

In the last couple of years, we've taken several weekend trips to Branson but we've stayed in $35 per night hotels - again very extravagant of us - and gone to shows that were GIVEN to us as gifts. Our main expense was the the gasoline to get there and food, but we made sure to eat pretty cheaply. So to have trips and things tossed back at me and to be told that I come across as selfish and self-centered is pretty surprising.

Most of the things that I've planned have been for Ron's enjoyment and I'm constantly on the lookout for things that I can get for other people. If I see something that I like and I think that someone else will like it as well, I'll buy it for the other person. I can't tell you the number of things I've bought for someone else that I desperately wanted for myself - but I could only afford one of them. Really selfish of me, isn't it?

When we were younger, there were many holidays where we had somewhere between "nothing" and "very little" but we always made sure the kids had Christmas and we adopted less fortunate kids. We picked Angel Tree children the same age/gender as our children and they shopped for their counterpart. They learned compassion and giving and enjoyed sharing that part of the holiday with others. I spent the whole year thinking about what I would get for others; I'd remember things (hints) that people had said and I'd try to find something along those lines. If I knew of a situation where someone was going to be lacking, I tried to meet that need. Last year, I spent as much on someone else's children as I did on a couple of my own grandchildren.

I'm really just in a mood today. I found out last night that the hotel will hold $200 ($50 per day) in addition to the cost of the room for "incidentals" on either my credit card, debit card, or cash until we check out. Since we're traveling on a shoestring budget (yeah, throwing down that money!) that will cut into my travel budget. A debit card (which I was planning on using since I don't really have a credit card) will hold the funds until after we check out, if I give them cash then I won't have the cash until after I check out, and it just goes on... They don't charge a resort fee, but if I want to use the workout room that's an extra fee. Coffee in the room? That's $10 for 4 cups. (It's a Keurig coffee maker so I'm taking my own K-cups.) Do we want Internet? That's $12.99 for 24 hours. Guess that's what that $50 per day incidental fee will cover but I'm not going to be using those. I think the pool is free but the hot tub is not. So, I don't think I'll be using that.

The last trip to Vegas (our ONLY trip there), Ron was in kidney failure so he doesn't remember much of it. I wanted to take him back (and - selfishly - have some fun myself) because he's doing better (kidney function) now and the Parkinson's will eventually make travel impossible so I'm trying to get as much enjoyment in his life as possible now. Again, terribly selfish and self-centered of me isn't it? So, I got us a $60 per night hotel and I'm going to take him to see where American Restoration is filmed, where Counting Cars is being filmed, and where Pawn Stars is being filmed - all shows he loves. There's also a Mobster Museum he'll love. God, I'm so selfish. (We are seeing The Oak Ridge Boys - that's mostly for me, but he loves them as much as I do.)

I've arranged for wheelchair assistance at all of the airports and once we get to the hotel, he'll have an electric scooter waiting for him. I "think" we can get a refrigerator in the hotel room at no charge since we need it for insulin, but I'm not sure. If not, it's $10-15 per day extra.

So, you all have my blessing to think this is a really pissy, selfish, self-centered post!


5 comments:

Lois said...

Oh my goodness! I come and read about a woman who is so strong. She is dealing with a very hard deal, and I have nothing but respect and awe for you. Your love for Ron DOES show through. I learned in my first blog ages ago that people do judge us for our words, and sometimes we have to let them go. Once we have to self-edit, the beneficial aspects of blogging are lost, and we are just writing for an audience. Bitch on! And then give Ron a hug.

colenic said...

Your blog....your words...readers make a choice when they come to your page. They purposely click here... hopefully to read whatever it is you have to write without judgement. Unfortunately, that is not always true. I am sorry that someone felt the need to take your words and twist them. Selfish is not a word that I can even begin to think when I read your posts...I have an overabundance of respect for you. I can't imagine being in your situation, but I hope if I am ever in that situation i can handle with as much grace and dignity as you do. Please know that, although this is the opinion of one, it is not the opinion of many. Hugs and lots of love to you!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

anyone with the nerve to judge you clearly hasn't tried to walk in your shoes. Haters will always hate, but you have to try to imagine what has poisoned their minds to make them so judgmental and angry.
It's hard to ignore the cruel remarks, but try to focus on the supportive and loving ones from people who understand you are doing YOUR best in some pretty rotten circumstances.

thisisme said...

My dear Teresa, I was rather surprised to read this post. No-one, and I mean no=one,could ever accuse you of being selfish. That must have been very hurtful for you. You cope with SO much in your life and I have always been full of admiration for you my friend. Sometimes I just don't know how you keep going, but you do, and I'm proud of you for that. So sorry to hear that poor Ron has just had another couple of falls :( I always remember you in my prayers.

thisisme said...

My dear Teresa, I was rather surprised to read this post. No-one, and I mean no=one,could ever accuse you of being selfish. That must have been very hurtful for you. You cope with SO much in your life and I have always been full of admiration for you my friend. Sometimes I just don't know how you keep going, but you do, and I'm proud of you for that. So sorry to hear that poor Ron has just had another couple of falls :( I always remember you in my prayers.