This past Saturday the HBH and I cleared our schedule, making plans to head to the UPS store to get a couple of long-delayed notary signatures, send the IRS a big, fat check and mail a package. Living the San Francisco weekend dream, I know. After addressing the package, I’d also addressed the outside of the envelope in Sharpie, so as it ended up, the two-part zip code didn’t all fit on one line. James feared that the USPS would reject the letter since the bar code scanner wouldn’t now fit at the bottom, so after I’d sealed and stamped the envelope, he rewrote the address on another envelope.
[Granted, it was a wee bit anal on his part, but to his credit, let me reiterate the aforementioned statement of sending the IRS “a big, fat check…”]
So, what then was my loving, wifely response?
I freaked out. I was pissed. Did you not trust me to address a stinking envelope? I’ve been addressing envelops – with beloved Sharpie, to boot – for 34 years and the mail always goes through. Always.
Eventually time passed and my own boiling point began to simmer down. We hopped in the car, and I calmly decided to let the abated cat out of the bag – you know, just to give him the head’s up in an effort to better our marriage.
Seriously, HBH, you can trust me on this one. The mail WILL go through. We’ll be fine. And please, please, please let me address envelopes in Sharpie if I see fit.
I wanted him to admit his fault in the situation and in our originally pointless and silly argument, because obviously, it’s not just me! Back and forth we went, and the more I verbally processed the issue of The Envelope, the more I realize the heart of the matter: now without a job, I am eager for praise in anything and everything I do, even in the smallest of situations. When I then feel criticized, it’s crushing to my spirit.
Together we sat in our now parked car, tears flowing, bodies hugging, minds and hearts understanding each other just a little bit more. The HBH whispered Truth, over and over again, replacing lies with words he surely stole from Aslan himself: Cara, you doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.*
This whole not having a job thing is hard sometimes. It’s hard on my ego and on my identity. It’s hard when I realize that I’ve placed so much self-worth in a job title, and not having one – at least not having one that helps bring in the bacon – brings up a new and different set of emotions in and of itself.
But it’s okay.
I don’t doubt my decision to leave my job, and can say with accuracy that most days I love what I get to do: hang out with the Little Bubs and with our friends, create and play outside in the dirt, read and write and cook and walk and be.
And as my dear friend Mindy says of classical conductor, Ben Zander, sometimes the only way to respond to strong emotion, failure or conflict is to simply recognize, and say, “How very interesting…”
Because that’s enough. Sometimes How very interesting… is just what we need to see and feel and say as we feel our emotions deeply and let Love heal us.
What about you? What do you need to say How very interesting… to?
*Aslan to Lucy, Voyage of the Dawn Treader.0