About Those Boxes …

A few weeks ago when I wrote about boxes and my plan to experiment with the size and shape of my life and work in the new year, I had no idea that my husband would injure his knee playing basketball with the boys a few days after Christmas. I didn’t know that we would come home from an extremely relaxing anniversary trip and find ourselves in the stressfulness of emergency room visits and pharmacy trips and learning to use crutches. I was blissfully ignorant that we would start out 2016 not with brainstorming and goal setting, but with ice packs and referrals to orthopedic surgeons. Back then, I was still relishing the thought of a blank slate and the opportunity for a fresh start.

Of course, over the last few weeks as friends have written blog posts about their New Year’s resolutions and other annual restarts, I’ve been forced to postpone even simple tasks, like “write blog post,” to the next day and then the next. I haven’t had time to think about what this year is going to bring because I just heard the dryer buzz and after that it’s time to dispense pain medication.

See, I have always appreciated how much my husband does around the house and how very involved he is in parenting the boys, but I had never taken the time to add up how much time all that work takes. Now that he’s on crutches and restricted from driving, I’ve added all those duties to my own. And he hates it more than I do.

Some days, I’ve expected to work but just never gotten around to it. Before our new (and thankfully temporary) situation, I would never have imagined how such a thing could happen. Other days, I’ve been amazed how much work can be squeezed in between getting the boys off to school, driving two-hours round trip to a doctor’s appointment, and helping with in-home physical therapy sessions. How would we ever have made it if I had to report to an office every day?

And as the days of the new year fly off the calendar, I try hard not to think about how few words I’ve penned on the new book I’m writing or how this is my first blog post of 2016 — on January 13.

About Those Boxes ...

I’ve been called to write a different story right now: it’s a character sketch of what true love looks like, and I’m dedicating it to Steve and the boys. Having come to this marriage and step-mothering gig late in life, I haven’t had too many opportunities to practice all-out survival mode. I haven’t had to get up in the middle of the night, forego showering for a few days, or postpone my own appointments because I am caring for others. I haven’t had to be the strong one and the disciplinarian and the one who takes the garbage out.

If I’ve learned anything over the past couple of weeks, it’s this: True love isn’t just the romantic getaway; it’s also setting the alarm at 3 a.m. to make sure the pain medicine doesn’t run out. It’s saying ‘yes’ to every request for help and then offering to do more. I haven’t done it perfectly, but I can think of no greater honor than to keep trying.

Turns out the size and shape of my life does look a little different. And from where I’m sitting, it seems to fit just fine.

Photo by Erich Ferdinand, via Flickr, used with permission under the Creative Commons License.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.


  • Jeanne Felty ,

    Charity…this is so beautifully written….As the boys grandmother on the x wife side , I think you have done an amazing job of stepping into that role of Stepmom and wife…You have an amazing husband and step boys whom I Love with all my heart…You have always welcomed me and our family into your home and have helped to complete the circle of family…I love you and I enjoy reading what you write….Keep up the good work! ALL of it ! I agree with Bethany…Love in action…and you do that well!

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      Charity Singleton Craig ,

      Thank you, Jeanne. I love being family with you! And thanks for your encouragement about my writing.

      Have a great weekend.

    • Sandra Heska King ,

      Oh, Charity. You and I have been in the same boat. I’ve been doing all the heavy lifting around here because my husband has not been able to–and I may have hurt *my* knee as a result. And I still haven’t posted on my blog this year. My last post was on November 23–and that was just a photo saying I was going still. I planned to be back sooner tha this. ☺️

      Be sure to find some time for you. Hugs.

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        Charity Singleton Craig ,

        Sandy – I’m sorry you’ve hurt your knee. I’m learning how very painful knee injuries are.

        And I’ve learned from you about the importance of self-care. Now to find some time to do it! 🙂

      • Bethany R. ,

        Beautiful tribute to your husband and fleshing out of what love in action can look like.