Finding Pleasure in the Paperwork
Whenever my husband, Ronald, sees me portioning out the pills for the week, he apologizes. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for you to have to do all this,” he says. It’s the same thing he says when he finds me sorting out paperwork and bills for the business.
He is the eternal romantic optimist who thinks we should be living happily ever after without these annoying tasks and worries. I, on the other hand, tend to be the pessimist, expecting life to be full of difficulties and drudgeries, grateful for the occasional reward.
I really don’t mind counting out pills and calling in refills. It gives me something practical to do, some small control over the big threat of his rare disease. He is concerned that recording his temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, and oxygen levels is a burden for me. I find it reassuring to have those numbers to refer to and to share with the doctors who can make sense of them.
On the other hand, I do mind the same sort of details and record-keeping I have to do in our business. But somebody has to make sure the invoices are sent and the bills are paid. Employees expect paychecks, inventory has to be ordered, and taxes have to be filed. I have to keep track of it all so the accountant can keep us apprised of the company’s financial health.
Nobody enters into marriage or business because they want more paperwork in their lives. The dirty little secret is that big dreams for all sorts of adventures bring lots of little details that need to be documented. Once you commit to a person or a project and sign a marriage license, a lease, or any other contract, a flurry of forms is sure to follow.
I don’t have a job, and I’m not a girlfriend; I have a business and a husband and am committed to both. They both have been richer and poorer, and I have stuck with them both in sickness and in health. Through it all, the paperwork has been part of the package. Keeping track of the numbers and getting the columns to balance is important. It’s what keeps the studio’s cash and its artist’s blood flowing properly.
The balancing act
Our different talents and temperaments naturally resulted in a division of responsibilities in our work. Ronald was always the visionary with the big, bold ideas. I was the one who took notes and organized them into plans and lists and kept the receipts.
This chapter of our marriage, since his diagnosis, has seen a similar pattern emerge. His main goal is to get and stay healthy. I note his statistics and make the spreadsheets for our records and the doctors’ review.
Big ambitions and small details combine for successes at work and at home. There is a certain dull satisfaction in running the numbers on the job, but it still feels like chores, not like the real work of production. But when I apply the same skills to similar tasks required for my husband’s care, I take genuine pleasure and pride in it. These little details are a big part of the reward that is our happily ever after.
Note: aHUS News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of aHUS News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to aHUS.