This post is a bridge between the self and family categories. Fitting. After all, the family we are born into dictates the material of our lives. The family we choose helps us build those blocks into the cathedral we hope to become. When you are a member of a family, you have a responsibility to build others up.
My resolutions post focused on myself. But in these first few days of 2013 I have been considering what I can do to improve the lives of my loved ones. Most especially, my husband Cash.*
It would take a long time to explain all the things about Cash that make him my soulmate. I’m sure they’ll shake out over time but for now you can trust me on that. We have been together seven years and ten days, married five and a half of those. Part of what makes us great together is that we are different. Today I’ll just describe the parts that are relevant to the resolution…
I am highly motivated, a result-oriented perfectionist, with excellent work habits, sharp critical thinking skills, and a tendency to extrapolate past trends to future results. The flip side of my coin: I am anxious. Relaxing is a challenge and truly living in the moment is rare. I judge others too harshly by too high a standard. I am terrible at networking (or even just making friends) because I am unable to focus on and really listen to others when I have my own agenda. I am materialistic. I hold grudges, predict failure based on past mistakes, and find it difficult to forget even when I do manage to forgive.
Cash is affable, casual, funloving, supportive, extremely selfless and sublimely nonjudgmental. He brings moderation to my personality. He constantly builds my confidence. He gives me permission to have fun and give myself a break. He loves unconditionally, to an extent I’m not sure I even understand, but am hoping to learn. But his other side: He lacks motivation and is not a self-starter. He gets discouraged and sometimes gives up when things are difficult. He goes to extremes in the name of a good time or an escape, and these extremes can get him into trouble.
I’m sorry to say that one of my weaknesses is picking at Cash’s weaknesses during a fight. I blame him for mistakes caused by the characteristics I know he wishes he could change. I believe comparing myself to Cash is silly…water and wine. But when I’m angry or hurt, suddenly comparisons are easy and I always win. The world I spend most of my waking time in (read: legal industry) values my qualities over Cash’s and calls the valuation objective. Of course it isn’t objective. It’s not even valid. It’s unilateral and inhuman. Unfortunately it’s a myth that leaks into me and through my hurtful words into Cash.
So we come finally to my resolution. It’s late but it is perhaps the one I treasure most. This year, I will show Cash the way I see him even at the hardest moments. I will remember that how I think of him changes his architecture, just as how he thinks of me impacts my own internal structure. I will understand that sometimes he can only know his value if I tell him how much he means to me.
*Cash, like all the names on this site, is a pseudonym.