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A Bit of Sunlight – Standing Up

Between the movie inspiration and the book, Joy of Burnout, I was reading, I spent the rest of the week forgoing all chores. I did absolutely nothing but read. I did not care if the dishes were done or if the floor was swept.  I hid in my bedroom, the one semi tidy room in the house, and read.

I would forget things all over the house. I was so scattered, but I was up and moving. I was airless, almost pointless in my actions, like drift wood in the sea. But I had a purpose. I was healing myself. I was rediscovering myself by doing the exercises at the end of each chapter.  Pains and cramping in my left ribs would come when I reflected on the answers but I pushed forward.

One day, I was outside walking around and I realized that Craig had left his tools for the rototiller in the garden. I packed them up and brought them inside the front door. Nothing said. I did it with the intention of saving his tools. It did not even occur to me to get a ‘thank you’ or to lay guilt on him that he was indeed not perfect. But I am thinking of them now.

I got the inspiration to make an apple crisp. As stated earlier, I rarely cooked anything except spaghetti or mac and cheese so this was quite an adventure for me. As the apple crisp baked in the oven Craig called me from Teela’s bedroom to come to the kitchen. I see him standing in the archway of the kitchen and he says, “The lemon juice goes into the fridge when you are done using it.” His eyes were sharp and his voice is scolding. I hate it when he treats me like a child.

I respond with a tone like a sassy teenager, “I am sorry I forgot to put it away but I do know where I got it from. I do know that it belongs in the fridge.” I turn and go back to Teela’s room.  Normally I would have just said “Sorry, oh I can’t believe I forgot to do that.”  Then I would have put it away.  This time I wasn’t so mushy.  I stood a little stronger yet I was still stewing over it as I continued to fold and hang Teela’s clothes.  I was not done with this. I debated whether it was worth addressing. I decided to confront my husband about his forgetfulness with his tools.

I went with force to the living room. He was standing.  He had just walked into the living room from the kitchen. I am quiet. Almost afraid to make a sound but I find my voice and it is firm, “Why do you talk to me like that? Why would you call me to the kitchen like a child to explain where the lemon juice goes? Remember you forgot your tools outside? Did I say or expect anything from you? Why can’t we just help each other out  without shame or guilt.”

He looks confused. He just stood there looking at me. Is he simply taken back by my words and actions? I will never attest to know what thoughts go through his mind.

Finally he responded. He said, “I understand. Thanks for bringing the tools in the house.” His voice is monotone.  Is he simply trying to calm me down?  Or does he not understand why I am so upset about this?  Why does he sound so flat? I don’t understand the feelings or intention behind his response. All I can do is take his words and end the conversation. Turning around I return to Teela’s room.  I feel good that I stood up and acted.

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