Perspective. per-spec-tive (noun): a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
I recently had a very raw and real conversation with my husband about perspective. Why do people see you in a certain way? Why do people expect certain things from you? Is it an actual fact or is it actually your own perception? It started out as a simple discussion over something that had just happened that night. And it ended up opening up to something so much more.
Let’s be real
If you know my husband personally, you know that he has a very complex thought process. And while some, including himself, would say he overthinks things, maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s that he has the rare ability to clearly see and understand the many perspectives of any given situation. I’ll admit, it’s hard to win an argument with him. At the same time, I feel that people often go to him to talk or vent and to get advice because he will always be (brutally) honest and speak solely on the facts.
But what happens when he is the one who needs to talk or vent or get advice? Eventually, anyone with that kind of a thought process is bound to come to a breaking point. I’m glad I was there when it happened. It needed to happen. Lots of stress and emotion built up that we haven’t been able to address. And just for the record, I can confidently admit have no where near the level of perspective that he does, but I’ve been with him long enough to be able to understand how his mind works.
Life as we know it
We both have a lot of things on our plate. Some things are part of life as we know it, and some things we choose to take on. After our conversation I realized how lost I had become in every day mom/home life and working on my crafting business that I completed lost sight of being first and foremost a wife and supporter to the man who I have built this life with.
SMDH. I’m sorry, love.
I’ve been building this thought in my head that I was the one primarily taking care of the kids and the house, doing pick ups and drop offs all while still working a full time job and running my side business. In my mind, I have all these things on my plate while he gets to go work for five days then work on his business when he gets home. He only has two drop-offs to do a week and just has to watch the kids for two days every other weekend when I have to work. Doesn’t sound fair, does it?
Perspective is everything
It’s one thing to see things in a certain way, but saying it out loud and hearing someone else’s perspective can be a totally different thing. While I have been seeing my day-to-day life full of tasks and stress (#nodaysoff), he sees it as an opportunity to actually do more since I literally have more days off.
In his perspective, I’m not sitting on a bus for 3+ hours five days a week getting to and from work. I actually have more time because my work days are condensed into 12 hour shifts, 3 days a week. Now don’t get me wrong, he totally understands that 12 hour shifts are exhausting, especially in my line of work, but I can see what he means. When he asks me to drop off the girls if I happen to get an extra day off, I see it as one more tedious task I have to do. But for him, me doing an extra drop off here and there will save him precious time; so that he can get to work on time, leave on time and get home to us.. on time.
Until our most recent conversation, I stopped seeing my days off as days off. I’m not sure when it began, but to me, days off were busy, tiring and full of to-do lists and never-ending laundry. Now, that part is actually true. But it’s the perspective that makes a difference. Sure I’ve got a million things on my to-do list and my laundry room has a continuous river of laundry flowing to all parts of the house, but as my husband so graciously reminded me, it’s still a day off. A day away from work so I can be home with my family.
Time for changes
Now, our conversation lasted a solid 2+ hours, so forgive me if the context of everything is not very clear. Being together for 20+ years, we’ve always prided ourselves in our ability to communicate with each other and understand each other. There are days when we don’t need to say anything at all, but are still able to communicate. At the same time, there are days when we are so caught up in our own minds and tasks and inadvertently forget to check in with each other.
I got caught up in self-pity and did something that I never thought I would do; I became selfish. Me, the woman who with no hesitation always puts others, especially her family, before herself. How did this happen? After doing a bit of soul searching, the answer to that question is deeper than I want to go in this post. But I know what I need to do to make some healthy changes.
I’ve already made an adjustment and I can’t believe how something so simple as changing my perspective has made a big difference already. I’m so thankful for a partner who understands me, even better than I understand myself sometimes. And what an amazing gift it is to be able to still learn from someone you’ve been with for so long. Thanks for choosing me to go through this thing called life with you.
Cheers to the next 20+ years ahead of us.