Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is it possible to be married to someone and not catch their moods?

The easy answer is yes. But I've always been on the extreme end of empathic, picking up others' emotional ups and downs, reflecting them, absorbing them and projecting moods of my own. My husband has his moody moments, too, though if I had to quantify it, I'd say I out-moody him, on a week-to-week basis. Take the other morning, a Sunday, when I woke up in our beautiful bed with a tickle in my throat, an ache in my bones and (pardon the crassness) a stick up my you-know-where. My honey, on the other hand, opened his eyes and practically started whistling. Our plan was to spend a good part of the daylight hours doing chores on the gazebo project--we are getting close to our inaugural weekend, we have friends coming up, a gazebo party coming up, and it's time to get serious and finish this thing. That means cleaning up the work site and doing countless other physical chores. Usually, I stick to indoor chores, my s.o. focuses on the outdoors, but I figured, Hey, nothing wrong with working together and getting some exercise to boot. Except I woke up feeling like a thunder cloud (and like I was getting a flu), and after a few snipe-y comments from me, I watched the smile fade from my honey's face. And I felt terrible about that. Bam! I robbed him of his good mood. Except I didn't feel terrible enough to start radiating sweetness and light. Instead, we both got out of bed pretty quickly (bad moods don't make for lingering between the sheets) and continued with the gazebo plan, with me sweeping debris off giant tarps and bringing things back and forth between barn, basement and gazebo--screw drivers, brooms, buckets. I kept looking out at the lake, at the shimmering foliage, hoping that being surrounded by nature at its showiest would tip my emotions in a more positive direction. Nope. So after an hour and a half of mostly silent laboring (silent on the outside, that is. On the inside, I had an angry dialogue with myself going on, fanning the flames), I went into the house, texted my honey that I was taking a break and got into bed with a book, followed by a nap.

There is nothing like slipping between soft, cool sheets in the middle of the day, especially when you're feeling under the weather. And my two hour sleep did help a bit. I woke up feeling tired and a bit dazed, but at least I was no longer feeling like a bee-yatch on wheels. (Do these things happen because of hormones? Your guess is as good as mine.) In any case, after more sweeping and fetching and carrying, my hubby declared that it was time for a snack--in the gazebo! This was to be our first real use of the structure that has dominated a good deal of our lives this past summer--we were going to light a fire in the amazing fireplace, drink wine and watch the sun go down to the sound of crackling wood and the gurgling stream below. And we did just that, pulling two chairs right up to the hearth. There's nothing like the snap of a fire and the rushing of water, combined with the comforting body heat of the person you love to finally--FINALLY--banish a bad mood. And as the negativity left my body, I leaned my head against my husband's shoulder and fell asleep. And so did he. (And I am not the type of person who falls asleep on couches.) It felt wonderful. The experience was a glimpse of how nice it will be to have this extra space in nature to enjoy--a structure that is as beautiful as the water and greenery around it--and confirmation that my husband's focus on this project has been worth it. Suddenly, we have another living room, right by the water. And suddenly, my very bad day had turned good. It's nice to know that can happen, whatever my hormones happen to be doing.

Below, a few glimpses of the gazebo, right before our very first fire.

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