By Penelope Loves List Contributor Angela Mullan
Let me tell you what this Penelope’s perfect Saturday or Sunday includes. My husband and I wake up and hit the ground running.
We gotta move it because our list usually includes all of this:
- Grocery Shopping (list already prepared and week’s meals predetermined)
- Meal prep (after the store I prep a few things so I’m ready for the wildest week nights)
- Dishes (quite a few after weekly meal prep)
- Laundry (I do laundry almost daily but I do sheets and such on the weekends)
- Floors (vaccuum and sweep)
- Windows and Mirrors
- De-Dirty the Dog… Meaning Backyard poop pickup and an English bully bath.
- WORKOUT. This is key.
- Church. Both raised with faith, a weekly strength building message at our church is something we count as a must.
Pretty wild list, right? Makes it seem like one heckuva boring weekend, doesn’t it?
But here’s the thing. We divide and conquer most of the tasks so all to-dos are crossed off by noon. Then the afternoons are ours and they’re all about family and fun. I love it. This is my idea of a perfect weekend with just the right balance of work and play. This kind of weekend leaves me satisfied in every single way.
But then it happened.
It started out like a normal Sunday. We were crossing things off the list but decided to go to the 8:30 church service instead of the 10:30 service. No prob, right? We’d done this many times before. I’d be home before 10am and could continue down the list.
Then he suggested something new, something wild.
You read that right: his big surprise suggestion was asking me to stay out for the rest of the morning and get brunch as a family instead of coming straight home and finishing our chores. I said yes. And then started anxiety breathing. (You’re familiar, right? Fast, shallow breaths followed by deep, dramatic sighs.)
My body wanted that omelette. And brunch would give my hub such pleasure. He loves that family time and I wanted to see that look in his eyes as he took his first bite of a breakfast burrito. So I faked it. Convincingly, I thought.
When we got there, I “mmmmed” as I bit into my buttered toast and I tried to savor every bite of grilled mushrooms and melted cheese in my omelette. But the truth is, I wasn’t really enjoying it. Not as much as I should, at least. Brendan was nose deep in huevos rancheros and trying to make conversation and I was thinking about my unwashed floors, the beds that needed to be made, the counters I had yet to scrub. I wasn’t just distracted, I was panicked.
We made it home and I went to town on my list. Time was running out and I’d lost a good two hours.
Sure, I got through my list but I still felt dirty. Having to fake it left me feeling like a fraud.
So I spoke up. I told Brendan I had tried my best but I hadn’t been feeling it. And, like any tuned-in partner, he had known that. He said it had been written all over my face. What!?!
How’d he know? Because I’m a Penelope. I have my comfort zone and he’d pulled me out of it. He’d needed his needs met and he knew that meant taking me out of my comfort zone. I felt so bad. The man has needs!
So…. we had the talk.
We came up with a safe word, I’d use it if I just couldn’t handle the change in routine that day.
But every now and then I’m going to have to get out of my comfort zone to please him, but never again do I need to fake it. I’ll plan ahead and make room for the “zig” in my routine.. I can do that! If it’s been a while since we’ve “tried something new,” I’ll make my way down my list the night before or I’ll schedule some extra time at home the next day. It’s doable.
Faking it, for me it turns out, is not.