Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Superpowers 101: Saying Things Out Loud, Part1

In my head, things sound pretty good. My excuses are justifiable. My reasoning is logical. My conclusions are insightful.

Then I open my big mouth.

I hear words, in my own voice, and think "That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!"

I grope for the words as they race through the air at the speed of sound. I can not reach them fast enough. I can not grab them in my fist and crush them into oblivion. I can not suck them back into my head so they can be recycled into new thoughts. I can only observe and react.

Often, when this happens, I find myself laughing. In truth, these have been some very enlightening moments.

Moment # 1:

Several years ago, our Relief Society President brought her family to help me with our large, unruly Belgian yard. My husband had started the battle for lawn with the overgrown field that passed for a backyard but quickly escaped to a 4 month training school in the States.

As we raked leaves and chased kids she shared some of here experiences with being a military wife. We talked about the challenges of separation and reintegration. I confessed that  I sometimes dreaded my husband's return. I explained how he had different standards of cleanliness than I did. I expressed my frustration that I could work all day and he would still find something to complain about.

Then it happened. The words just ran out of their own accord, as if escaping from prison. I said "Like, he gets upset if I don't wash the table everyday." I froze. Did I really just say that? She smiled, no doubt seeing my own reaction to what I had said. I tried to explain. We had 4 kids under 5. They were incapable of eating a single meal without making some kind of mess. I also explained that I might spend the whole day doing other things and forget about the table being sticky.

Finally she let me off the hook. "I know what you mean. I've been there." We changed the subject (Thank goodness!) but I had been slapped hard by my own words. Was that really so much to ask? I understood, somehow for the first time, what my husband meant when he said "I don't ask for much." He was right. I just needed to refine my priorities a little.

I started making certain tasks daily necessities. I consciously created new work habits for myself. They are still evolving. But I am painfully aware of the condition of my table!

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