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Thread: Becoming authentic

  1. #261
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    Tybee, it is a trade off. Like “your money or your life” - we have a limited amount of time..

    so if having your environment clean and neat and uncluttered is a need for you, hopefully you will prioritize it. And if that frees up your energy for other things, you will feel like you have “more” time because time won’t be wasted by the friction of dirt and mess and clutter. But there was still something else you didn’t do because of the cleaning up. If it was something less important, that is good. If it was something totally unimportant or undesirable, awesome!

    this past week, as I have been focusing on getting work done for my class, I found myself saying out loud twice “I would rather do pottery than eat.” Dh has been busy, and I have skipped some dinners. And this morning, finally, after struggling for weeks with no results, the needle on the scale budged down. Just a pound, but it moved - with no effort at all on my part. My body doesn’t need meals. It just needs balanced nutrition - which I can accomplish with the bouquet of kale I ate from the school garden while talking to students, the bag of nuts I keep in the door of my car, the apple I eat walking out to my home studio, a glass of milk.... etc.

    “dinner” is an experience. A pleasant experience, but one with a large time footprint. The struggle for me is that it is important to dh. He wants dinner every night. (Which amuses people when I complain about it. You “should” have dinner every night. That is “normal”) but dinner every night is actually bad for me. It creates frustration the way mess creates frustration for Tybee. It conflicts with other priorities and goals. (Example - weight loss goal - because I never grab a glass of wine or a few teaspoons of cooking oil or sugar to satisfy hunger or thirst - they are blended with my food to create a “dinner” experience. And I eat more when I am focused on enjoying the food.)

    and yet, the experience is very important to dh, who is important to me, and I enjoy it and it is a part of spending time with dh - which is important to me. So I struggle with it. For now, my focus has been on trying to improve the healthy aspect, but also trying to reduce the time spent on prep and clean up - goals which often conflict as most ways to improve health aspects use time.

  2. #262
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I think there's a difference between clean and tidy. Steve [snip]

    My DIL is a clean nut/germophobe, but her home is constantly strewn with laundry that hasn't gotten around to getting folded, toys, and assorted other clutter. But the kitchen and bathrooms are clean enough to lick.
    Sadly, not the case in that house. I've never, for example, pulled "science experiments" out of the fridge (though some leftovers have been there at least a week from when I was in the house last). The kitchen floor is -- well, let's say that choosing a dark wood floor for a kitchen was a rookie mistake. The granite countertop doesn't hide many sins either. They have two Swiffer-like cleaners and three vacuums so it's not like things can't be cleaned. The master bath? Please don't ask me to use their master bath.

    After thinking about it more yesterday, though, I've concluded that I give DD/DSiL a pass because they have more going on daily than XMIL did -- and maybe I like them more than I liked XMIL (it was mutual).
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #263
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    Chicken lady,
    I have the same "must have dinner" routine going on in my household too. Since my SO moved in a year ago, I gained 5 lbs. I realized the same thing as you: I don't have the metabolism or desire for 3 meals/day, or a full dinner every evening. He's used to this and has not gained an ounce.

    My solution is to eat minimally when he's gone. He has to leave periodically for about a week at a time for family reasons so that's my time to ignore the typical mealtimes and even fast for a bit. So far the 5 lbs. is coming off.

  4. #264
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    When I cook I make sure that I make enough that we can eat them another day and that day I don't have to cook. Steve, if someone's home was truly filthy versus untidy I probably would not go over and I would not eat there. Growing up my Uncle had 8 kids and we had so much fun going to their house. However, it was filthy. Their refrigerator was disgusting inside. The rest of the entire family was clean freaks. So I would never spend the night because it was too disgusting for me even as a kid. I did a lot of pushing my food around the plate instead of eating much. Not sure what my super fussy mom, grandma and aunt did. It didn't keep any of the men from eating

  5. #265
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    So, here is another insight from my dh and retirement thread. I do not like change.

    i know this, but I lose sight of it.

    this week I have been unsettled, lazy, uninterested in doing things that I want to do (I think it, but I don’t feel it) letting time slip by with videos and reading and not making progress. Feeling “tired” all the time again. Beginning to feel bad about myself and start into negative self talk...

    in the last last twelve days:
    My Dd2 graduated and moved back home
    i had to spend time with my inlaws
    My parents stayed for a visit
    my dd1 visited with her dh
    my class ended
    i got a big project at work
    my heart daughter has split with her partner
    one of my favorite students was hospitalized (chronic, but currently “ok” and back yesterday)
    my dh brought up retirement

    in the next twelve days:
    the school year will end and I will lose students to graduation and transfers to other schools
    i will have to clean out my classroom
    i will travel to Wisconsin.

    I begin to see why I am not interested in cleaning or ordering the house or studio, planting the garden, advertising the goats for sale, fixing the wall...

    change and disruption. And I have enough. I am unsettled, off kilter. Simply adapting to all of the changes is hard work for me. The unpredictable schedule of the evenings is making me grumpy and I am not communicating my needs to the people who live here. Instead I am slipping into “bad choices” - behavior that provides a short term escape but is maladaptive in the long term.

  6. #266
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    Sending you hugs, CL and a wish for a peaceful 10 minute or longer escape to just breathe.

  7. #267
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    "They" say the first step in addressing a problem is acknowledging the problem exists. You knew this, but you needed to be reminded. Now to act on the information... Wishing you some respite in the days ahead.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #268
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    Well, today I attended graduation. Moments of laughter, moments of tears. A lot of joy at their growth a successes, but a lot of regrets too - the ones I didn’t get to know, the ones I wonder if I had more to offer, the ones I wasn’t finished with yet....

    our graduation is a bit odd. The kids design it themselves every year. They plan the program, decide what to wear, music, who will speak. One speaker graduated two years ago. He told them “people are going to keep telling you stuff like ‘have the courage to follow your dreams.’ Very inspirational. What does that look like? Here’s my advice. If there is something you really want to do, think of the worst possible thing that could happen. If you think you can survive those results, do it.” I need to take that approach more often.

    one graduate talked about his experience coming coming to us from a regular school. He said he was having a hard time accepting that his time with us was really over “every year I have this horrible feeling ‘oh no! It’s over, everything is ending.’ And then it happens again!” I am lucky. I teach. And then it happens again.....

  9. #269
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    The last two weeks have been full. They included an unanticipated conflict/discussion with my boss that I think will be very positive for me long term.

    also, the trip to Wisconsin was delightful. The place where my son works is amazing. We toured the campus and it made me want to redo my entire environment. I rode a bike for the first time in decades. I weeded a flower bed that could be finished in 20 minutes. I identified plants that were easy to identify (daylily, peony) and I made a rhubarb pie which i could probably do in my sleep, and both “talents” were appreciated and enjoyed. I walked 5 miles.

    i was not tired in Wisconsin. It was astonishing what it felt like to not be tired.

    dh says it’s because I have too many irons in the fire here. I think it’s because I am surrounded by emotional time bombs and responsible for food. Last night he called me at 5:30 to ask if there was a dinner plan, and I said no. The night before, I made something Dd and I liked and he didn’t, so we had leftovers. He said he would pick something up, but then he came home and scavenged in the fridge and complained that we are out of wine. I told him he knew that we were out of wine and did not buy any. So I didn’t actually buy or make any food, but the food still wore me down.

    Also last night (on the emotional time bomb front) he and Dd had a conflict involving yelling and tears. Apparently the conflict was somehow my fault.

    i have a thought. If grown woman A offers grown woman B tools to do something for herself, and grown woman B thinks she can do it. 1) you don’t need to get into it. 2) nobody is going to be grateful that you stopped grown woman B from doing the thing. 3) the reason you aren’t going to get any gratitude is because neither woman believes that you saved grown woman B from failure 4) if she had failed, so what? And 5) don’t be angry that you had to get involved, because nobody wanted you involved in the first place! I won’t tell him any of this because he is sure he is right and there will just be more yelling.

    today we are good, although there is no plan for dinner.

    i am thinking about telling him I will cook a dinner, with leftovers, one night a week, and I will let him know when I am going to the grocery store. I will continue making breakfast and lunches - which are easy. I will do dinner twice a week if the second one can be pasta. The other nights I am opting out of dinner. I will accept invitations to eat if I am not busy and the food is appropriate, but I will be responsible for feeding myself and he and Dd can figure out the rest on their own.

    as for the irons in the fire, this morning I sent an e-mail to someone letting her know I am not available to do a thing again that she guilted me into doing last year. She knew she guilted me into doing it, she had a whole year to find someone else, and she didn’t - because I did a good job and she figured she could just guilt me into it again and that was the easiest path.

    now I need to buckle down and work on my evaluations so that they are not hanging over my head.

  10. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    dh says it’s because I have too many irons in the fire here. I think it’s because I am surrounded by emotional time bombs and responsible for food. Last night he called me at 5:30 to ask if there was a dinner plan, and I said no. The night before, I made something Dd and I liked and he didn’t, so we had leftovers. He said he would pick something up, but then he came home and scavenged in the fridge and complained that we are out of wine. I told him he knew that we were out of wine and did not buy any. So I didn’t actually buy or make any food, but the food still wore me down.

    i am thinking about telling him I will cook a dinner, with leftovers, one night a week, and I will let him know when I am going to the grocery store. I will continue making breakfast and lunches - which are easy. I will do dinner twice a week if the second one can be pasta. The other nights I am opting out of dinner. I will accept invitations to eat if I am not busy and the food is appropriate, but I will be responsible for feeding myself and he and Dd can figure out the rest on their own.
    It is most definitely past time to negotiate this relationship issue. He's an adult. He's talking retirement. It sounds like he has far more "free time" than you do. You will continue to bring home income. Negotiate meals and his part of the workload.

    I'm a firm believer that "we teach people how to treat us".

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