Earlier today I was standing in my office thinking ‘I am f-cking OUT of here. DONE.’ It’s amazing how quickly you can revert to the “fight or flight” mentality if you’ve been there before. My husband had just sent me a few really angry texts (didn’t we just talk about this yesterday???) and it took less than two seconds for me to start plotting my escape.
‘Sh-t. I have to pick him up in a couple hours…I can’t leave him stranded.’
‘Sh-t. Our house is so messy it would take a lot of work to figure out what to take.’
‘Sh-t. I’m way too tired to figure this out today.’
‘Sh-t. I really don’t want to spend my 36th birthday filing for divorce.’
‘Sh-t. How did we end up here again?!’
I’ll tell you how. You remember a few days back when I told you that our tax guy had bad news for us and we laughed it off? We sent him additional info hoping it would make a big difference. Turns out the only one laughing is the IRS. We got an email yesterday and while we got some good news it wasn’t good enough to make us feel better.
In addition we went out on Saturday. And I mean ALL. OUT. My girlfriend Aych had wanted to go out downtown for a while and we got a group together to go bar hopping like 25 year olds. All day Saturday my husband and I lamented about going. We wanted to lay low. It felt like a lot of work. But we knew we had to go and ended up having a fabulous time. And by fabulous time I mean that a) we stayed out until 2am (not the norm for us), b) we drank Corona like we were 18 year olds in Mexico for Spring Break (and by we I mean me…and yes I know how classy this makes me sound), c) we danced for hours, and d) we pretended like we were the hottest sh-t to bar hop since Prince roamed these streets.
When I woke up this morning I was sore, tired, had no voice, and wanted to do nothing but stay in bed. But the puppy was antsy, and both of us had work to do, and one of our cars is in the shop so we had to carpool, and we needed to get to the gym (although I’m pretty sure I danced enough to count for two days of working out), and there were Valentine’s Day gifts to buy for the little girls (I’m bringing the magic on Tuesday…are you???).
So off we went.
We should have stayed in bed.
When one of us is overtired it’s bad enough…when both of us are overtired AND we get bad news about taxes…things get ugly. We got the email when we were both at our respective offices and my husband was pissed. And I was pissed. Because it changes some plans we had for this year. And because it’s partially our own fault. And because it just sucks.
In my mind I go directly to:
- It’s going to be fine.
- We’re still in great shape.
- We have it better than so many other people.
- We can have a year of house projects and staycations.
In his mind, however, he goes directly to:
- I’m never going to be able to take her on the vacations she wants to take.
- We (she) didn’t think those financial decisions through thoroughly enough.
- We have to delay our bathroom remodel and she’s going to be pissed.
- This hinders my ability to provide the way I want to provide.
Yeah, so I’m aware women are from Venus and men are from…Crazyland, but how is going at each other going to help this situation exactly???
He texted me some angry texts, I started planning for a speedy departure, I told him I was unwilling to discuss any of this via text, and he texted me an apology and said he was just really tired.
After a couple more hours of working, and after we’d both calmed down, I went to pick him up from his office and things were better. The truth is that it WILL be fine but I also have to allow him to process things the way HE processes. Although it would be so much easier if he’d just go ahead and switch to my way of thinking. But. Alas.
The thing is…it’s so easy for our minds to go somewhere and start spinning. And sometimes we act on the crazy we’ve created in our own minds instead of waiting for the dust to settle. The more experience we have under our belt with getting through hard times and making it to the other side, the easier it becomes to take deep breaths and keep moving forward. But the urge to bolt and/or follow through on the crazy is always lurking in the back of our minds.
When I’m overtired I can come up with anything. No seriously, I can come up with ANYTHING, and my mind can spin at the speed of light and I can concoct absolute foolishness in my head and convince myself that it’s truth. I spent a Christmas vacation one year in our basement painting wood trim and after a week of solitude, paint fumes, and making sh-t up in my head, I had determined that my husband was probably cheating on me (he was not). My point is that any of us have the ability to make ourselves 100% certifiable…it’s the ability to talk ourselves off the ledge that takes work.
I have to remind myself sometimes to reign in the crazy. And sometimes it’s really difficult because there are so many variables in life that are thrown our way and we can’t control how other people in our lives respond to it. It’s my responsibility to control my reaction and my response. And sometimes that means sucking it up and keeping my mouth shut when others respond in a way with which I don’t agree. It also means allowing people that I love to react in their own way…even when it makes me want to take a hammer to my iPhone.
TODAY: What if I allow those I love to process and react to life’s variables in their own way? What if I continue to try to avoid going to the crazy places in my mind when faced with adversity in my marriage and otherwise? What if doing all of these things will result in a 60 year marriage and becoming a very wise, calm, and graceful woman who doesn’t give in to the crazy?