We woke to a dark day with a plan to make the most of it by opening the garage doors and creating sheltered outdoor play during the storm. It seemed brilliant and was sailing along perfectly until I got walloped by my Sunday morning quirk. Basically it’s this—if we don’t have a Sunday plan, we don’t accomplish something truly quantifiable or I don’t leave the house I panic.
My mood, self-esteem and attention span disintegrate. It’s awesome in the way that a diaper blow-out that shoots hot, bright yellow nastiness out both ends is awesome. My skin crawls as the pouting and loathing explode, because even at my most unreasonable, I know it is wrong and that it will pass.
Sean looked at me today and said, “Why don’t you get out of here? Hit the gym or something.” When I looked at him forlornly, book intended to transport me from my awful mood to a small town in Wyoming clutched to my chest, he said, “Babe, go to the gym. I’ll watch the girls and give you that time and another 45 minutes to read when you get back. You *can* do both.”
I let the thought wrap around me, the decadence of working out and then taking a long, luxurious shower and then reading, it was almost enough. I flirted, in the ten seconds that he watched me, with saying yes. Enter Sunday morning funk self-sabatoge. “No, I don’t want to go anywhere. I just…” I filled the space between us with a litany of reasons why it was better to stay. He watched me, waiting for the haze to clear and for me to pop up and say, “Thanks, babe. On my way.”
He turned and closed the door.
I let myself steep in the loss. Flashes from two days before when he’d told me I was beautiful and I for some reason had slinked away, shaking my head saying it wasn’t true and that I felt gross as I stepped into the shower. When I stepped out of the shower my face erupted into a shameful blush, all the things he’d said reflected plain as day in the mirror.
Today, unshowered, sullen and alone, I realized I was once again allowing something other than reality or truth to influence my actions. What am I getting out of this? How am I going to walk downstairs after acting the fool?
I set down my book and made a decision. This one thing made me feel stronger, smarter and better. I pulled my hair back and slipped into a pair of old Williams College shorts, a sports bra and singlet. Grabbing a pair of socks I walked downstairs, plunked myself down on the stairs to put on my shoes and said, “I’m going to go after all.”
He smiled at me, his expression lacked any recrimination and he smiled as he said, “Good, have fun.”
A brisk walk to the gym, 45 minutes of weights and cycling and then a quick jog home freed everything that had been suffocating beneath my moody cloud.
Before kids we used to play basketball, one-on-one at various courts. It was always competitive, yet playful. We’d inevitably walk home, sweaty arms wrapped around slick shoulders and joke about who schooled whom. Today, there was no court and we didn’t get the time alone, but nevertheless he schooled me.
I am grateful for having a partner that supports me, sometimes by challenging me, always by loving me.
Be open to learning, it will always make you more than you were.
Are you hiding from something? Behind something? Step forward, I know you can.
I just so love you
Awesome. This happened at our house today too. I sulked and he encouraged. It’s perfection isn’t it?
Hmmm… I do the sulk sometimes. I think it’s party mommy guilt, part wife guilt. I’m trying to get better at saying yes to people when they offer. It’s hard.
Schooled? Yes. But at least it was a useful lesson.
Holy sh*t. I gasped as I read this, because you put into words what *always* happens to me on a Sunday. We have one precious day together, and I start freaking out if no plans are made and the time ticks by without any *doing*. I feel lost, and I feel like I want him to answer my questions. Which he doesn’t. He lets me figure it out by nudging me in a direction and leeting me discover what I need. Thank you for sharing your life in words, so that me (and others) know that we’re not the only ones who need a bit of schooling.
I just read “I let myself steep in the loss” as “I floss in my sleep”
I need a lot more coffee
Wow. You have no idea how this resonates with me. What a relief, that I’m not the only irrational one. Yet what a heartbreak, that we women are so hard on ourselves and so reluctant to take compliments/offers for solitude/generous favors.
“My skin crawls as the pouting and loathing explode, because even at my most unreasonable, I know it is wrong and that it will pass.” This captures the feeling – so visceral and real.
And this? “I realized I was once again allowing something other than reality or truth to influence my actions.” The story of my life.
Thank you for this honest, soul-bearing, and surprisingly uplifting account. Amazing what a little exercise and sweat will do!
This is a beautifully written post. You are lucky to have a husband who is so supportive and willing to ensure you get some much needed time for you and I am glad that you decided to take that opportunity to do something for yourself.
I was unhappy for a long time and unhappiness is a vicious circle because to feel happy again you need to make time for and do things for yourself. Yet when you are unhappy you feel you do not deserve nice things, do not believe nice compliments when they paid to you. I still feel guilty about taking time for me, especially at the weekends but it is important to do things for you, it will make your life and that of the rest of your precious family all the richer.
You’re completely right…as women we don’t take care of or time for our SELF. Men do it (in general) without guilt…it’s a hard lesson, but I’ll get it too, just like you. 🙂
That, my dear, is why I am married. You so beautifully summed it up.
That man knows you – maybe better than you know yourself. Awesome.
Nothing like a good workout to cast out the gloom … and a partner who lets you steep for a while and then gives you the space to just go.
Your man knows his “Man!”
Probably the smartest thing I’ve read all day: “What am I getting out of this?”
I like to believe sometimes my frustration with my guy is merited, but just as often it’s me needing to be compulsive, or to sulk or be grumpy, usually at my own expense. Then the awkward moments of coming clean – first to myself, then to him. You’ve captured it all.