This is the month that Tim got all excited about when I told him I was planning a Happiness Project. Could you all do me a favour and not mention to him that it is this month? We were sat in Ben and Gerry’s (Tom and Gerry ‘s? Frankie and Bennie’s?) munching brunch on Christmas Eve when I enthused about this being the project to end all projects – the one designed to change all our lives for the better.
I made the big mistake of mentioning that Gretchin Rubin was particularly kind and loving to her husband during February, her month for ‘remembering love’, with a whole list of tasks and habits put in place:
- Quit nagging
- Don’t expect praise or recognition
- Fight right
- No dumping
- Give proofs of love
Tim, of course, got the wrong end of the stick and his eyes lit up for another reason…
Anyway, I fully recognise that being kind and loving to my other half is a big challenge, which is probably why I put it back a month with the explicit aim that he would have longer to forget about it – which he has! Providing you lot keep your traps shut (and I remember to log off this site before handing over the iPad). On the minus side, Gretchin probably chose the shortest month for that very reason; not taking for granted He Who You Most Take For Granted is never going to be easy. Now I’ve got to sustain it for three days longer than I might have done!
Anyway, after a quick skim recap of the chapter, here’s what I will try really, really hard to do against each of the bullet points (do you think the word ‘bullet’ gives a clue as to how damn hard this might be?).
I don’t know about you but personally I always nag for a reason – because a task that should be done, or that someone promised to do, has not been done. Nothing wrong with that is there? Except when it leads to sniping at one another, which it can do all too often. So, I am going to make a conscious effort not to nag (I do know how to set myself up to fail! But as last month recorded, there is fun in failure. I think.) The most obvious strategy to prevent myself from nagging is to do the task myself and then sit back, feeling smug, expecting praise and recognition.
Bugger. That’s another habit I’m aiming to break this month.
The other part of this resolution is to notice and acknowledge whenever he does something for me – and I was certainly fully appreciative of all the help he gave me when I managed to put my back out last week. But did I show it? Probably not.
Don’t expect praise and recognition
This is all about lightening my attitude. In any partnership you are bound to disagree – in fact, this is a healthy state for a relationship as it encourages discussion and resolution. Except in our case it tends to be more about conflict and non resolution. We have always had quite a tempestuous relationship, possibly because I am always right. Did you hear that? ALWAYS. The only problem with this stance is that Tim is also always right. ALWAYS. So I guess this month I have to give him the satisfaction of thinking he’s won (note how I use the word ‘think’ – you know, and I know, that I will secretly still be right. Right?)
I am guilty of snapping. Someone says something, I put my own interpretation on what they are saying, decide I don’t like it. Snap. All in the space of a millisecond. So, this month I will try hard to pause. Think. Not snap.
I presume this doesn’t mean pick this month to pursue a separation or request a divorce? Having had a quick reread I think I’ve got it – it’s all about not ‘dumping’ my insecurities in Tim’s lap and expecting him to empathise. Apparently research shows that men aren’t very good at this. We need the research? Isn’t that why we have girl friends? On the other hand, if we cannot discuss our worries and fears with one another, what sort of a marriage do we have? I haven’t a clue how this resolution will pan out …
Give proofs of love
Damn. I’m meant to buy him presents. You haven’t told him about this blog have you? Seriously, I will have to do something. By lucky coincidence we are going to Poole for a 60th party next weekend, so instead of the Premier Inn I’ve found ourselves a four poster and possibly a jacuzzi (the fact that it is actually cheaper than a Premier Inn did not influence my decision. Not one jot.). Perhaps I will even give him more squares of chocolate from my hidden stash (note the use of ‘perhaps’).
There we have it – perhaps the most challenging month so far. Watch this space to see how I get on!
ps Grammar geeks and myself – I must remember to look up the rule for punctuation marks within brackets.