May 27, 2010

Better than breaking even

I know, I know. Reading about inanimate objects is your FAVORITE topic, right? Enough with the bike! Who cares?!

Hmmm...persuasive argument, but not persuasive enough to smackdown my buzz from last night.

I worked on the bike for 3 hours on Saturday. Learned how to change tires and navigate around disc brakes (I stole his tires and put the original tires on his 5,000 pound bike.) I felt very proud of myself and really wanted to ride on Thursday. However, the fenders I'd bought don't work on a mountain bike with shocks in the front (and 'the sky is falling', i.e. it's STILL raining in California. Usually the dry season starts in March. Whine, whine, whine).

At this point, I've returned everything I bought at REI!

I got a new helmet, but when I got home and put it on, Jrex burst out laughing. "You look like a stormtrooper!" I turned around and checked the mirror. I'd tried on a small in the store that was too small. They didn't have a medium, so the clerk brought out a large with extra padding. I bought it without trying it on. Oops. It was HUGE. And white. So, ummm, yeah, Jrex was right. I returned it and found a medium-sized blue one on-line instead. (Going for the skateboard/bike/snowboard helmet-style)

Last night I rode my bike down to the B1ke Connection in Pal0 Alto. I got there 20 minutes before they closed and asked if they could put on the pedals and handlebar grips that I hadn't been able to install on Saturday. While they did that, I found a seat, fenders and a lock. They rang me up then asked if I wanted the new stuff installed. Sure!! Thanks!!! Twenty minutes later, the repair guy (an older gentleman from Cuba) had also fixed the gear that wasn't working. I rode home in a happy cloud. I LOVE my new bike.

After the insurance money, I've ended up with a great upgrade at no cost to me (except for my time). Not that I recommend this as a method for low cost bike upgrades!

On a side note, I found a new blog called "Life of a Doctor's Wife". She's got links to lots of other women married to men in training. It's funny to skim through and remember those days. The stress and utter loneliness feel far away. What remains is that if I want something done, it's simpler to do it myself. Thus, what might traditionally have fallen to the guy (outfitting his wife's bike) is all on me. (To be fair, it never occurred to either of us to have him help!)

Jrex has been buried alive writing grants all week and I can't bear for anything from my life to add weight to all he's already carrying. That's the main residue of his training years. Even if I hadn't started with an independent streak, one can only survive marriage to a doctor IF one IS (or becomes) independent. If I try to lean on him, it feels like I'm tossing rocks onto someone struggling to escape a pit of sand. At this point, neither of us even think about it anymore. In fact, when he tries to help me (like changing the sheets), it actually takes more time since my systems are based on me doing it by myself. I guess this deserves a longer post, but it's interesting to compare who I am at 13 years as the wife of a doc in training with wives of a couple years.


Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Wow! Thanks for the mention!

I wonder what I'll think of Young Wife when I look back at her in 10 years!

otr mama said...

Yay for the bike! and the biker! Makes me happy to think of you riding your bike around the neighborhood you introduced me to - I think I sort of picture you looking like you did in OTR.

That independence thing works as a single mom, too. I remember missing "the illusion" that an adult would be coming home to help me. The kids were wise; said, "just pretend he's at a meeting".... which he would have been. Beware, independence can be cynical unless directed at loving another/others. I've noticed when caring for others ~ I can go on automatic and get something done pretty well and fast; but there's occasionally a need to slow down so another person can share you.

Rachel said...

It's good that you're so independent. I can be kind of a baby about having to do everything on my own when my husband is working a lot. Laughing at the stormtrooper reference. You should have taken a picture.

Inkling said...

The bike sounds awesome, and the helmet story made me laugh. Thanks for sharing the last paragraph. While my husband isn't a doctor, he does try to juggle a physical labor job that pays our bills with trying to begin his own outdoor education business. He's so busy trying to juggle those two things and being a husband, father, and friend that he often feels he can't get anything done. What you said about being independent encouraged me. And what you said about tossing rocks and the pit of sand really made me think about what I could personally do to be a better helpmate for him, so he doesn't feel like his burdens grow when he comes home, but that he feels like someone is here to maybe help him bear a burden or two. I need to do a better job of that, and your words were very much appreciated.