A rough patch

In the evenings I get tired (don’t we all?) and I get cranky. I’m almost like a different person. I’ll give myself hell for not achieving all I wanted for the day and  I let myself worry about the future, the household budget, getting enough sleep, getting fat, not keeping the house as clean as I should.

In the morning, I’m bright and sunny, even if I didn’t get much sleep. I just operate better. When I was in my 20s-30s, I’d get up for dawn patrol surfing sessions nearly everyday.   Before my ruptured Achilles tendon on February 6, I would rise at 325am to work out before work. TheBus drivers got used to my 545am cheer as I boarded and read the paper on the way to town.

So now that I’m infirmed, I feel extra sorry for myself because despite having my right leg in a cast and my hobbling on crutches, my brain still functions. I don’t like to be disconnected from work.  I need to be relevant. I like to know what’s going on. I credit that with my journalism background. I sure as hellas do not like to be in the dark about anything. But slowly I am learning that I am not going to know it all. Slowly I’m trying to come to peace with that.

So while HMSA’s HR department works through my documents and has a certification done so that I can return to the office once my doctor says I can, I have had to do something strangely profound: NOTHING.

Not that I’m really doing nothing. I’m a Social Media Goddess and I do have ways of finding out what’s going on with everyone from the Chair of Immobility here at home. I connect on Facebook, on Twitter, on Gmail, with LinkedIn and sometimes on HawaiiThreads. I’m watching the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall St. Journal for news about the health care initiatives President Obama is working so hard at getting passed. I’m watching how my friends go out to eat, go to Tweetups, go to sustainability social gatherings, or take bicycle rides on Saturdays while I just vegetate.

Can you sense my frustration? Well, now I have a new nut to crack. My husband, whom I met at The Honolulu Advertiser, may be out of his newspaper job in a few months, out of the only career he has ever known, and is facing the unfathomable prospect of unemployment.

Back in 2008 I was unemployed for four months. I reported to the unemployment office every other week with evidence that I had applied for three jobs per week so that I could get an unemployment check. I applied for 32 jobs, got three interviews and one offer. I suffered extreme dips in my self esteem and self confidence (are they the same? are they different?). John helped me through a lot back then. Now it’s my turn to help him. Fix him up. Help him polish his resume. Give him pep talks. Remind him why I’ve admired him all these years. He’s got the goods.

I’ve been told by more than one friend that I should treasure this forced down time thanks to this leg injury. Tell you what: If I could be sure my husband will find a job worthy of his smarts, level-headed attitude, calm-under-pressure-at-deadline personality, I would relax and savor this time.

He and I have both agreed that between my injury and the sale of The Honolulu Advertiser, we’ve got ourselves a rough patch. And we’ve also agreed that we’ll get through it.

Where’s that fast-forward button?

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. In my faith, sometimes these “trials” mean something good and much better is coming around the corner. Hoping so for your ohana!

  2. I can see why you want to wish time away right now, but don’t wish it away too much 🙂

  3. A pity party of one, that’s what I called it when I was going through my rough patch. You may not think that my situation even compares since I am not married. But my sister and I jointly bought a house which means shared expenses. She lost her job in Dec 2007 and did not find her current position until Dec 2009, almost exactly 2 years. Suddenly, the household income was cut down to 1 paycheck, mine. With a $2,000 house payment, $500 car payment, and $700 for groceries, utilities, and miscellaneous expenses, it was tough! I only bring home $2,400 per month, you can see it doesn’t add up. To make matters worse, my sister’s EDD benefits were denied due to the way she filled out the forms. She fought that battle for the entire 2 years she was unemployed.

  4. Sorry Paula – I didn’t mean to make this so lengthy. You and John are so lucky, you have each other, you live in paradise, and you are both strong people. You will get through this because of this unity.

    We (my sister and I) were fighting independent battles in this. I won’t go into all the gory details, but it is slowly coming around.

    I wish you all the luck in the world. I don’t think you need it but, don’t despair.

  5. i am so sorry to hear that about your husband. i certainly understand how you can be stressed over that. When i lost my job this summer, i couldn’t even believe i’d start enjoying my time off… but i did and it really didn’t take that long. yes, i wish i had a job now.. but i honestly do try to have fun everyday before my cranky time sets in about 5pm ;0

  6. When on the bike, and you see a “rough patch” that can’t be avoided…what do you do? Assume the “attack position” (stretched out, powerful yet still relaxed, steer lightly (no sudden panic moves), and ride it out (momentum is your friend). And just like that it’s behind you, you’re back in the saddle and spinning away (life goes on).

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