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Friday, January 14, 2011

True Understanding

"I was thinking..." I had called my husband at work and revealed my newest thoughts on our latest project.  "So, what do you think?"  He replies, "I think that maybe we (he means me) should just slow down and think about this some more.  I've been hearing a lot of, 'I think we should paint this...and move that...' and I am concerned that this is a result of you having to "rest" all this time."  Ooooh!  He's good!  He's also right.  Not that it is unnatural for me to want to change a room or refinish or reupholster a piece of furniture. I love, love, love that stuff.  I'm pretty darn good at it too (HUGE step right there, if you know me!  I am no good at the self-praise thing!). The difference is that, in the past, these changes and projects usually take place and are completed while he is at work and the children are away at school.  I can't help it.  I get an idea and it becomes all consuming.  Then I have to start it...and Lord knows, I have to finish it!  I will not rest if something is left unfinished!  And now, I need help.  I have to depend on others to help me.  There are several issues there.

Asking for help is not one of my strong suits.  I am sure someone can and will read further into this, but here are the basics I am aware of and willing to admit.  If I ask, I have failed.  Done.  If I ask, there is a chance I will have to accept work that is less than I demand of myself (NO!  That doesn't mean I am better than you, just that I feel I may be more careful!).  And...there is a good chance that I may be somewhat of a...Control Freak. I am also way too aware of how busy everyone else is and I want to be respectful of their time. Let's not forget the fear of rejection, which turns into a failure issue.  Add to all that a healthy case of OCD (because if the "help" doesn't exactly do something as I would and calls it, 'good enough', I won't be able to sleep or concentrate on anything but until it gets fixed...not funny at all) and you may understand why asking for help is an incredibly hard thing for me to do.  But I am getting better, really.

So now, I am this girl who is fidgety beyond belief, but truly unable to complete all of what she desires on her own (this WILL be a temporary should have seen me muscle that Christmas Tree out of the house last week in frustration of not being able to accomplish something else!) and coming to terms with the idea of having to relay on others more.  This is gonna be fun.

It's gonna be alright.  Perhaps this (illness) has happened for a reason.  I think I may have touched on that before.  I am married to a wonderful man.  He is completely willing to take on most things.  We are two entirely different people.  I am the hands-on, pull it apart to figure out why it's not working, tackle just about anything kind of gal.  He is the book-smart, would rather pay someone else because I think I may break it more kind of guy.  He amazes me with his knowledge and I often feel stupid.  That feeling of stupidity is brief.  Mostly because in the next moment he is praising me for having the courage to dismantle the lawn mower and figure out what is wrong. This past summer when I was unable to handle the tools to fix the mower (again!), I sat beside him and talked him through it.  Now this was not something I had ever attempted to repair prior to this, so it was new to both of us.  It got fixed.  He was so proud and I was beaming just watching him realize that he actually fixed it!  I think that was the same day I walked him through repairing the electrical cord to the pool filter that our puppy had chewed through.  That was a great day.  We make a great team.

We are both perfectionists in our own different ways.  That used to drive me mad, now I understand that it actually balances us out.  I have come to understand that greatly over the past year.  It's not clear whether it is out of exhaustion or desperation to get as much done as possible, but I am learning to accept less than perfect. The other day, I was hanging up our calendar.  I noticed that there was still some drywall dust on the wall from a ceiling repair I had made in the fall.  I left it there.  *Gasp*  Yep.  I left it there.  I find myself doing things like that all the time, lately.  My mother would have a field day (actually, she has been quite supportive in this area)!  Have at it.  The truth is we are doing a pretty good job, all things considered.  I used not to ask anything of my children.  I was afraid of asking too much.  Now, they have chores and contribute.  Do not misunderstand, it's not perfect, but we are working at it. All of us as a team.  I think that I am the one who has had to make the most adjustments.  Learning to accept that it won't all get done and understand that everyone is doing the best they can.  Family.

It's those days when I sit here and think of all that I want to accomplish that I am thankful for all the times I pushed through the next project.  Imagine how hard it would be if I hadn't gotten all that done?  Seriously, I would be going out of my mind!

I love that my husband knows me well enough to see that I am going stir crazy...and is smart enough to break it to me gently.  That he is so invested in my interests to the point that they have become common interests.  He is supportive in ways that are greatly important.  His frustration is not with me, it is for me in knowing how hard some things are for me at times.  As mad as he can make me, he makes me laugh harder in the next moment.  We aren't perfect all the time.  That would be completely unnatural! But it's good a majority of the time.  We have struggles and breakthroughs just like anyone.  He doesn't always know when I need more (he is a guy, after all) but is completely willing to give more when I finally break down and admit it.  He knows me...enough to say, "maybe we should just slow down and think about this some more." when he knows I have had enough...

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