Tell Us: Is It Okay to Pass on Fun?

casino-157595_640Scott cares for his wife, Beth.

He does what he can to make time for himself, to take breaks as he can. The past few months, though, have been particularly tough. He feels like he’s fighting a battle just to maintain the status quo, to keep Beth out of the hospital, to help her regain her strength. He feels for Beth, who tries so hard to stay positive but really struggles to keep her smile.

Scott’s buddies continue to invite him to the monthly poker game, a commitment Scott has long done his best to keep. He usually enjoys the focus on the game, the food and the banter. The poker game is simply fun.

This month, as the poker game approaches, he finds himself dreading it. He knows it’s good to go out and enjoy himself but, right now, the idea of having fun, as Beth suffers so, seems insensitive.

His buddies, who support and care for Scott, call regularly to ensure he will attend the next poker game. They sense his hesitancy and worry about him if he doesn’t take a break.

Scott appreciates their concern. He also just can’t bring himself to confirm he’ll make it. He can’t get this thought out of his head, “How in the world can I have fun when I know that Beth feels such distress?”

If you were Scott, what would you do?

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

2 thoughts on “Tell Us: Is It Okay to Pass on Fun?

  1. Avatar of ThedogmamaThedogmama

    Prefacing this with the knowledge that this is only a once a month commitment, I think I would try to see this through Beth’s eyes. What would his decision mean to her. Since this is something he has done before and she knows it is something he looks forward to and enjoys, I suspect she might feel worse if he stays home. Yes, she puts on a brave face, but I can’t help think that if he stays home it may increase her feelings of being a burden, being too much for him to take care of and make it even more difficult for her to smile. If the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn’t he say to the person he loves: “Please, go out and take a break, I’ll be alright and you will back in a few hours.” Sometimes it is the little pieces of normal that let us go on. Both of us.

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  2. Avatar of PegiPegi

    I’m currently in the same situation as Scott. I don’t have any standing engagement s like him. But the current situation with my husband is temporary. Since December he has gone nowhere except the hospital or dialysis. I run errands on those days. I have not gone out to do anything fun. It just doesn’t feel right. I have plans for outings for the two of us as soon as he is able. Then I will do things for myself the 3 days he’s at his appointment.

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