I’ve been feeling a little down lately. Even though I’m no longer using crutches, recovering from knee surgery is taking longer than I thought, and it’s frustrating. I’m still a little sore and tired, and my activity is unfortunately still limited. Last week, I mowed the lawn and took a walk around the block. I definitely pushed it a little too far. I was planning on mowing the lawn again tomorrow, and I cried when I told my husband that he should do it instead of me. I don’t like feeling helpless. 

This whole experience has made me think about independence in general. I’m not a very independent person, but now, after having to depend on my husband for everything, I really want to become more independent. Where I stand now, if something ever happened to my husband, I think I’d be screwed. I depend on my husband financially and really lean on him when I’m feeling anxious (which is often). I just want to learn to do more things on my own.

I have been looking for a second job, and I am going to get a little more serious about it once my knee feels better. I think when I’m able to contribute more financially, and even just being out of the house more, I will feel a little more independent. 

Is independence important to you? What do you do to make sure you can stand on your own two feet? 


Edit to add: I have a job interview!!!


  1. Katydid says

    I was born in the first part of GenX, which was kind of a weird place to be. My group was too young for Woodstock and were toddlers during the Summer of Love. We never went to San Francisco to wear flowers in our hair, but we inherited the Free to Be You and Me (it was a popular movie about gender and ethnic equality) ethos and watched as women fought to take out bank loans and have credit cards in their own name and have the right to use contraception.

    We also watched our mothers–many of whom didn’t finish high school because that simply wasn’t important for a girl of that era and were too old for the Love-In Generation. That cohort of women didn’t learn to drive and weren’t educated and spent their lives catering to their husbands who divorced them for younger and prettier and more educated trophies, leaving them to support the children in poverty and as charity cases because if a man didn’t want to pay child support, no court was going to make him.

    First-part Gen X women figured out early that we couldn’t count on anyone to support us, so we’d better do it ourselves…and we had the example of the tail end of the Baby Boom women who were educated and had their own credit to show us the way.

  2. Cass says

    I value independence because I want to be an equal partner. Throughout our marriage, we’ve supported each other, early on financially as we took turns working, but also through health issues and emotionally. Work outside the home, paid or not, provides a change in focus that, for me, builds resilience. I am reminded how to get along with other people and build tolerance for doing jobs that need to be done.

    I hope you can find something that works for you.


    At 68 I had a heart attack and worried a lot about independence. At 75, I am fitter than I have been for several decades. Because of changes in diet and exercise, I remain independent. Good thing, because the last two years have seen the other two members of the household – husband and dog – fall apart. Dog died last weekend, husband gets a hip replacement next month. Meanwhile, I carry the load, literally. Otherwise we would probably have had to sell the house, move into assisted living or with our kid, and put the dog down long ago. My keys were motivation and learning to live in slow motion during my first year of recovery. Don’t fight yourself to avoid further damage, and don’t count on regular life to give you the body rehab you need. Best wishes for a smooth recovery.

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