Friday, February 14, 2014

Faking it. (Part 3)

I've had many people say to me "Wow. Megan, for being so young, you guys really have your crap together." or "It's refreshing to see such a young person handling their business."

If only they knew that I have at least five empty shampoo and/or conditioner bottles in my shower right now because I can't be bothered to take the five seconds to scoop them up and toss them away. 

Two of them I bought from a store in the Azores when Bryan and I went. In 2011. They were nearly full when we left so I brought them back with me and continued to use them into 2012. Now they are buried behind my other shampoo bottles that may or may not be empty. I'll be completely honest when I say that I have thought to throw those away. Multiple times. Yet, I shower, get out of the shower and I don't think of them again. In fact, I didn't realize they were still there until I moved another shampoo bottle and saw them at the back of the shelf and was sure I had thrown those away. 

Let's not talk about the stack of magazines I have on the secretaries desk in the kitchen that I swear I'll go through and yet... I haven't. There they sit. I won't even mention the whole laundry debacle again.

This, to me, does not signify someone that handles their business. Yes, bills get paid. Yeah, we don't have any debt other than one car and this house. Sure, we have retirement plans. What we don't have are organized kitchen cupboards. Or bathroom cupboards. Or organized anything.

Bryan called me last week and said he was frustrated because he was trying to clean but he just didn't know what to do with "stuff". He didn't know where things went. I told him, "Most things don't have a place. Feel free to create whatever system you want and we'll adjust if we need too."

He ended up cleaning our bathroom. Which was awesome, for sure. But doesn't really require creating a play-by-play. I don't blame him at all. It's an overwhelming task, trying to create a system for all that life entails. For example, the mail. I imagine that a normal family would grab the mail from the box, bring it inside and place in in a mail holder of some sort. If that person is an adult, they might sort out any junk mail and toss it, grab any ads from grocery stores and stick it next to a grocery list or on the fridge with a magnet. Another adult, maybe the one mainly in charge of the finances would go through the mail, jot down when things are due and file it in a binder. When payday comes and it's time to write checks or submit payments they go through their bills, pay what they need to, file the rest, and move on. 

In our house, one of us gets the mail. From that point, this mail can end up in the following places: On the entryway table. On the couch. On the chair next to the couch. On the kitchen counters. On the dining room table. On the coffee table. On the floor. The mail is not looked at again until whenever we happen to pick up the house. The mail is opened, junk is thrown away, ads are tossed, we can't believe that mail we were waiting for was here the whole time. THERE that bill is! Then it gets shuffled around until it ends up in my office where it is placed in a large stack of all the other papers. Generally, we don't read half of the actual pertinent mail that comes to our door. 

You would think that this causes all kinds of problems but aside from the occasional oh crap! moment we pay everything on time and stuff gets handled. The main issues that occur from such a lack of structure are the following: 

1. There are no expectations on how things are to be handled. 
2. A relatively simple task becomes one of high stress.
3. Junk is everywhere.
4. Nothing can be found at a moments notice.
5. Momentary bickering happens about how ineffective we are as adults.

However, none of these situations have actually caused us, in almost five years of marriage, to change how we do things.

I know I've written it before. Bryan and I won't agree on how to handle something so we chose to do nothing instead of A. figuring it out together and 2. appointing someone to take the lead in that matter.

This is so extremely unproductive. We get absolutely no where. No worse than we were before but certainly no better. 

At the last second we do what needs to be done and from afar it appears as though we have it all together, but take a closer look and you'll see two people who are not working in tandem. Both look a little stressed and a little rough around the edges because they are waiting for the hustle that comes as the proverbial shoe drops.  

Now that we have a son, this worries me. I think about how what we do right now affects the next generation of our family. How we live our lives and run our household will affect Shepherd and how he lives his life and how he and his future wife run their household. I want there to be the right amount of structure for Shepherd. The right balance of cleaning our house and showing pride in our belongings and knowing that at any moment we would give it all up if we had too. That owning these things do not make up a person, that we can't use it to measure our lives or our worth. I want the a healthy ratio of cleaning on Saturday mornings to staying in our pajamas for cuddles and cartoons. 

I don't want him to have our bad habits and I don't want him to have extreme habits because of our lack of them. I try to think of ways to fix this, to get better at managing life so that he will see it and know that it is normal. Sure, he'll go through the phase of not wanting to clean his room or load his dishes in the washer, but I want to make sure that when he gets out of those phases he won't think twice about dusting his house or doing his laundry because that's what you do. That's normal. I don't want my abnormalities to become his normality, so I somehow have to figure out how to overcome my inability to make a decision or process when it comes to my house. 

I have to show him what progress looks like even if progress is slow. That you can accept your oddities and overcome them. That you don't have to run away from life or even hide in a closet with a taco. 

At some point, you have to throw away the holey underpants and have faith that you'll do the laundry.


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