Thursday, May 26, 2011
Putting All the Books in the Bag...A Tale of How My Husband 'Gets" Me
About 11 years ago I was returning to college after having Madison. It was Sunday night and I was a hurricane of emotions. Excited to get back into an intellectually stimulating environment, nervous about leaving my baby, dealing with my social anxiety issues, worried about finding the right classroom and being on time, along with all the typical first day jitters.
So here I sat in the middle of the bedroom floor, a complete wreck, trying to cram ALL of my textbooks, notebooks, binders, pencils, highlighters, and a slue of other necessities, into my rather small backpack. Through my tears and sobs (really it was panicked screeching) I unload my misery on Brian "It won't all fit! It is SO heavy! How am I going to carry this around all day?" and on, and on, and on I went. Finally when I stopped to catch my breath Brian (quite calmly and rationally) asks me "Do you need ALL those books for class tomorrow?"
...It turns out I didn't... problem solved. (yes I can, and we do, laugh about it now)
But this incident really shows me a strong part of my personality. First, I am capable of feeling a lot of emotions all at the same time, and when I do I rarely am able to put words to what is the underlying issue, what is truly wrong. When I get stressed I see every. minute. speck. that is contributing to my stress, and that speck feels just a burdensome as the huge elephant. I am no longer able to delineate and prioritize; and feel that in order to fix any of it I have to fix all of it right now. I don't realize that I only have half of my classes to worry about the next day, so I don't need to take ALL the books.
This incident has also been a great tool for Brian to use to diffuse me when I get like that, because 11 years later I still do this.
Take tonight for example: I only have one more day of work and about 20 days worth of work to do in it - I'll spare you the complaining, but it entails having to move my whole classroom, and a last minute project initiated by my AP. Then add the stress of budget cuts and the uncertainty of any one's position for next year or future years, the stress of preparing for a last minute trip to Denver, finding clothing for my kids to wear in my brother's wedding, all our summer trips/tournaments/camps, possibly selling the house, Maddox starting kindergarten and the need to move to Palisade... and.... and........ and.........
You get the picture. As I am unloading all this on Brian, he just looks at me and says "Your putting ALL your books in the backpack again." and the building storm was calmed. I was able to put the majority of that list to the back of my mind and focus on what had to be dealt with right that minute. (It's only taken 11 years to get this far, but at least I am making progress!)
Learned: I am so thankful to have a husband that is patient with me, and knows how to help me.
Learned 2: I am not really sure what to do with this awareness of this personality trait, but I guess awareness is the first phase.