I know there's a fine line that comes with a long term condition or illness. It's that line that couples stumble over all the time. Some complain they don't get enough help while others hate the hovering and overcompensating. We've hit a good spot in our marriage, it's not perfect but it is pretty great. Barry is there for me when I need him but he backs way off when I can do for myself.
This weekend we decided to do something we haven't done for a while, and that's camping in a tent. We wanted to visit a tiny island on the big lake we swim and fish on. With careful planning and a lot of effort on Barry's part we made it happen.
Camping requires a lot of energy and while I sometimes don't know my limits he seems too. I was responsible only for the food, he did everything else. All the packing and unpacking, setting up and taking down of the camp. If I had done those things he need that would be all I could do.
We had a wonderful time. It felt like an adventure. We headed out on Saturday morning with the boat lad ended down and a happy dog up front. It was only a few minutes when we were at our destination, which to our surprise was occupied! In all the years we lived here we hadn't seen people on this island. We were disappointed but decided to keep looking. We found another little island with a sandy beach and docked the boat.
We set up camp at Plan B and it was fantastic.
The key to our success was a lot of planning, and being flexible and having a husband they doesn't mind doing most of the heavy lifting.
We chose a place close to home; that way if we needed to come back because of pain we wouldn't have far to go. It also meant that just getting there wouldn't be painful. And after our camping experience a long drive wouldn't be required.
A comfortable chair was essential. We found the most comfortable outdoor chair and brought pillows along to add to it.
Not one, but two air mattresses. Inflated in the right way they can be not too bad for sleeping. They are also great for outside to stretch out on with pillows.
The food. Cooking while camping can be half the fun but it takes so much energy. Food was basically my responsibility so I decided to keep it simple. It consisted of pre made salads, pre cooked salmon for lunch and pasta with a homemade sauce from the freezer. All took only minutes to prepare.
To make it even simpler we could have used paper plates as well, but since it was only a couple of meals we didn't.
The focus was just to get out there and enjoy nature. We did. We watched a mother duck and her babies, we saw turtles, a beaver and many fish jumping around us. It was most fun watching Whinnie, our Golden Retriever who swan for hours on end. She was like a toddler, in a toy store. She explored the island then ran to the lake and jumped in and then repeated the process hundreds of times throughout the two days we were there.
All three of us were exhausted when it was done. The walking on uneven surfaces, the sand, swimming and being outside was a lot for me. For Barry the loaded and unloaded was added to his list and for Whinnie the hours of fun had her completely exhausted. That kind of exhaustion is different. There's a satisfaction of accomplishment a sense of contentment and the memories it brings that makes it so worthwhile.
So if you have a goal that seems a little out of reach for your level of health, plan well and give it a try, it may be worth all the extra effort.