Today I was finishing my shower with the daily habit of wiping down the glass doors until they sparkled. I stood there for a few seconds, enjoying the sparkle and thinking how glad I was we had glass shower doors and not a curtain. It was a happy little moment that I immediately obliterated with the thought, "There. Now Larry will have clean shower doors."
That is generally the start of my day every day, (especially a holiday like today) leading me to the next chore and the next and the next, all done for "Larry". What drudgery! Drudgery simply because I was forcing myself (and have been for years) to look at everything I do through "martyr" glasses! Heaven forbid I might do the things because the results bring "me" pleasure!
But I followed my pattern, making sure I was dressed pretty (for Larry), makeup on and hair fixed (For Larry), dishes done, sink clean, and later dinner fixed ( a special one of prime rib, asparagus, baked potatoes and home made strawberry cheesecake. (For Larry.)
He was thankful. He told me thank you. And I was just empty inside. I didn't even know why. I mean, I had done all these wonderful things for him, and had been doing them over and over every single day and he just didn't appreciate the work I had to do...........
Uh Oh. It was those martyr glasses again, and I could hear my mother saying, "Poor Pitiful Peggy!" which she said quite often when I was acting like a teen aged martyr. Once after I was made to help clean the house, I told her angrily, "I'm just the household GRUDGE!" (That's not a spelling error; though at the time I meant "drudge", it IS what I said...)
She said, "Yes. You are."
I still am!!!! I still am......I need new "glasses". New perspective.
The truth is...................
I love shiny clean glass doors, windows, mirrors. I still remember my first real apartment with it's pebbly glass shower doors and how I enjoyed cleaning them just to see them sparkle.
I love seeing the tile floors clean, especially the kitchen floor which can get so sticky.
I love made beds, especially if I have been the one who just finished pulling up and straightening the spreads, and plumping the pillows.
I love seeing bare wood dresser tops, especially when I just finished decluttering them.
I love neat, orderly window blinds, just after they've been pulled into place, or opened to the morning sun, or dusted.
I love decluttering my jewelry box, dresser drawers, closets.
I love folding things and filling drawers, especially if they have drawer dividers.
I love taking a last look at my livingroom and diningroom, just before I turn out the lights and go to bed, with things in place and an atmosphere of rest and peace.
I love my books, lined up in their places with sunshiney faces.
I love my plants, so alive and vital, especially after I've watered and misted them and can smell the moist earth.
I love empty waste baskets, cleared spots after laundry is put away, the smell of of ironing and the feel of the wrinkles surrendering to the iron.
I love feeling the chug of the sewing machine and seeing the stitches jogging down a straight path, fulfilling their purpose.
I love being at the home center that my family revolves around, being the one who is here getting it ready for them to come home, and I love the moment when each of them comes in; I love being at (or near) the door when they walk in.
I love being the one who turns out the lights and checks the locks and the thermostat at the end of the day, who takes one last look before the restful darkness descends.
I love being able to walk anywhere in my house in the dark without fear of bumping into things, because I put them to rights before the darkness and they are all in their right places in my minds eye.
I love slipping into my warm bed, being serenaded by dh's snores, and praying through my list of friends and family needs, to suddenly wake up to a softly lit morning room.
And though I have hidden it from myself, all through my adult life I've been doing these things because they bring ME pleasure.
I wonder, when I am doing these things, do I feel guilty that it brings me pleasure, so try to disguise the fact by playing the martyr? Do I hear the "mother in law voice" still trying to badger me into "shape"? Or, is it just a bad habit I formed when young, and got used to living it?
I have decided to give myself a new recording to play in my head everyday. Perhaps just the simple phrase, "Change your glasses, girl!"