I am the first one to admit that I like having plans and a general idea of how my weekend is going to go. I just like plans and I do not like things to disrupt said plans for something I am not excited about especially when I’m excited about the plans I had originally. Sometimes this personality trait, which I am working on changing because I need to be more flexible, does not pan out well when Andy is all “I need you to do this” and I’m all “but I was going to do this” but then it turns out what he wants done really needs to be done because the drywall is coming in a week and it’s going to take days and the drywall can’t go up until I do it and the thing I wanted to do can wait another week or two so son of a bee sting now I have to do the thing Andy wants me to do and now I’m all *gives the look*.
This is how Sunday went.
I planned on getting my potting soil and starting the seeds for our winter sowing take two as mentioned in this post. I was all “cameras charged, get the dogs leashes, I’m going to the garden store!” and then Andy was all “where are you going? I need you to wipe the mold and mildew off the beams upstairs”. Then I was all “What are you talking about?!”.
Then I was all “I wanted to paint the beams white.” and he was like “We’re not painting the beams white. But that doesn’t matter, they still need to be cleaned first.” and I was all “What do you mean we’re not painting the beams white, that was the point of having them exposed” and he was all “No, that wasn’t the point. But we still need them cleaned first. We’ll figure out finishes afterwards.”
Then a conversation ensued where it was really him being calm but stern and like (I’m paraphrasing and being liberal) “I’ve built this entire addition, please just help me out. The soil can wait and you can buy it at Home Depot which you drive by every single day to and from work and it will be way less money than if you go to the green house to buy it for the same stuff.” So then he made a ton of sense and I sometimes hate when he makes so much sense, which is so much more often than I like to admit but I do admit it because I’m not a total jerk, because ahhh run on sentence. Point and case – Andy makes a lot of good points and I’m enough of a not-selfish jerk to see his point and contribute like I should even though what I really want to do is what I want to do which is selfish and I just can’t do that because it just seems rude.
It doesn’t mean that the sudden change in plans didn’t make me all…
Though I didn’t look as angry as Knope up there, as I was really just unimpressed, I knew he was right and that there is no way I could say no. So instead I gave *the look* which is what Andy says I give when I’m thoroughly unimpressed with a situation. I managed to give him both the look and not say much for the next hour or so as I grumbled. Here’s the thing though, Andy knows when I’m in *the look* mode he can snap me out of it given a little time. It is incredibly hard for me to stay upset and he is well aware of this fact. So he does funny things, and I’m all “I hate when you make me laugh when I want to be annoyed” but he knows me well enough to know that the laugh will always eventually win out.
Truth be told my annoyance came not because he asked me to help on the house, but because it was last minute when he remembered it needed to be done and because my plans were deemed bunk. I’m woman enough to step up and say learning to be more flexible is something I can use, and am working on.
Andy also knows me well enough to know that my first reaction to things is “what?! No!” and then like five seconds later I’m all “fine you’re right” and then five seconds after that I’m all “I’m glad we did it that way!”. So of course part way through cleaning the beams I was totally fine and I was all “I’m not even annoyed at you, I’m annoyed at the situation but this needs to be done and it’s for our family and so be it, it’s just one of those things” and he was all “Yeah, that’s how this goes. Welcome to my world” and then I realized all of the boring, mundane, shit he’s dealt with since he started this addition. I mean, I intellectually knew it, but I got what he must have been feeling. And then something happened.
I started finding pleasure in doing the work.
What?! How could that Knope stare down go into finding pleasure in it? It’s called reframing. My initial reaction was a selfish, ridgid reaction. Then I was all “Self, this has to be done and I can either do it and be huffy about it, or I can do it and feel good about what I’m doing.” So while it was a minor annoyance in the scheme of things I actually found it somewhat enjoyable. I was doing this for my family and that made it worth it. I was able to do it with tea tree and white vinegar instead of harsh chemicals, which was part of my initial reaction against wanting to do it. I realized if this is how Andy has felt doing mundane crap for the last 6 months or so, just so his family could have a nice house, I could do a task that I didn’t particularly love either and I would find a way to like it.
And I did. I don’t know that I want to smell tea tree or vinegar for a while, but I actually got into it.
So now, this week, we’re onto sanding and it looks amazing so far. I have to admit one other thing, which I’m sure Andy saw coming from a mile away—I’m cool with not painting the beams white anymore. I was slightly bent out of shape about when not only did my plans change for the day, but a design feature I had been imagining in my head changed too.
So now when I’m sanding the beams I’m a little less *the look* and a little more…
Just keeping it real. Sometimes aspects of renovations aren’t exactly the most exciting fun things, and sometimes they remind you of a personality trait you need to keep working on. Both things need to be done. And when life gives you lemons. Make a margarita and get all Lesley Knope up in this joint. Just, wait on the margarita until you’ve finished sanding.