MAKING SPACE: A PRACTICAL EXERCISE IN COMMUNICATION, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, AND TIME MANAGEMENT
Small thought today while working on the chaos that is my home.
I'm doing it because it needs to be done.
I'm doing it because my health can't take it any more -- I need a clean environment. My family needs one. I've hired people to help get this place ship shape again. I have to get a plumber out here for the bathroom -- lots of odds and ends. I'm calling in favors of friends. We eat take out a lot or crockpot so my time is devoted to the all get out clearance of clutter. Fall cleaning with a vengeance.
And you know what?
It occurs to me that in this year of being willing to be Open in Heart and Mind (if not yet in Body and Soul) and discussing all the "what ifs" with DH about opening up later down...
Preparing to open your marriage might mean actually cleaning your closets. Not just the metaphorical closets of your heart, mind, soul, body. But really.
In your HOUSE.
Not that you'd stuff your OSO into the closet and store them there. But the crap in the closets you don't want to deal with? Deal with it. Clutter pulls from your time management bucket. If we do not have the time to deal in THINGS, that just sit there? What makes us think we have the time to deal in PEOPLE -- who can wither and die inside without tending?
Funnily enough DH just wandered in here and commented on how clear the office is was while I was writing the above.
How amazing. Floor is so clear! Then he asks where his stuff on his desk is.
Me: I do not know.
Him: Um. Well, it was actively being used stuff. It would have been nice to have a warning.
I felt my temper start to flare because this house crap is a HUGE trigger for me. My nostrils flared and my right eyebrow shot up.
The entire Brain Board of Trustees shot their one eyebrow up.
MS SARCASM: (tired and dirty form long day of boxes) WTF? I am tired. And I have to magically DIVINE what is his "actively used" things or not in the strata of the home office? Am I his keeper? I have a chaotic house that I cannot maintain on my own as a SAHM. I hate it. It frustrates me. Helllooooo? I want to get it decluttered to where I can keep it up, so I can be doing my job effectively. I cannot keep track of smaller details when I'm the project manager AND serving as crew clearing things. And I didn't even know it was gone til you spoke -- well meaning friends shooshed it.
MS DO NOT FIGHT WITH HUBBY ON DUMB SHIT (punching MS Sarcasm in face) Nope! You do NOT get the mike on this one. Everyone sit on her!
Entire Brain Board of Trustees flings themselves at her.
MS DIPLOMATIC quickly confers with the BOT and they nod the go ahead. Crossing arms and all eyebrow-y while sitting on shouty Ms Sarcasm.
Outer visible me?
I bit my tongue. Took a deep breath. I did NOT cross my arms all defensive. I'm not too sure where the eyebrow went. Because I was concentrating on giving a diplomatic message on the fly.
Ms Diplomatic via Me: Well. I felt I gave enough warning when I announced I have begun a massive and ruthless Boxing of the Crap and I suggested you go rescue things you want to protect.
I am sorry if things got boxed you were not wanting boxed.
You can look through today's boxes in the patio. They are there. They leave tomorrow.
I'm not too sure how he feels right now but he walked away. I'll check in on him in a bit.
I don't think either of us is mad. But we're being uber careful around this KNOWN trigger subject.
My temper settled back down.
But here's the rub --
a) DH doesn't usually want to know what my detailed plan of the day is with household things. General announcements seem to suffice for him in the past.
b) I felt I've given ample opportunities to speak up.
- We had a family planning time earlier this month with calendar and intentions for all of the fall term.
- I have informed that I now have a storage unit I'm carting this crap to so I can sort in peace over there and not have our home in constant sort-y chaos here. We agreed I do the bulk in on my own during the week, but he has to show up once a week to give feedback on the things I do not understand that are his over there.
- I have told him several times friends are coming over to help me box this week and again last night.
So I feel I have given plenty heads up there.
c) I cannot mind reader or divine that he was feeling protective about "actively used" things on his desk. There was no note on them saying "Do not touch this desk!"
All I can do is
- Sympathize he feels whatever he feels.
- Hold up the limits: I have reached my limit on house crap. Crap must be dealt with!
- Possible solutions:
- You let it go and let me just roll how I roll
- You get proactive and leave notes on things.
- I stop to do a daily detailed check in for today's game plan AND I add "Is there anything around here I need to protect from massive Boxing of the Crappage and leave in situ?"
- Some solution DH puts forth.
- Some mix and match of all the above.
I'm laughing now, because I know he will laugh when he reads this entry.
Same old song, kiddo, different day. This too is part of the ORE dance we do. Spinning double-helix thread of Life Shared.
Mostly because we are weak in not having a clear delineation of house chores at this point nor a method for holding each other objectively accountable. His perceptions and my perceptions are not the same.
We end up doing the pretty bowl/pretty fish thing. And that's a classic us
Me: Hey! Look at the pretty fish in the bowl!
Him: Hey! Look at the fish in the pretty bowl!
Me: No! Not the bowl! The fish! The fish! The fish are pretty!
Him: What fish are you babbling about? The bowl! The pretty bowl! Can you not see the pretty bowl?
Actual Fact -- Galagirl and her DH perceive there's some fish inside a bowl here. Prettiness to be determined by eye of the beholder.
It gets really fun when we nested loop ourselves on the bowl/fish thing a few layers deep.
Actual Actual Fact -- Galagirl is writing an example about Galagirl and her DH perceiving there's some fish inside a bowl here. Prettiness to be determined by the eye of the beholder.
Actual Actual Actual Fact -- Galagirl is expressing herself metaphorically in writing about an example about Galagirl and her DH perceiving there's some fish inside a bowl here. Prettiness to be determined by the eye of the beholder.
REAL Actual Actual Actual Fact -- There is no Actual Actual Actual Fact. For all we know it is NOT Galagirl writing this entry at all. The REAL fact is that it could be anyone just signing in as Galagirl. And that person is typing AS IF it were Galagirl expressing herself metaphorically in writing about an example about Galagirl and her DH perceiving there's some fish inside a bowl here. Prettiness to be determined by the eye of the beholder.
Round and round. Til one of us throws in the horse. (Enter Innappropriate Humor Us in Tandem on the Side : A horse?! A horse! My kingdom for a HORSE!)
Me: Enough! We are beating a dead horse!
Him: I agree! It is DEAD alright!
There it can go one of several ways.
- Back off and agree to regroup and try again later
- Back off and agree to disagree
- Laugh because the Thing, whatever it was, is minor and really not all that big a deal
- Laugh, and perversely carry on flogging the horse.
- Some mix and match combo of all the above.
There you have it.
Crap in my closets as metaphor for better time management, CLEAR communication (that does not go off into spaghetti code talks or thinks), conflict resolution, reality checking, and owning your own baggage.
Because you want to be the best partner you can be to your polypeeps.
Even in the Closed Polyship of 2.
"It is the thing, and the whole of the thing."
(Ms Sarcasm is still being sat upon. Only now the Brain Board of Trustees are giggling and eating popcorn. Waiting to see what happens next. Off to find DH in the shower.... woo!)
PS: As I figured. Sorted it out in shower. Via fish, bowls, and some dead horsing. Ultimately? All is well.
Though I'm amused. The more things change the more they stay the same. That man makes me nuts.
In a good way.
"I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life."