This morning I woke up with a headache.
I also woke up with a nagging sense of discontent. This week while Michael’s away at camp, I wanted to completely over-haul his bedroom. I wanted to clean out the closets in all the bedrooms and use this week to get the house completely in order. I was also acutely aware of blogs that I wanted to visit, comments I wanted to leave, a post I needed to write, a wood project that lay unfinished, a plant that needed to be dug up.
Did I mention that we are out of milk?
And yesterday instead tackling all these things, I hunkered down in my office and worked on my writing project all afternoon. Yep. I did the unthinkable. I blew off all my obligations and only pulled myself away from my writing to go on a run with Stella, and read some chapters of Obsessed and Beautiful Ruins
But this morning I was in a crappy mood.
I felt rushed and anxious and it was only eight in the morning. Jim was standing at the front door when I walked to the entry table to grab my car keys and I glanced at the mirror. “Oh my God. I look terrible. Look at my skin.” I whined.
And he smiled. “You do realize you have a totally distorted view of your looks, right?”
But I ignored him and we began discussing the bike that needed to be dropped off for a tune-up. Could I do this in the afternoon, he asked.
I sighed. Yes, why not? One more thing to add to my growing list of things I was not getting done.
And then Jim came into my office to hand me some aspirin and said, “Les, you really need to take a deep breath and observe yourself right now.”
“I have a headache; I’ll feel better when it’s gone.” (But secretly I was counting the seconds until he left the house so I could jump into the paperwork and bills in front of me).
“No I’m not talking about your headache. I’m talking about the anxiety you’re always feeling because…
“Jim. Look around. It’s just that everywhere I look there’s something unfinished. I wanted to get so much writing done this week but I also wanted the closets…”
And he laughs. Yep. He just bursts out laughing in the middle of my explanation and says,
“Leslie. I’ve known you for a long time and you’ve always got projects you’re working on and I’m telling you this has nothing to do with your projects, or Michael being away this week and you wanting to get the house cleaned. There’s always going to be something, it’s called Life. You need to slow down and just observe your feelings, without judging yourself.”
He tells me how his practice of mindfulness helps him avoid getting swept up in the raging emotions of the moment. How observing his moods without judgment help him maintain a healthy detachment. And he makes me take a deep breath with him although he’s smiling while I begrudgingly do this.
The truth is I know he’s right. It’s what I need to hear even though I’m still waiting for him to leave. And afterwards, I think how wonderful it is to live with someone who loves your craziness (contrary to most people, I have fond feelings about this word)
I’m wise enough to realize that it’s downright blissful to be married to someone who totally accepts you, because ironically, it’s this kind of non-judgmental encouragement that makes me accept myself.
Embrace my imperfections. Want to keep growing, learning and seeking.
Yes, I get a little crazy. I have issues, so what.
So after he leaves I call my Mom and check on her (Dad is out of town on golf trip).
And I decide to write this post before I do anything else….just in case there are other crazy-busy-wonderfully neurotic women out there who:
- glance at their face first-thing in-the morning and feel shocked,
- who ordered a piece of chocolate lava cake in place of their dinner,
- who don’t have milk in the fridge because they would rather read than go the grocery store,
- who have messy closets and
- feel occasionally crappy because of their ridiculous expectations…
If you can relate to any of this you should know that I consider you my official BFF.
Oh-and-if you can relate to this:
Don’t you just love Jennifer Lawrence?
(do something fun today)