I know that being married is a partnership, and I know that – at least in our house – I’m the one who is challenging to live with. That’s not to say Dan doesn’t have his moments because his Type C (as in coma) personality is so different than mine we often make each other nuts over stupid things. However, he is abundantly more patient than I, and he is usually takes everything in stride. I do not. My reactions are visceral and deep over everything, including things that should just roll off me. Because we’d lost so much time on unexpected things this weekend, it was mid-afternoon before we started attacking our goal of filter repair, pool cleaning, and pressure washing the pool deck at the house we’re trying to sell.
I worked on the deck part, which is my specialty because it’s the kind of cleaning you can see results on immediately. But it’s dirty work, and by the time we finished three hours later, I could scarcely stand because my back hurt from hunching, and my feet were shredded from walking around the ‘cool-crete’ decking barefooted (trying to save my sneakers from ruin). Dan was equally sweaty, filthy, and slightly stinkier than I, so when I suggested we just order a pizza for dinner, he said he was fine with that, but he was NOT walking in to pick up the pie. Well, I certainly wasn’t going to do it in the state and smell I was in, either. But we were both really hungry and tired, too tired to do much of anything as far as meal prep was concerned.
By the time we got to the last few miles of the trip home, I had made up my mind that I was going to power through and make us a nice big, green salad for dinner. While Dan was plodding his way through feeding the horses and pig, I did my best to scoot around the kitchen with lettuce, blueberries, chunks of chicken, olives, and cucumbers, whipping up a salad that looked almost as good as if we’d gone to a fancy restaurant for dinner. Afterwards, I served up fresh watermelon I’d sliced up while Dan was having his second or third morning cup of coffee, and we were both full and more content than if we’d polished off a pepperoni pizza. As I was putting the dishes into the dishwasher, I decided that my gift for the day wasn’t a big one, but it didn’t have to be. Providing nourishment, a comfortable home, and relatively enjoyable company for the person I love is a gift I like to think I’m capable of giving every day. There’s something about having to think about, reflect on, and write down my gifts that has made me start to realize that I am a giving person, but a lot of my giving is automatic. Maybe I will appreciate my own giving personality more if I make my gifts more conscious and less automatic conditioning. And maybe I won’t give so much of myself away when I begin to be conscious of the personal cost of automatic, thought-less giving and start to only give when I feel completely committed to it. Something to think about as I move forward in this project.