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.