Yesterday was a busy fucking day. Work was fast paced and demanding, then I had to go pick E up at the pool with her friend, run her friend home, and then get E to school registration before 6:30. In rush hour traffic.
Did I mention I hate to drive? Over the course of the last 12 years or so, I have driven less and less. I don’t need to drive often, and when I do it’s generally within a five mile radius of my home. I’m comfortable there. I’m comfortable when I know my surroundings or when I know how to get around. I need to pre-plan if I’m unfamiliar, so I can avoid the anxiety. I print out directions or enter it into the GPS beforehand. I make sure I have gas. And so on. Because I’m also terrible with directions. I feel stupid and helpless when I don’t know where to go. I get anxious, and everything I do know about where I am or where I’m going goes out the window when that happens. And I also hate to be late.
Yesterday, M told me he’d take care of getting me directions to pick up E because the GPS on my phone is fucked up. It’s always wrong and it makes me crazy. Truly, I get anxious and panicky and I knew it would be wrong, because it was wrong the last time and I was late, so I was trying to plan ahead. Plus, we had to get to school registration in rush hour right after. Did I also mention Apple maps SUCKS BALLS????
Not long before I was to leave, M texted me an address, not directions, then went into a meeting where he couldn’t respond to my texts or calls. He’d assumed I’d remember that he’d mentioned that E’s friend lives right down the street from the pool where I was picking her up….but I didn’t. And I’m so bad at remembering the directions he’d spoken, I’d asked for them in writing, which he’d forgotten. So, our lines got crossed and I had no way to communicate with him. I got lost again in rush hour and had to try to navigate the route with my non working, panicky brain and shitty gps. Just when I was about to go the wrong way to the school, he called, gave me a short cut (which I should have already known, but was too anxious to recall) and with no ill feelings, we tabled a discussion for later in the evening. I made it to the destination, but barely. I was fucking frazzled. I even forgot the paperwork I was supposed to turn in, but that negative self talk was overridden… I was just so happy to have made it!
Later, when M and I talked, I explained to him the mental and emotional process that happens in my head with this stuff. I’d never done that, despite feeling this way for as long as I’ve driven. He felt bad for misunderstanding what I needed and I felt bad for not explaining it like that before and for being so terrible with it all. It’s not going to change, it’s just how I am…..so I also explained that I’m trying to be more compassionate with myself, so I’m just accepting this flaw and trying to work with it. You know what he said? He said it’s not a flaw! He said he didn’t want me to have to feel that way and he’d do what he could to help. He helped put a new gps on my phone, made sure it was better and worked properly. And because he knew how exhausted and frazzled I was, he bathed me. In a hot bath, he cleansed my skin and helped wash my hair. It was one of the most intimate things he’s ever done, and it moved me so deeply I wept. I returned the gesture. Then, after I knelt for him, he talked and snuggled me to sleep.
In situations like this and so many others, I am so much in awe of the impact this way in which we live has had. The resentments and blame are no longer. There’s no manipulation of feelings, and we tackle each issue with the intent to find a deeper understanding of the other, so as to avoid it in the future, as well as to help the other in any way possible. It’s always about building and growing and never about tearing down or hiding. And the compassion, WOW. I can’t even describe how that feels.