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February 28, 2011
The Worst-Paying Job On Earth
About six weeks ago my wife started noticing the bunion on her foot was giving her problems. A month ago her doctor said she needed surgery. Three weeks ago we talked it over and decided it was better to do it in the winter when her world wouldn't be turned so topsy-turvy vs. doing it in the spring or summer and missing out on a season of hiking, biking, etc.

Twelve days ago (yes, I'm keeping track!) my wife had a bunionectomy on her left foot. Despite a minor setback while recovering from the anesthesia, her surgery went well and she was resting on the couch by night's end. Unfortunately, on the couch is where she will be spending the majority of her time for at least several more weeks, which means everything she normally does around the house has to be done by someone else.

For any of you reading this who has a loving spouse who manages and maintains your household so you can pursue your career, your hobbies, your TV time, close attention: Whatever you THINK that person does is only a SMALL FRACTION of what that person ACTUALLY does around the house.

My wife and I have three children, ages 14, 12, and 10. They are good helpers, but I can't say they're always WILLING helpers. This means that all of us (and especially ME) have had to put aside what we NORMALLY do and/or what we WANT to do and work for the greater good. In other words, we are realizing that if we don't try to do at least a small fraction of what my wife normally does, the house could literally fall down around us from neglect.

So...instead of writing a blog last Monday (or Tuesday, or Wednesday, etc.), I was shuttling my kids to basketball practice, orchestra practice, dropping them off at school, picking them up from school, making trips to the grocery store (I really had no idea how much three growing kids eat on a daily basis), sorting laundry, doing laundry, (my wife still folded it, bless her heart), cooking meals, cleaning up after them, etc. In fact, I got so caught up in trying to be my wife's REPLACEMENT that I forgot I was still supposed to be my wife's CARETAKER. I received the following email last week about 9:30 in the morning:

"No one got me breakfast this morning. Kids did not have time this morning. I am hungry and thirsty. When you get a break could you get me something?"

Now, understand my office is only about 30 feet from where my wife was stranded on Couch Island. Rather than holler at me about my neglect and inconsideration, she suffered quietly so as not to disturb me while I was on a business call.

After apologizing profusely and getting back into her good graces, I acknowledged to her what kind of contribution she makes to our household and how the children and I couldn't do it without her. She is progressing well and gets her stitches out tomorrow. In another couple weeks, she might be able to put some weight on her heel. By mid-April or early May, we are hopeful she'll be walking normally again.

No word yet on if she wants her old job back, but I can promise you this: She won't have to compete for it!

Make it a great week,


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