Two Weeks of Imperfect Living

Sometimes, life reminds you that you’re capable of more than you know

Lisa Dexter
4 min readMay 31, 2022


Six years with no issues, and the blind ties itself in a knot inside the mechanism while my husband’s out of town. Luckily, two hours of pulling and cursing was all it took me to fix things. Photo by author.

My husband and I have been married for over 21 years. He knew I had Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) before we got married, but back then, I was working full time, equally sharing chores around the house, and happy to go on outings. Over the years, my health has deteriorated, and once we had our daughter, the demands of raising her coupled with full-time work proved too much, so I started to cut back on everything. At this point, my husband does most of the labor-intensive work around the house. He also does quite a bit to help me make it through the day since I have physical limitations.

Imagine how thrilled I was when he announced his employer was making him attend a company-wide conference in Florida.

Initial concerns

I’m honestly not sure how much he tried to get out of going, and part of me thinks it was a good idea that he couldn’t. I’m guessing two years cooped up with your nine-year-old and your immunocompromised wife while being the only person who regularly interacts with the outside world would take a toll on a person. Honestly, my daughter Amelia and I were also feeling the strain of 24/7 family bonding. That said, my biggest concern was keeping up with the household for two weeks while my husband was gone. It’s been a long time since I needed to handle all of the household needs, and I wasn’t sure I could sufficiently rise to the occasion. My doubts intensified when my RA flared up a week beforehand, and I blew through my emergency pack of Prednisone before he left.

Spoiler alert — Amelia, the cat, and I did just fine. In some ways, we had a downright awesome time. Along the way, I learned a new lesson or two.

The way it’s always done

First, I needed to divorce myself from the notion that I needed to do everything precisely as my husband does to be “correct.” Dishes are a great example. He rinses things during the day but lets them pile up in the sink until the evening when he loads the dishwasher. That’s fine, except that I can’t stand at the counter at the end of the day monkeying with a day’s worth of dishes. I could have beat myself up for being unable to follow his…



Lisa Dexter

I am a freelance writer from the Chicago area. I have one awesome child, one sweet husband, one clingy cat, and one website: