It's quiet at home because both kids are at school, and I'm stripping beds and washing sheets and doing other mindless tasks, and all that's given my brain a chance to reflect on some of the deeper concepts that get introduced over the course of life and then filed away for "later," when I have time for them and Hey! Whaddaya know? I have time now!
So since I've been testing out my New and Improved Non-Defensive Approach to Handling Conflict, Duh!, Al and I have had some new and improved interesting conversations. The other day, he pointed out (as he has pointed out on many occasions and I have shot down in a firestorm of self-preservation, I might add) that his loving wife, (to whom he matters the very most in the world, I might also add), has a tendency to take the people who matter the most to her, (i. e. him) for granted, and to spend her precious resources (time, energy, creativity, joy, humor, you name it, whatever I have on any given day) on winning over other people... people who should actually matter LESS.
And he's right. I DO invest a great deal of myself in trying to convince other people to love and need me. Even though I have this man at home who adores me and treasures me and needs my attention. And I rationalize my actions and my expenditure of energy by explaining to myself, and to my beloved, that I NEED to have more than just him in my life. I'm way more extroverted than Al, and I function better when I have people to talk to, and people to laugh with, and people to share their ideas and positivity and with whom I can share my own thoughts and opinions and ideas. And Al? Is 60 miles away from me 12 hours a day 5 days a week. I get so darned lonely Monday through Friday! So I'm always seeking more relationships. (And by relationships, I mean FRIENDSHIPS. With other women-folk.)
Which is fine and a valid justification to a point. And there's also the fact that the times that Al is at home just happen to be with a few exceptions the only times I can GO OUT and meet the rest of the world, because he's there to watch the kids then. But it's truth time here, and when I stop and make myself really examine my own tendencies? What Al says is true, I often give more to These Others than I do to him. And what's worse, he's pointed out, is that I often STRUGGLE and STRUGGLE and STRUGGLE the most to win over people who seem unwinnable. Often, the people to whom I devote the most of me are the people who prove themselves to be the most likely to reject, exclude, ignore or even just plain hurt me. Or as Al has more bluntly put it on numerous occasions, "You like the Bad Boys, Megan. You always have."
(Bursts into song: I'm gonna make you love me-e-eeeee... Oh, yes I will ... YES I WILL.)
And that's kinda dumb when I've got this man RIGHT HERE who would gladly give me anything I wanted, just to see me happy. Instead of investing most of myself in him, I'm prone to giving Al my "leftovers" after I've been out trying to win over the rest of the world.
So there's something deep and ponderous for us to consider instead of fixating on all of my head-goo:
Do we treat the people who matter most to us as if they matter as much as they do? Or are we guilty of just giving them our leftovers?
I have some mental and emotional work to do on this one. How about you?