Friday, September 12, 2008

voices in my head

I have a very sweet husband, and I should just sit back and be thankful for how kind and nice and thoughtful and patient he is. Because he really is all that and more.

But sometimes I get irritated when I am around him. Mostly it's me. I know that and I need to deal with it... sometimes it's just hard living with a saint.

Take the other day. There was a big pile of receipts on top of the printer. I put them there a few weeks ago. This is because I am a chronic receipt keeper who always plans to check them against the bank statements... I must have four years worth of checking to do, and the pile on the printer was my first foray into the task.

So every time I sat at the computer the receipts looked balefully from their sorted pile, waiting to be checked and turfed or saved. Worse, they were obstructing the printer completely until the other day Frank needed to refill the printer with paper. The only way to reach the paper cassette was through the pile of receipts. Now you don't know Frank unless you know that he likes things to look tidy, so after clearing a path to the printer he found himself compelled to clean out a couple of drawers filled with (his) junk in order to hide my junk away. The desk and printer and whole work space were soon looking spotless.

What a nice husband hey?!

And how do I feel about this? Thankful? Grateful? Appreciative? Besotted? Endeared?

No. Just cranky and guilty.

All I could think was what a dud I am at cleaning up our workspace, so much so that Frank had to end up doing it. Forget that it is our workspace in our home where we mutually support one another because we both lead busy lives. Nope, instead I take on the responsibility for keeping everything ship shape and clean and tidy... and then I feel guilty because I 'failed'. So I was cross with Frank, because I felt like his efforts in cleaning up were little more than a finger pointing accusingly at me and my laziness, busyness, and tardiness.

Maybe he was pointing the finger, maybe he wasn't (a couple has to have some secrets)... the point is, I could have just sat back and basked in Frank's kindness because it was his choice to help. Instead I frothed and fumed and tormented myself, heaping blame upon my head, berating myself for my failure. What a waste of emotion!

I tell you, there are voices in my head I need to kill off. Fast. The voices of the past, unrealistic expectations, delusions of grandeur, protestant work ethics... I'm beating them back every day. One day... one day I will be free of them. For now, I am going to practice silencing the guilt and blame for a moment and appreciate Frank's handiwork.

Oh bother... I've already put some other paper on the printer. Sigh.

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At 11:34 pm, September 12, 2008, Blogger Heather said...

Ha! It's amazing how often I read your thoughts and think "oh my - I could have written that!"

We went to a marriage retreat once where we were taught to regularly look at our spouse and say "you are not my enemy". We've done it ever since - it's a good reminder.

At 8:35 am, September 13, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

Heather said it well - very well.

The baggage we each carry around! Marriage brings it out - all that irrationality. Uck.

You are smart to recognize it, Cecily. How else can you let it go if you don't realize you are carrying it.

You are not alone.

At 12:43 pm, September 15, 2008, Blogger Sandy's Notes said...

Not alone Cecily, from one super woman to another; never let anyone do anything for you!

Okay, super woman needs a rest. It's great that you see it, faced with it and now he needs a hug and a thank you so next time he won't say, "oh, oh, I better not do that!"

At 5:58 pm, September 15, 2008, Blogger Mike S said...

I have long since learned not to disturb the wife's 'to do' piles if wishing to avoid personal injury. Wish she had a bit more of your insight to replace a bit of her defensiveness.


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