From time to time, readers ask if everything is all right. This occurs when the time between posts is longer than usual. The reasons for these occurrences has changed over time but always reflects what is happening in my life. The other day I looked back on the number of posts for each year since Kate’s diagnosis in 2011. It reveals an interesting pattern. (See the figures below.)
During the first four years, our lives remained pretty much the way they had been before the diagnosis. Kate’s symptoms remained much the same as well. There was simply less to write about than in the next four years. Since the end of 2016, her changes were more dramatic. There was plenty to write about, but I was able to keep up rather well. In 2018, I averaged 1.5 posts a day. Since then, my posts have been less frequent. Last year, my average was .46 posts a day, a 58% drop from 2019 and a 70% drop from 2018. So, what’s going on?
The answer involves two different but interrelated factors. First, Kate’s changes have required more of my attention. That made it more difficult for me to devote time and attention to writing. Second, the stress of caregiving increased proportionately, and I felt I had to put more effort into its reduction.
One of the first things I did was to relax my self-imposed obligation to write a new post by 9:00 at least every other morning. I decided that I had a wealth of descriptive information about us and could afford to post less frequently. That has proven to help with the stress but not eliminate it. Now, it relates more to my failure to write more often. I feel that way because there is so much that I would like to document. The truth is that it is so much that I can’t even remember the things I want to record. Previously, I had jotted down notes during the day to help me, but I have less time for that now.
Apart from my responsibilities for Kate, I have remained active in several other ways. These have been mostly therapeutic for me, but also have an element of commitment that can be stressful at times. One of those is emailing with two longtime friends from college. We are in daily contact, and often I don’t have the time to write. I have allowed myself to relax on my own participation. At the moment, I think I have reached a balance that involves minimal stress and maximum therapeutic value.
Of course, everyone is subject to other stresses that are not directly related to our own choosing. There are times when these present a problem. That is happening right now, and I will deal with that in another post. Right now, I think I will take a break and read the daily news. I’ll review what I have written and post it tomorrow.
Well, tomorrow is here. I’m going to upload this post right now.