Recently, I was contemplating the state of my bedside table. Things had become a bit jumbled, rather messy, actually quite out of control. I glanced over at my husband’s side of the bed where I noticed a candle, lamp, and a clock (albeit a dusty one). “Hmm,” I thought, “What’s wrong with this picture?”
Honestly, I am not a slob. In the past, I’ve been known to be quite organized. Lately, however, my life has been full to bursting, and my bedside table is a reflection of that. I’m behind on deadlines, don’t have time for housework or cooking, and seem to be constantly running late (in the past, I’ve always arrived early). Some chores-- like putting away my jewelry-- just never get done any more. I planted exactly one tomato this year and have not been outside to water it (thankfully, we’ve had rain). The weeds surrounding it are growing quite well, though, thank you very much.
My husband, on the other hand, seems to have lots of time on his hands. I hear him chuckling sometimes as he watches a comedy show on his computer. I observe him now and then reading books for pleasure. He runs and exercises every day. In the past, he was always late, always overbooked, always working. He was busy making mud pies while I handled the kids (most of the time), did the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. My mud pies were made in stolen moments after the kids were in bed, but his career sustained us financially, and he was devoted to it.
Now, the bedside tables have turned. I’m the one racing out the door, staying up past midnight, getting up early to work. I used to marvel at how much my mate could talk about his career. Now I am the one who can’t seem to shut up.
Relationships work like mud pies, a friend once said. We’re like kids playing in dirt and water; sometimes it’s your turn to make a mud pie, sometimes it’s mine. Where we run into trouble is when one can’t tolerate the mud pies of the other, when one partner wants to be frolicking in the mud 24/7, and the other never gets to play with her (well, sorry to be sexist but it still quite often is the female) mud pies at all.
Yes, I should straighten up my bedside table, and maybe I will one day. But right now, I have a few more mud pies to make!