Ebb & Flow

Sometimes I feel like I capture the good stuff in the blog – at least recently – so since this is kind of my only way of looking back on what’s gone on in our lives, I wanted to be honest.

 

Jon and I have been at it – it being each other’s throats – which lasted a full week, about a week ago.

 

It was the culmination of my work schedule being Ca-razy busy and Jon working 16 hours+ overnight at the windmill farm in Munger/Reese. And my being essentially a single parent during that time, with Elle sleeping like poo and work demands heightened, not to mention trying to keep a house or a home in some semblance or order. I think I didn’t even trim my toenails for the four week stretch where everything descended into chaos.

 

And then, his work was over and he was laid off, and my work was still uber-busy with the Black Friday nutties out to shop. And he was tired and trying to ‘catch up’ on sleep or get back on some sort of schedule.

 

And finally, after two solid days of not talking, then two solid days of me yammering, nagging, yelling, Jon (in his Forever Lazy…I can’t even begin to describe how when you are really pissed at someone, how much it just makes it even worse when said grown adult is wearing a DAMN FOREVER LAZY) took to walking around, as I followed him trying to have. it. out. And he walked himself right into our bedroom.

 

Silly man.

 

He was cornered. I actually thought he might open the slider and head out onto the deck in the snow and jump to the patio below. Or lock himself in the bathroom.

 

And I think I was scaring him.

 

As well I should have been. I was fed up and tired of feeling like I was the only one putting effort into the house, the home, the parenting, the relationship.

 

So, we talked it out.

 

And the talking brought out my question

 

“Do you feel like you’ve even been pulling your weight around here lately?”

 

And then, finally…

 

“No.”

 

Ahhhhh…that felt good. It wasn’t going to be like that forever, with me running ragged and Jon just enjoying clean underwear and jeans daily, as I battled the mountains of laundry, dusting and general cleaning (a lot of which went, frankly, undone by me too).

 

I will say this: next time, I’m just cornering him in a room he can’t get out of as that seemed to work really well.

 

Anyway – I just wanted to say that relationships are hard work. They should say that in books. It’s not just that there are ups and downs — they are actual hard work. I mean, don’t get me wrong, days like the last few are AWESOME and I wouldn’t trade my days with Jon and Elle for anything. But days like those when Jon milled about in his damn Forever Lazy (and it’s bright freaking blue, too) and did NOTHING to help out – from daycare drop off to taking out the garbage, to folding laundry, to changing the f-ing roll of toilet paper – those days are challenging.

 

So, I want to capture that here – so that I can remember when it ebbs again, that it will quickly ‘flow’ again too.

 

It’s the ebb and flow of relationships. So long as it flows far more than it ebbs…I’m good.

 

Lists

I’m a list person. I like the way the pen feels in my hand as that swift up-and-down motion of a check mark is made as a task is completed or the finality of drawing a big, thick line through chores on the around-the-house list.

Yeah, I love that feeling.

Satisfaction at its finest.

A long-time user of the FranklinCovey planner system, dots and arrows frustrate me (this means “In Progress” and “Planned Forward”, respectively). An ‘X’, that one isn’t so bad. Means something has been deleted off the list.

So, I’m a list person.

I make lists of the things I need to do today (see today’s list thus far…).

I make lists of the chores needed to do around the house, like this:

This is one of those huge flip chart pieces of paper that is like a big sticky note. I like to think big, and this helps me do that. Clean toilets has snuck its way onto the list twice, somehow. But, these things have to happen ahead of Saturday’s baby shower at our house. So, it’s hanging in the hallway where I walk by it about 28 1/2 times a day. Because I gain so much satisfaction out of crossing things off, it’s goading me into doing things just to get them off the damn list.

Now, there is no problem with being a list person. At all. And I find it ironic, especially¬† now, that I don’t have my hospital bag packed and that I don’t even know where the list I started of things-to-pack made its way to. I’m normally much¬† more listy than that.

However, here’s the problem with being a list person: Living with and sharing a home with someone who is NOT a list person; Dating someone who is NOT a list person.

As an example, let me introduce Exhibit A:

This is the first list that I know Jon to have produced in our three-plus years of dating. Yes, ladies and gents, there is one thing on the list, written haphazardly.

“Toaster”

Is that a command? A request? A demand?

“Toaster”

To be honest, I know what it’s about. I don’t like the toaster to sit on the counter. Jon does. I have said that if we had a nicer looking toaster, that I would not mind it so much on the counter. (Yes, these are the little battles waged at our house…).¬† Jon thinks it’s stupid to put the toaster away after it’s done being used, but I don’t like clutter on the counters. (Jon says that using my logic, my KitchenAid mixer should be put away in the cupboard too…I have had to point out that a KitchenAid mixer is more of a status symbol than something a useful tool like a toaster, so it remains on the counter. For the record, Jon rolled his eyes at my response).

But, it occurred to me in staring at Jon’s ‘list’ (I use the term loosely) how different we are in so many ways. I’ve shared with you two lists I’ve created in the last 12 hours…Jon’s is the only list I’ve ever seen him write out in three years and it reads ‘Toaster’. And really, it’s not Jon’s list. It’s his list for me. So that he doesn’t have to put the toaster away when it’s done being used (for the record, I end up putting it away more often than he does, but that’s not worth keeping track of, now, is it?).

Anyway, I just think it’s funny and it’s making me laugh. Illustration of how our brains work so, so differently.

More soon,

L