No, this is not a picture of the ‘Publican and me. But in honor of “Signifcant Other Sunday” which I just made up, I want to let you in on a little secret. No, it’s really just a little secret, nothing huge.
I woke up cranky today. Although I finally slept about eight hours (for a change), I was tired and my first order of business was heading over to our local weight watchers meeting for the dreaded weigh-in. That’s the subject of another post for another day. In the car, I found myself picking at the ‘Publican. A simple observation of “gee, it’s already 80 degrees and it’s only 10:30 am” elicited from me a screed starting with, “I don’t need to hear the weather report all day!” and went on from there. I can’t even remember everything I said, but I picked at a few other comments of his along the same lines – basically, I wasn’t exactly nasty, but I certainly wasn’t my normal reasonably-sweet-with-a-touch-of-the-bitch self – look, I am not a morning person, okay?
But that’s not the point – I was just cranky and it had absolutely nothing to do with my husband. Yes, I’m not a morning person, and yes, I don’t really like hot weather and today promises to be in the 90’s at the beach which is just pure awful. And yes, the ‘Publican has been known to state the obvious. Uhmmm…. so have I.
So I stopped and took a breath. And as we pulled up to weight watchers (oh joy! Not.), I turned to him and said, “I don’t think there’s anything you could say right now that I wouldn’t find something objectionable to. I’m sorry. It’s entirely my stuff.” And he glanced over (probably wondering when I was going to verbally strike again), and said “you’re fine” and we went in – and the good news is, I lost .2 of a pound and he gained .6 of a pound! Ha! I really did feel immensely better – okay, I’m not above a little schadenfreude. After some coffee, I felt even better still.
I have seen this over and over in my own life. When I’m acting like a shit to my partner, it’s almost always my own stuff – projected onto him, of course. And if I can just take that moment to settle down… to breathe… I can probably see that. And if I’m in a safe enough space (inside myself and inside the relationship) I can usually make a quick amends and move on. I’m actually fairly good at that part of it.
The part that’s hard for me is staying on my own side of the street and accepting my own weaknesses as mine and admitting all of this to myself and then to my partner. The best way I’ve found to do this is to slow down enough to get back inside myself and begin to backtrack through my emotions to get to the core of what’s going on. The key words being slow down and the best way for me to do this is by slowing my breath. Nothing fancy here – I just close my eyes and breathe slowly in and out. It really does change consciousness.
Enjoy your Sunday, everybody. And keep to your side of the street!