Being aware of how I am feeling

We are leaving for Mexico on Saturday. I was lying in bed on Sunday night thinking, “Why not do everything you can tomorrow, so it will be off your mind for the rest of the week?” I realized that it was easier to call my credit card company, photocopy passports and drivers licenses, pack my swim suit and other essentials, buy the extra cat food and litter, ect. on Monday, rather than wait until Friday. I am not a last-minute person and I’m generally not a procrastinator but I’m married to someone who has had those tendencies, and this has been a source of tension in our relationship. I am really trying to do this trip differently.

I got up yesterday morning and said to Jack, “How about if we make a list of 3 things that we will each do today, to get ready for the trip?” This idea was something that we had never done before and I liked the feel of it, but Jack didn’t. He said, “Mary. Everything always gets done easily and on time. Don’t worry so much. This isn’t much different from when we have people over for dinner. Everything turns out great, but you seem to have a hard time relaxing in the preparation stage”.

His “chill-out and be more like me” attitude was not well-received, to put it mildly. I snapped back at him, that it certainly did go smoothly and easily from his perspective since I did it all! And all of my shopping, planning, packing and thinking about every little detail was the reason that he had such an easy time of it, and I would like a little more help! When I finished my mini, “I am better than you” tirade, I sat down and thought, “What part of this are you doing differently Mary? Why are we dragging up the unhappy past and reminding each other of what we did wrong? How can we ever move forward like this?”

I felt very irritated (both with myself and with Jack) and knew enough not to try to do anything in that state of mind, so I went for a run, and just kept repeating, “I choose life. I choose peace. I choose faith. I choose love. All is well.” It took about 15 minutes for the inner-turmoil to calm down. When I got back home, I was in a much better state of mind and Jack and I had a really fun and productive day getting ready for the trip.

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around, in awareness“. James Thurber

16 thoughts on “Being aware of how I am feeling

  1. Mary, your honesty about your thoughts and deeds is simply beautiful and teaching! Your vulnerabilty is fearless! I so appreciate who you are! Thank you, m

  2. You’ll probably get a gazillion comments on this one – you speak for many of us. I laughed out loud at your tirade – so much healthier than keeping quiet and getting ulcers (or worse) instead.

  3. I, too, am chuckling after reading your posting this morning, Mary. If only we could step outside ourselves and see ourselves in a different light with our own behaviour. I did not spend the past week-end being serene and peaceful as you’d suggested. Instead, I plotted and schemed about how another had done me wrong and what I was going to do and say about it. (I’ve done neither). I’ve awoken at 4 in the morning, two days in a row. I seem to wallow in my own discontent at times and I must enjoy it, for awhile. So, you see, you’re not the only one to get their knickers in a knot Mary. I plan too. My hubby claims he is laid back. He’s so laid back that when things go wrong, he has a temper tantrum and can’t cope. I think we’re both back being little kids again and not the adults we should be. So I’m glad to hear someone else goes through ‘those’ times too. You will be missed and your daily reminder/meditations will be missed as well. A trip’s always more stressful just before it happens, I’ve found.

    SandyP, in Canada

  4. Oh…yes! While I love the anticipation of a trip, I find that my ‘nerves’ come to a boiling point for about 15 minutes…usually the last 15 minutes before we leave the house for the airport, drive, etc. I come down the stairs saying (and often crankily saying), “did you set the light timers?”, “turn down the heat?”, “lock the back doors?”, “turn off the coffee maker?”, etc, etc. And typically, my husband will just say “yes, yes, yes, and yes”. He so knows my routine! So we have this little dance and then all is well…we get in the car, I sigh, smile, and off we go! I will try to do our next trip differently, too! It makes me smile to just think of his reaction, if I come downstairs, no ‘orders’, kiss him, and say …”and away we go!”. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks, Mary!

  5. I laughed, too, but because my husband is Mary and I am Jack. I see my husband’s tension rise as a trip approaches and I truly wonder if it is all worth it, but it always is. I know that it’s important for him to take control of certain things, so I ask for assignments (stop the newspaper, call the credit card company, etc.). I think it’s more reassurung for him, and it keeps me from absorbing his worry because I can focus. We will never stop traveling — it’s what brought us together — but we are still fine-tuning the ‘journey to the journey.’ Good luck, Mary (and Jack!).

    • Oh Charlotte, you make such a great point! I would not want my husband to absorb my worry, nor would I want him to wonder if it is all worth it! One of the many things I love about him is his calm, cool, steady approach to things…and I trust and count on that strength! It is part of our balance. I really appreciate your perspective! We love to travel too…I love your comment about the ‘journey to the journey’. Thanks for another AHA moment this morning!

  6. ok this is where I always get stuck. I too “do everything” and when I TRY and ask for help it usually is met with grief. Like recently I stopped always cooking dinner, our children are grown and live at home but we all can make something for ourselves. I work 12 hour days, try to go to yoga, walk the dogs etc.. Anyway every night my husband grumbles. Not at me but about the situation and he makes it known that it is difficult for him. But if you ask him “oh no I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself – what are you worried about?” I have to keep saying the mantra in my head – and keep reminding myself that I am not responsible for everyone elses happiness.

  7. I really loved the quotation you chose to accompany your ‘mini meltdown’ post Mary! And you do know we so appreciate your honestly in letting us peek in on your yesterday. Our son’s wedding is coming up on May 25th, a very small intimate outdoor wedding in Sedona, AZ and my husband is the one getting all into the ‘timing/details’ – after all, when you’ve been a conductor of symphony and opera, you’d better be good at the production end of things. But I try to keep reminding him, this is NOT a production in that sense. Sometimes the little slip-ups are what endears the couple to everyone, and it is not worth the stress to sweat every little detail. Like so many here, we women are managing most of our households every single day and that in itself is a production, not even mini!, so on special days like a wedding, I just want to enjoy every minute and not obsess weeks before about THE BIG DAY. And you’re so right Heather, we are not responsible for everyone else’s happiness. My mantra for today will be Thurber’s last line: Let us look around today in awareness. Let us not miss out on the beauty that is today.

  8. Boy, can I relate to this one! I don’t bother with dinner guests anymore because of my preparation intensity. The last time I had a party on this property was Labor Day weekend of 2008. The next day, my husband, Ray, said how smoothly everthing went and how it was not much trouble. That is because I did everything: shopping, planning, inviting, organizing indoor and outdoor spaces and activities. It was like being the director and producer and star actor of a very-off-broadway play! Not fun for me. 😦

  9. There are two rules in life: 1.) Don’t sweat the small stuff. 2.) It’s ALL small stuff!

    How is it we always marry our polar opposites? I’m a terminal planner; my husband will be late for his own funeral. Go figure…..

  10. You wrote my life story in a nutshell today, Mary. I am a hopeless control freak when it comes to ‘event-planning.’ I get my pad and pencils out and make my lists, even down to listing the to-do’s along with what day I will do each one. It is who I am, and God help anyone who doesn’t live up to whatever they promised they’d do.

    My final solution to all this angst was to just decide that I WOULD have to do it all myself. If I involve no one, and if I know it’s all my ball game, I can sail forth, get it done and I will garner all the satisfaction. Everyone else will enjoy it too, as they will have been able to sit on their butts the whole time without hearing me screaming at them.

    Works for me…may not work for you.

  11. How many of us have had that same conversation? Thanks for sharing that and for the new mantra!

  12. Everyone’s posts above have said it all nicely…thank you for sharing your “yesterday” and how it all worked out in the end.
    As I prepared yesterday to go out of town for a week, I too decided that I would do things differently…shower and get ready first, pack the suitcase and then, in whatever time remained before I had to leave the house, get other things done. I quickly became derailed by a call from my mother which lasted much longer than expected, then started my list backwards, ending with the shower. By then it was rush, rush, rush to get on the road. I am hoping for better luck next time!!!
    I guess we all have things about ourselves we wish we could change, I know I have a list…LOL

  13. I love this post Mary. It is so real and honest. I think that’s what attracts me to your blog. No needless filler, just the truth. You had me on bathing suit. That in itself causes my knees to knock! Have a great time Mary. Keep us posted with your preparations. You really make me smile. 🙂 Love, Cindy

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