It was getting late. We had returned from a road trip to a clean home and an immaculate kitchen. Within a few short hours, it looked like the refrigerator and cupboards had emptied their contents all over. The road trip aftermath had taken over the previously neat house and we now were as cluttered as ever. Everyone was tired. After filling up on various foods from left-overs or whatever was around, everyone left the kitchen and all the mess, except me.
Ashley was doing homework, trying to get everything done for the end of quarter. Brandon had disappeared and so had Mark.
[Circumstance: There are dishes and food in the kitchen, kids and husband are in their bedrooms.]
I called out “where did my handsome husband go?”
“I’m in bed,” came the reply. I knew he was pooped and I didn’t want to ask him to come help if he was already in bed. So, I bucked up and started to straighten the kitchen. I couldn’t leave the mess for the morning, especially with a full block of cheese sitting there open to the air and other refrigerator-needing items.
[Thought: I have to clean up by myself, no one will help. I’m tired too. I can’t believe everyone left all this stuff out. No one cares.]
I cleared the counters, rinsed the dishes, and stacked them neatly for easy loading the next day. I excused myself from the task of unloading the dishwasher since I still needed to review my lesson for teaching first thing in the morning. Done!
[Feeling: frustrangry–>more thoughts: Grr. I’ll be the adult. *foot stomp*]
I went back to my room to get ready for bed (finally), and found Mark sitting there enjoying some entertainment. Huh. I guess he wasn’t as pooped as I thought. Oh well, off to get ready for bed. Mark saw me and excitedly started moving his feet around, hinting at a foot massage. Really? Such nerve. I just did all the work by myself and now he wants me to massage his feet. Alright, I’ll be a cheerful giver, and give him some love with a foot massage.
[Action, based on feeling “frustrangy”: Pretending to be willing, but actually being put-out.]
Mark, an expert at reading me, sensed that something wasn’t quite right, and asked me what was wrong. Genuinely. He had no idea.
Me: –big exhale, composing myself– “I’m trying really hard to be big, because I know it’s something small.”
[Result] Mark: “Try harder.”
The result could have easily been proof in my mind that my husband doesn’t care. Thankfully, this good man has a way with humor that works for me, and we both laughed! Thankfully. Gratefully. We truly laughed, my heart softened. A new thought was born.
New model (SAME circumstance, NEW thought->feeling->action->result)
C: There are dishes and food in the kitchen, kids and husband are in their bedrooms
T: I want to relax with my husband and unwind from our trip together, and so does he.
F: contentment, peace, love
A: quick, minimal tidy job in the kitchen, and then climb in bed happily
R: enjoying our night together
Hallelujah for humor! 🙂