First of all, what follows wasn't written recently. It is not based on any particular incident, at least nothing I can remember. It is just a comment about the ups and downs of life. I thought I would add it today because it was already written, I like it and I'm still catching up from being gone a week.
People are irritating, every single one of us is. I know that. I also know that living in a house with someone other than myself puts me in close proximity to the irritating behaviors of other human beings. And I do know that I'm probably the most irritating person of them all, mainly because I have so little tolerance for being irritated myself. But, I love these people more than I can say, so it's obviously worth it.
Most of the time, the irritating things they do don't really bother me. They bother me a little, but not enough to even mention. I just think, gee, I wish there wasn't this fine sprinkling of sugar here on the counter and floor left over from making tea. And then I wipe it up with a sponge (which takes all of 30 seconds) and go about my day.
Other times when I see that sugar, I think to myself, it only takes, like, 30 seconds to do this; why on earth didn't the person that made this mess clean it up? I didn't put the sugar here. Why should I clean this up? I've already cleaned up similar little messes countless times this month. I have better things to do with my time. I won't do it. That's it! No sugar for anyone. Everyone is grounded from anything granular until they learn to clean up after themselves. And then we have a big Come-To-Jesus meeting about the fact that, really, every single person living in this house is certainly old enough to wipe up sugar, for God's sake. And then for 2 weeks I patrol the kitchen, eyes trained for signs of stray granuals. And the moment I find one, I come down on the culprit with an appropriate Love-n-Logic consequence (or at least as appropriate as I can muster). And the kids begin to remember to clean up the sugar.
And then, for the most part, there aren't any more piles of sugar.
The difference between these two scenarios is based on a couple of things. The first is how much other 'household' type stuff I've been doing recently. Weeks when I've been cooking like crazy, doing mountains of laundry and running a bunch of errands, make me much less likely to just wipe it up and walk away. The second is, you guessed it, PMS time.
Now, personally, I don't really have a hard time with PMS (though my family might). It lasts for about one day and I usually get a whole lot of stuff done.
Normally, it's not worth the energy it takes to change bad situations. It is much easier to just wipe up the sugar and go on with my day. It just doesn't seem worth the fight.
Yet, when I'm PMSing, everything is worth the fight, especially the circumstances that seem to crop up again and again and again. And I'm not just talking about changing other people's irritating behavior, it works equally well for debt and projects and (especially) my own behavior...anything really. I finally have the energy required to Make A Change. I'm angry enough to actually do something about it.
I guarantee it was during PMS time when I created an Excel File sized to print on index cards that had every household chore, a weekly date and check boxes for each person to add their initials after they'd completed the chore. Occasionally, we skip our familial, weekly cleaning, but NEVER when I'm PMSing. That's when shit gets done, by God. And, honestly, I like it.
I really do love my hormonal cycle (I know Jeff is reading this with a look of horror on his face). Every month my situation improves, things change for the better, my life gets a bit more like I want it to be.
Also, about a week after the PMS, for one or two days, the world seems perfect to me. I feel absolutely content and mellow and everything seems just wonderful. I think that these two times balance each other out in that Yin Yang way.
And most of the other 28 days a month, I am a fairly happy and satisfied person. I love my life, I love my kids, I love my man and I'm OK with things, whether they are perfect or not.
If I couldn't occasionally find the energy to speak up honestly (to myself and to others) about my situation, to figure out what needs to change and then to actually be responsible for those changes, I don't think I would be nearly as happy as I am.
There's good in everything, I tell ya.