Making my bed is something I have never really done. I was never the decorative pillow girl, and my parents were never the parents that made us make our beds. If we wanted to live in a mess, then we lived in a mess. That is, until it got so bad that we got into a huge fight and I would spend a whole weekend cleaning. Making my bed is not something that has ever been important to me. It kind of made me feel like I was trying too hard to be an adult. Having a messy bed was almost like my way of telling the world that I wasn’t growing up.
Honestly, I don’t think I was really full time “adulting” until Elliott was born. Life was spent doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted and spending money however I wanted. Now, I did go through a spell of adulting after my first divorce. I bought my condo, decorated and embraced this new phase in my life. I made good decisions, took control of my health and was in a really good place. But then I started dating J, and my life became all about fun again. No real responsibility other than work and living. I found myself falling into the exact same cycle as I did as a child…my house/life would become such a mess that it would lead to a huge fight, and I would spend the weekend (or week(s)) cleaning it up. The messes were bigger now as I was an adult in age, but I was always able to stuff it into the metaphorical closet and they would go away for periods of time.
When J got sick, I adulted for a bit. Getting hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills makes anyone grow up, but even in that instance, I would turn it off and on. I handled it all. Yeah, he was sick, but I still shouldered all of the pre-auth fighting, the document chasing, the insurance claims. I remember sitting there trying to figure out if I was really able to do all of it. I worked full-time, traveled a lot, and was having to balance being a partner. I never once asked for a thank you. I never once shut him out. I didn’t find personal refuge in anyone else. I just kept it in. For two years, I remained the partner that I felt I should be. When he started feeling better, I didn’t take a break, I fell right back into the role of supporting him in his dreams of owning a fight school. Because I am sure this will be read by someone and then reported back to J, as I have previously stated, I am not saying any of this to be a martyr. This blog is about how I felt and how I perceived our relationship. And for anyone who thinks I didn’t share this with him, you are sadly mistaken. But the reality of my life was it was better to have him healthy and happy, than depressed and sick….so I did what I thought was right.
When I got pregnant, I realized that life was going to change and it was no longer just going to be about the two of us. We had another person who was going to be depending on us, and we needed to adjust accordingly. I became a quasi-adult and changed how I lived, but still enabled poor behavior. I thought I was doing the right thing. But I was miserable. Allowing someone to come home from their day job, take their clothes off in the middle of the room, leave them there, and then go off to their evening “fun” business until 8:00/8:30 pm wasn’t the right decision. Living a life where you expected them to choose being an adult versus going to a virtual playground every night was not a fair proposal to give anyone. I don’t fault J. I would choose to do my hobbies over cleaning and dealing with a 16 month old every night too. Don’t get me wrong, when he was present, J was a great dad. But towards the end, I was so unhappy. I was unhappy that I had given up everything and I just didn’t see what he was giving up. I still don’t.
So now I am adulting on my own terms, but I still find myself falling back into the pattern of handling everything. I don’t blame anyone for that, except myself. It has become abundantly clear that its because I like to control as many factors as I can.
So, even today, I am still the one primarily dealing with the insurance, the preschool, the childcare, etc. But I am also making my bed. There is something about the calmness that it provides. It makes me feel like no matter what, there is something that is in order. Something that has many layers and in a perfect order. (My dogs also like it). I am officially an adult…and one that I am proud of.