Monday, June 02, 2008

Rest and relaxation


After our trip to San Francisco for this past weekend got cancelled, my weekend turned out a little differently from what I had anticipated in some ways.

MM and I went to see the D-backs play the Washington Nationals on Friday night. MM figured that because the D-backs are in a bit of a slump and it was a Friday night game against a not-so-good visiting team without a big fan following, we’d be able to get good seats for a lower price from a scalper. Regarding the availability of cheaper tickets, MM was absolutely right: we got very good seats approximately 20-25 rows behind the D-backs’ dugout for about 2/3 of the usual price.

Unfortunately, the D-backs lost the game and played poorly. MM is the type of fan who does not enjoy the game if his team is losing (according to my dad, the sports fanatic, no “true” fan does), so the game wasn’t an enjoyable experience for him. MM also doesn’t like the “circus side show” aspects of being at the ballpark: things like “the wave” or the “kiss cam,” the hot dog races, and other between-innings activities.

I personally enjoy the games even if the D-backs lose, though of course it’s more fun if they win. And I like the atmosphere of the ballpark and all the other things that go along with being at the game in person that MM dislikes. So I had fun, but MM didn’t. In fact, he told me on Saturday morning that he thinks he will avoid going to any more games for a while because he hates how “surly” he gets at the games. (He was acting a little like a “grumpy old man.” tee hee)

Saturday I drove down to Tucson as planned to see M. At her request, I ended up taking her and her foster sister to their community pool and park for a couple of ours. It was a hot day: the high was 102 degrees. Ugh. I was also able to have a quick cup of coffee with my friend M before heading back to Phoenix.

For some reason that is unclear to me, on the drive back from Tucson, I felt like crying. I couldn't even call a friend to chat--my usual coping strategy--because the battery on my BlackBerry was dead. It is really unlike me to get emotional at all, and particularly to get emotional for no apparent reason. I wasn’t sad about M or her situation—she seemed to me to be about the same as usual, and I have been involved with her long enough that I no longer get emotional about that. And nothing else had happened that would get me down.

I got home in sufficient time to feed and walk Sebastian and get ready to go over to MM’s so we could go to dinner. When I called to let MM know I was on my way over, I mentioned my feeling that I wanted to cry on the drive back from Tucson. His initial reaction—“what?! Why??”—made me actually start crying.

I think I have blogged before about the fact that I often hesitate to tell MM things that I think may upset him or make him anxious because I don’t want to deal with his reactions. Frankly, I have other people in my life besides him in whom I can confide. And those people can be relied upon not to read into my feelings, so it’s easier to hold things back from him than to tell him sometimes. On the other hand, MM has told me that he doesn’t like for me to hold things back from him, so I am making more of an effort to share my thoughts & feelings with him, even when I think they may not be well-received.

Reactions like the one on the phone Saturday evening are a perfect example of why I hesitate to tell him when I am upset. I pointed that out to him and got off the phone. I then called my mom and talked with her until I arrived at MM’s house.

To MM’s credit, when I got to his place, he was much more understanding and supportive. In addition to talking about my emotional state, I also shared with him something that I've known for a couple of weeks but had been holding back: I may have to do a trial for one of Tom's cases at the end of the this month while he is on vacation and will be forced to cancel our trip to Washington, DC, in order to do this. He took this news much better than I thought he would, though of course he was still upset. We talked about my feelings and arrived at the conclusion that the most likely source of my out-of-character emotionality was the super-busy month I have had and my overall stress level.

In addition to having piles and piles of work to catch up on, my apartment has also been continuing its slow slide into chaos this past month as I devoted all my time to work, MM, Sebastian and my friends rather than to household chores. I had basically no food at home and an overflowing laundry pile; my place hadn’t been vacuumed or dusted in nearly three weeks, and clutter was lying on every available flat surface.

In an effort to ease my overwhelmed feeling, at least about the state of my home (not much I can do about work--or having to cancel my vacation--in the short-term), MM and I agreed that I would spend Sunday alone at home rather than hanging out with him as I usually do. Suggesting this was actually a pretty big deal for him because (1) he looks forward to lunch-and-a-movie with me on Sundays more than most of our other dates and actually had two movies in mind that he wanted to see, and (2) canceling those plans meant he would be spending Sunday home alone.

We compromised: I spent the day at home until 4:00. We then went to his parents’ house for dinner and afterwards to the movies to see The Strangers (a waste of time & money).

I got a lot done on Sunday. I took Sebastian to the dog park for a while—which I try to do every Sunday when I can—and was home before 11:00. I cleaned the kitchen; vacuumed, dusted, and cleared up some of the clutter in the living room; did four loads of laundry and put away clothes; and gave the bathrooms a quick once-over. I also took some breaks to spend time reading a novel for sheer enjoyment & relaxation or read blogs, and talked on the phone to a couple of friends.

It was really nice to have a day with no plans. I did miss hanging out with MM, but I think that having time to get some stuff done at home was a big help to me. My hope is that I will be able to get more accomplished this week, both at home and at the office, because I have a little more orderly and peaceful environment. Goodness knows, I still have a ton to get done in both places!

On a broader scale, I felt good about the positive role that MM played in helping me handle this situation: Saturday was the first time that I have shared my feelings about something with him and felt completely supported and helped by having done so. (When I do share, he has always tried to help, but hasn’t always been as supportive as I’d like.) I made a special point of letting him know on Sunday while we were driving to his parents’ that I appreciated his support and advice. Positive reinforcement of desired behaviors is supposed to make them more likely to be repeated, right? At least, that’s what I remember from my college behavioral psychology class. LOL

On an unrelated note. . . I’ve blogged before about the fact that I am no longer on the pill. Can I share some annoyance related to that fact? Because I am not using birth control and we continue to have regular sex, I feel it is necessary to behave as if I could be pregnant each cycle once I’m certain I’ve ovulated. . . . because, theoretically, I could be.

Having to do this has put a damper on some of my usual behaviors! I had to refuse wine with dinner last night, and I feel an obligation to try to avoid eating lots of processed crap until my period arrives. LOL Yes, I realize that these are health behaviors that I should probably be employing for my own sake, regardless of whether I suspect I might be pregnant. . . but seriously, we all know that few of us are really good all the time. least of all me.

Can’t believe it’s already June!


Kristi Marie said...

I'm glad you were able to relax on Sunday. It sounds like you have a lot of stuff going on, but taking time for yourself is very important. I guess this means I'll have to skip The Strangers :) Okay, I think MM and the Radio Guy aren't allowed in the same stadium. They sound too similar, sport wise. The Radio Guy hates the wave and the hot dog race, too. I just like taking pics of the hot dog race and making fun of it. I'm sorry to hear about your trip to D.C. But at least you have a trip to Rocky Point coming up!!