It amuses me a little that strawberry picking has become such a common family activity. Why is it that manual labour becomes fun once you’re charged to do it? Is this along the lines of Build-A-Bear stores, or the self-serve check-out that was always so packed when they first came out? And I fall prey myself. I would pick strawberries. I will admit that there was some perverse sort of novel enjoyment in scanning my own groceries. …And I was a cashier for more than six years while I was in school! Part of me wants to stuff things in a bear and choose its clothes. I can’t help but feel like I should capitalize on this and have somebody come bring their kids to weed my garden for an hour. I will gladly give them a basket of strawberries once they’re done. Better yet, for a small extra fee they can rent a mop and enjoy the Family Cleaning Experience. It builds character, I hear.
Things have been mostly good around these parts. My negative moods really do seem to be concentrated now into pervasive sweeping unhappiness on certain days. I’m trying to discern some sort of pattern. There’s been huge progress in my overall state of being, which is fantastic (there are far more good days than bad now). But I do feel occasionally a little like I’ve made it almost to the end of some unbearably long video game, and am sure that I’m just about to save the princess/world/marmot, except that I’ve talked to everyone I’m supposed to talk to, and collected everything I’m supposed to collect, and explored every scrap of terrain I can get to, and cannot f$@$ing figure out what I’m supposed to do next. And everyone else seems to have completed it so easily they can’t remember how. And there are no walkthroughs. And my computer is really a hammer-head shark.
Currently my top bets are on some combination of blood sugar levels, general fatigue, social contact, and alcohol consumption. Except that aside from the blood sugar (which generally balances out my mood as soon as it’s corrected anyway), these things seem to connect to my state of being indirectly as best. Sometimes I’m tired on the days that are bad. Sometimes I’m more tired, but I’m fine. I feel perfectly normal (okay…maybe a little more flashy than normal) when I have a glass of wine with friends. Sometimes the next day I’m a train wreck. Sometimes not? I’ll have to continue my research. It sounds like getting smashed and staying up all night eating cupcakes would be a good start.
I’ll inform my husband.
Speaking of the husband, my Sappy Syrupy Warm Fuzziness Quotient requires that I mention that we apparently blew my therapist’s mind a little at my last session. She had asked me as homework to have my husband and I come up with some 1 year and 5 year goals, separate of one another, and then compare, and discuss, and create some joint goals we could both work towards. We’re already pretty good communicators and pretty aware of what we want from our lives and the changes we want to make to get there, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to get some things down on paper, and was curious to see where we might diverge. So I made up my list during the day. He did his at work and e-mailed it to me to print off so we could talk about it later. We each came up with around 10-15 items.
…The same freaking 10-15 items.
We’re both very willful, independent people in our ways, so in joint ventures we will compromise with each other of course, but neither of us would bend our own individual goals just to be more like the other. We just also happen to be willful people who are pretty perfectly matched.
His List – “lose more weight”
My List – “lose some weight”
His List – “exercise more”
My List – “more regular exercise”
His List – “continue to meditate”
My List – “continue with regular meditation”
His List – “reduce overall workload”
My List – “obtain a better balance of work and home life”
His List – “launch my own business / work independently”
My List – “start own business if I decide I’d like to try that”
His List – “don’t waste time”
My List – “find a way to keep our natural inclinations from interfering with our ability to do things that are fun, rich, and rewarding” (which, upon discussion, means exactly the same thing)
Some of them (like paying off the debts) were even more identical, but also more obvious choices. The only exceptions were that he placed exercise at the one year mark while I put it in the five (though he already exercises very regularly, so that’s probably an easier goal for him to get to), and that I also included getting myself back into some form of employment (which would be irrelevant to him) and deciding whether or not we want kids.
So my therapist reads over our lists, and looks at me with the most obscure expression on her face.
“Do you know how often this happens??” she asks me. I am not 100% sure what she is referring to, and so am hesitant to comment.
“Never. That’s how often.”
Apparently couples often have very contradictory goals (spend more time with my husband, spend more time out with the guys, etc.). I think we broke her a little. Really. She sputtered for a while before collecting herself. Perhaps she didn’t entirely believe what I had told her in the weeks before? Are so many couples so different in what they want to accomplish in life?
There are many areas of my life in which I feel like I could have made better choices along the way. My relationship is not one of them. We have our challenges like everyone else does, but we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be.
Plus, it’s a rare guy who will recognize one of the Bad Days and encouragingly walk his wife back and forth between two restaurants with no trace of impatience until she comes to a comfortable decision about what she wants to eat. Because he knows that’s exactly what I needed right then.