As a kid, I was thrilled about school. My heart would start pumping faster when the teacher would hand out exciting assignments -seasonal coloring pages, art projects, history reports. I loved my teachers, library time, and recess.
In fifth grade, all of that changed. While I still found a thrill in learning new concepts and discovering history, my teacher hated me. During Parent/Teacher Conferences he said to my parents, "I feel for you -she must a difficult one to live with."
My mom was confused. Difficult to live with?
"She's our easiest one," she replied.
Hearing my mom tell me (years after it happened) that I was easy to live with surprised me. I'd never stopped to think about it, but hearing her say that I was an easy person to live with brought me immense relief.
The truth is, I love giving. LOVE it. I love making things and giving them away.
When I was dating Danny, I gave him small, thoughtful gifts. When he was dealing with a cold sore and canker sores, I made him a "Happy Mouth Kit" full of Lysine and Carmex and all kinds of goodies -I wrote a poem to go with it, and he saved it. He still brings up how awesome his kit was.
I gave my all in my marriage.
We know what happened there.
And now? I'm really difficult to live with. Right now, I'm short-tempered and vocal. I don't give Danny much of anything except meals and hugs and kisses... and a hard time.
I'm truly giving him a hard time. I'm not trying to. I'm just DIFFICULT right now.
I'm working on being accepting of myself as I behave in ways I used to judge people for. It's humble pie and crow all in one terrifying dinner. It's super gross.
I am finding that I'm less apologetic -not in a prideful way, but in a "I don't need you to be okay with me" kind of way. I guess that means I'm officially in the "Ice Castle" phase of my Queen Elsa transformation.
The bright side of this is actually giving me a lot of hope: despite how hard and confusing things are (and scary!), I am spending MUCH LESS time gossiping, worrying about OTHER PEOPLE, and wondering what they think of me.
While I still occasionally grapple with feeling like people think I'm the village idiot (or thinking rather harshly that THEY MOST CERTAINLY ARE), I'm starting to find myself naturally more interested in bumble bees, new ideas, and hauling bits of nature into my house to decorate.
I'm decorating my house in the way my gut tells me to, and I'm so happy with how it's coming together. I'm planning a Christmas stripped of crazy and full of simple. I'm bringing back my natural gift to GIVE. I ordered a ukulele and some jungle bells. Our family gathers around the piana to sing Christmas Carols -we're practicing for our big caroling night... we're tossing out the idea of perfectly pretty cards and goody plates. Because
1) No family pictures this year for reasons I think you'll understand and
2) I'd rather give something like a song than a cheeseball
I feel like my gut is in a training circle. It's sensitive and borderline bratty -speaking up about the smallest things.
It wants the turkey with no tomato but extra lettuce, even if it irritates the chef.
It wants less clutter, even if it means upsetting the kids.
It wants more space, even if it hurts Danny.
Right now, I'm difficult to live with.
But GOOD THINGS are happening.
So pray for Danny as his wife comes back to herself and asserts her individuality by tearing the house apart and making him sing Christmas carols in early November.