Really interesting thread. Thanks everyone for sharing. I guess I should do the same.
I've always been a positive sort of person, but I find that being challenged as I get older. I think because shit keeps getting heaped on when I was planning for things to get easier.
My wife developed MS in her early 30's which got pretty bad to the extent she had to give up work and was in a wheelchair by 38. I spent the next 10 years as the sole earner and a pretty much full time carer too. Would get meals ready for her before I went to work Get up in middle of night to hoist her out of bed etc but eventually it got to the stage where she had to go into full time care as I couldn't cope any more on a diet of four hours sleep a night and she was only getting worse. Hadn't had a holiday for ten years and was working 70 hour weeks.
Massive guilt that she is in a home though. visit about 3 x week.
Then I met someone. More guilt. Both towards wife and new partner because she would like to move in together etc and I'm not prepared to go that far.
Job has become deeply unsatisfying but is well rewarded and at my age - basically hanging out for retirement. Life is work, go for a walk in evening drink too much sleep with weekends with new partner.
She has had a really tough last few years. Was made redundant and took six months to find a new job during which time I helped out financially obviously. Got a new job which she doesnt like and which pays much less so continued to support her. She had first grandson who was born with brain damage so got to spend lots of time at Akl Hospital. Fortunately he's now two and seems to be OK. His mother has had three miscarriages this year. Both of my partners other kids have had issues a bit beyond the normal kids I think. which places immense stress on her.
Her parents are now in their 90's with ongoing health issues but fiercely independent but really can't cope living independently but won't go into a retirement home. So our weekends are a non stop merry go round of visiting kids and parents to sort out their various issues.
Two weeks ago partners mother was hospitalised with a stroke from a brain bleed. Her husband is beside himself . It's sweet to see him just wanting to sit and hold her hand for hours on end but not so sweet to find cupboards full of (literally) shitty clothing etc. Mother was recovering well but on Friday had another massive stroke (on her 90th birthday) and is now in a pretty vegetative state. Husbands hoping she'll get better again and they can go home everyone else is hoping for a quick end. Meanwhile partners brother has cancer of esophagus and has had a series of ops and is now on chemo (again).
Partner is rushing into a job she hates (& where they are only paying the wage subsidy) then to hospital etc and is beyond strung out. I'm supporting her to the best of my ability financially and emotionally but it is tough. Effectively what with a couple of grand a month for my wife's care and several thou for partner I am eroding my retirement savings. Which is fine. It has to be done and it's only money, but as I said at outset this was supposed to be the cruisy years. No travel last two years which is how I keep sane and the prospect of having to work a couple of years longer before I do get to retire with the realization that I'm probably only going to be around 200-25 years if I am lucky and probably the last ten of those I will be health compromised so it irks me to lose a couple of the good years.
Honestly Level 4 when I could let go some of the guilt because I wasn't allowed to visit etc was like a holiday. Like others I have worked through and its bloody busy. Fewer staff means I'm covering even more roles. It's working my businesses are doing well which means people have jobs.
It all raeds a little self indulgent but am I happy. Not if I'm honest - except when reading the Grumpy Old Man thread