Finding the “I” in Marriage

They say when you keep a daily journal, you learn more about yourself.  I have found that keeping this blog is giving me the same result.  I write about things that seem to randomly be on my mind any given day, but when I look back through things I write about, certain things seem to keep surfacing.  Things that I didn’t even know about myself.  Things I’m not too sure I like about myself.

Apparently and according to several of my own confessions, I procrastinate.  You might say that I am lazy.  But I truly don’t think it is laziness.  Or, maybe it is laziness and I just don’t want to admit it because laziness is a trait that drives me crazy in other people.  Whatever you want to call it, I seem to put things off until they are to the breaking point and then it all comes crashing down on me.  My mom says this is because I always need to have action in my life and that I create drama to keep myself busy.  She’s harsh, that Mom ‘o mine.  Harsh but honest.

Lately, I have had a sense of anxiety almost constantly.  And at least once a day my chest starts to hurt and I get short of breath when that feeling of anxiety comes over me.  I’m trying to focus in on what I am thinking about or doing at the time of these little episodes and almost every time this has happened in the past couple days, I have been addressing something in my life that I have procrastinated on.  My thesis for my Masters, a project (…or 6) at work, even small things like finishing the guest bedroom.  I put all of these things off until they become so much bigger in my head than they really are, and they seem to just overtake me.  I feel out of control, and I am a complete control freak (yet another diagnosis from my dear Mama).

I tried talking to Chris about this, but talking about procrastination and laziness with a person who is a machine when it comes to accomplishing tasks is a bit like complaining to a professional athlete why its too hard to jog around the block.  It’s embarrassing and makes me feel like a complete waste of space.  He just can’t understand the concept because it is not in him and so he can’t understand my thought process.  And that makes me even more anxious.  Suddenly, my procrastination is not just an annoying trait about me, but its a deficiency.  In my head it becomes a huge psychological problem I need to solve.  If I’m dealing with this and Chris is not, then CLEARLY something is wrong with me.

Ahh, marriage.  It’s a tricky balance sometimes.  You have to be able to look at each other so closely, but without comparing.  I can love Chris for his dedication and perseverance, but I can’t let that shape the image I have of myself.  Recognizing strengths in him as my shortcomings should inspire me, not embarrass me or make me feel like something is wrong with me.  Its hard to be part of a partnership sometimes because the definition of a partner is someone who shares things with you.  But a healthy relationship should allow both partners to function as individuals, to struggle and achieve as independents, to grow and mature as a person.  Then you come together and share those experiences as a couple.

My procrastination (or laziness, whatever…) is enough of a nuisance already without me constantly comparing myself to Chris’ lack of procrastination.  That doesn’t mean, though, that I have to work through my problems all by myself.  A good partner (and Chris is the best!) will be there by your side without judgment, without comparisons, without demanding, and without even expectations.  Chris loves me because of who I am – procrastinator and all.  And having someone who loves you unconditionally like that should, if anything, take the pressure OFF, not put it on.

I’m going to work on my procrastinating.  I’ll get better at preparing and planning and following through, and maybe this pressure in my chest will go away.  And at the end of the day, I’ll know that I made the change in myself not because of something I saw in Chris, but because of something I truly wanted to change in myself.

…and THAT, my friends, is self discovery.


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