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Why Men Run

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A Man’s Definition of Caregiving: where every man’s greatest fears of failure are confirmed on a daily basis.

If given the right training and appropriate gear, I could stroll the surface of Mars.  In fact, I could walk into a suicide mission if I was convinced that my sacrifice would weaken the enemy and save innocent lives. In short, if given a moral purpose, I can shut the gates of hell against the absolute power of Satan.

But please don’t ask me to cook. I am deeply frustrated by the insatiable appetite of the dishwasher; the same goes for the washer and dryer. Damn, aren’t these machines ever satisfied?

I was born to swing my sword in noble battle and climb insurmountable mountain peaks, how did I end up folding laundry, the same laundry I folded days ago?

The tyranny of everyday life kills me.  Surviving an attack from a pride of lions is simple. Reheating at 350 degrees or until bubbly is hard. Which is it, 350 degrees or bubbly?

I can’t explain how or why the mundane tasks of an average family kill me in small degrees and little pieces.  These are the injuries and insults I find hardest to recover from.  My mortal enemy is redundancy, the day-to-day tasks that become a marathon of wills.  I promised to keep her in the highest quality of comfort and dignity I could provide, my boredom and perceived lack of worth don’t factor into the equation. I made a promise, and I will keep it.

But damn, pushing this rock uphill just to watch it roll back down into the valley is hard, sometimes soul-crushing.  Alcohol does not numb this; neither does food or prayer.  The real life threatening battles are simple compared to the mundane; heroism is easy, consistent strength reluctantly applied is depressing, sometimes soul-crushing.

Add to this the continued slow decline of your loved one, and you can begin to imagine a male caregiver’s perspective; an innate frustration, a losing battle.

Lack of comfort plus lack of confidence plus a perceived meaningless redundancy adds up to a challenge that most men would give their souls to escape.  This is the core of a man’s caregiving soul.

This is why men run.

 

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2 Responses to “Why Men Run”

  1. B.K. says:

    And women caregivers don’t feel this way? I assure you that this one did.

  2. Bob says:

    I no, I never meant to imply that, but I can only speak for my own gender!

    My point was really that the learning curve for men is frustrating because many of us are doing chores, etc we’re unfamiliar with. I still don’t have confidence in the kitchen or doing laundry. I always feel I am one step away from starting a fire, poisoning someone with my cooking, or having all the shirts come out pink.

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