Last night was difficult. Like, somebody didn’t put away the grapes and spaghetti squash and they think the kitchen is clean?!, kind of difficult. Cabinets were slammed, words were exchanged, a bowl full of spaghetti squash was thrown out, and all parties housekeeping habits were called into question. Difficult.
What? You aren’t sympathizing and sending supporting notes and messages? Of course not! Those are ridiculous, miniscule, and petty problems. A perfect example of 1st world, upper class, white people problems.
Or is it?
I bet there was a cavewoman thousands of years ago who came home after being up all day, fighting saber tooth tigers, clubbing dinner to death herself, rubbing sticks together to cook it up, and found the cave not put back together the way she wanted it. (Old bones do NOT go on the highest ledge in the cave?!) And guess what, I bet she lost it. She took those bones and threw them out of the cave without even thinking! Of course she had bigger issues. It was almost dusk, and if she made too much noise, the predators might hear her. And the little cave children were almost asleep, and she needed to save what was left of the fire to keep them warm until morning. All kinds of bigger problems that should have helped her put the situation into perspective. But somedays, it’s too much. **I do not claim to be an expert on actual cavewoman, nor their daily habits.**
I had the modern experience of that last night. It was truly difficult. Despite the silliness of the problems, it developed into a full confrontation with my husband. And opinions were expressed, feelings were hurt by both sides. As a couple, we have gradually learned that “Never go to bed angry” doesn’t work for us. Time is helpful for us to calm down, reflect on the situation, and (hopefully) come to some resolution.
In my hazy morning-after attempts to move towards a resolution, I’m mostly sad. No longer angry in the moment of finding food left out, and no longer energized by sparring for the best comeback. Just sad that I let such small things take so much energy and happiness out of my day. And that in doing so, I took energy and happiness out of my husband’s day.
So today I have opened my heart and mind to the universe and looked for guidance. Amazingly enough, it has come! I pulled a Crazy Sexy Love note this morning, and it was “Be Present”. (Did I tell you guys these notes are awesome or what??)
Later today, going through my email, I read an essay that had been sitting ignored in my inbox for almost a week. I almost deleted it, but fortunately I took a few minutes and read it through.
So the next time you reach a fork in the road, remember T.A.R.A.: Tolerate, Accept, Respect, and Appreciate. If you travel this path frequently, yourrelationships will flourish, and you’ll experience a richness of experience that wasn’t possible without a deep understanding of the people in your life. Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
Did I neglect to mention that my husband had paid bills, vacuumed the entire house, and got the girls ready for bed before I got home? Oh yeah, he did. But instead of noticing and appreciating his support and contributions to our household, I zero’d in on two ridiculous items and picked a fight. Our relationship is worth so much to me, but I lost perspective. If I had used T.A.R.A, I would have tolerated that nobody else thought the grapes and squash needed to be put away. I would have accepted that my husband chose to be helpful with different tasks. That would have led to respecting my partner’s commitment to coming home and contributing to our household after working a long day himself. Finally, I would have appreciated how fortunate our family is that we can all contribute in different ways, and that I came home to a warm house, and loving partner, and such abundance that there was leftover food on the counter.
Here is to tomorrow, may we all be so fortunate to find the grapes and squash not put away.
May your wandering always lead you home,