Sometimes it feels like I have the spiel of our work-life imbalance on loop tape. Trying to explain the troughs, peaks and deadlines of project work and that the G.O. works 6 days a week, as a rule rather than an exception, to family, friends… and ourselves even, gets a little wearing.
The plan the G.O. and I made to drive the couple of hours north up the freeway to visit my Dad for Fathers Day and also the G.O.’s son and grandkids en route, came unstuck. Dad rang on the Thursday, giving us advance warning my stepmother had come down with a lurgy. Dad although he sounded snuffily assured me he was fine, as he’d been sensible, unlike Someone Else, and had a Flu Shot.
According to news reports Swine Flu is back. We weren’t taking any chances. The G.O. & I are germ-a-phobic; we’re rarely get ill, and there’s a link I’m sure. When we do, we go down like sacks of potatoes falling off a truck, but still have to drag our sick and sorry butts to work. Actually, the G.O. does, I try to manage a day or 2 at home, even if I’m logged on to my work emails.
We rain-checked the Fathers Day excursion to the following weekend and spent a quiet Sunday at home. Which the G.O. appreciated as he’s consistently been working 6 long days which seem to be getting longer, and continues to suffer from plantar fasciitis aka sore feet, as well as simply being bloody tired.
I chatted with Dad via phone on Fathers Day. He sounded coldy, not well, but he assured me it was because he’d been vacuuming then had to blow the dust out of the vacuum cleaner to unclog it, and he’d been mowing. Not convinced, I suggested he mention it to the doctor as he had an appointment on Tuesday anyway.
I follow-up called later in the week. Sure enough Dad had the lurgy too. We rain-checked again, to the weekend a fortnight ahead both to ensure the danger of contagion had well and truly passed, and because we had separate engagements with my sister who would be visiting from down south.
By the following Sunday, Dad continued to be stricken with the lurgy because he’d expended time and energy he could have dedicated to recuperating to running around looking at a vehicles suitable for towing their recently acquired caravan, yet another in a succession of single-use recreational domiciles on wheels if previous form ran true.
I rain-checked again, with the disclaimer any plans were tentative and I’d call him later in the week, as the G.O.’s work project was heading toward a deadline and sucking up heaps of his time.
Dad wasted little time preempting the outcome. On Monday morning he made a dash down to a western Sydney car sales yard to secure the 4WD of their caravan towing desires. I anticipated this and called Dad to see how it went. He hadn’t seen the car yet. He’d been lost for an hour and a half. He couldn’t make sense of the GPS directions and the road map in his head was out of date. There were malls and train lines built across streets where there had been none… several decades ago.
I attempted to provide remote assistance by asking him what he could see, and locating his position on Google Maps, then explaining the route. Dad called me the following morning to ask if the G.O. had a spare seat in his truck and could he get a lift back to Sydney with us the next weekend. Further questioning ascertained Dad had purchased the 4WD but hadn’t been able to trade in his old ute, and was leaving it at his brother’s. He also admitted his brother had come to his rescue the day before and conducted him to his car yard destination.
Dad & I were both somewhat perplexed. I didn’t want to say no to Dad but needed to confer with the G.O. for the same reason we hadn’t made firm arrangements for the weekend. I suggested to Dad if at all, the visit was likely to be on Sunday due to the G.O.’s work commitments, and we also had to see the G.O.’s son and grandkids as we had a 2 weeks late birthday gift to deliver to Grandson #1. In response Dad qualified he didn’t need an urgent answer and he could catch the train back down to pick up the old ute so long it was a day his brother wasn’t golfing as he would provide an escort to familiar terrain.
In our defence, we tried.
To be continued.