In wrestling matches, there is often a point where one wrestler has been put into a hold that he cannot get out of. When this happens, he “taps out” in an attempt to get the other wrestler to release the hold. Often times, the referee has to run over to break it up because the wrestler applying the hold is so caught up in the match that he doesn’t realize his opponent is trying to give up.
For the last two weeks, I feel like I’ve been tapping out, but the referee is not paying attention. Of course, I have brought most of this on myself, but I’m hoping that I can bend far enough in the next handful of days to not break before I get some relief from the pressure (that would be a mental break, naturally).
As you can imagine, I’m juggling more balls than a jester in the royal court. The only problem is that I’m not doing a very good job of it. In fact, it’s generally the Irishman who has been having to pick up the fallen balls and bail me out. A lot. He’s been handling Parker’s “bath time” and “bed time” and “pack the lunch for tomorrow time” as I’ve been parked in front of my computer plowing away at work hour after hour. I can tell that after a number of weeks of this, his level of patience with my workload has grown very thin.
I have to admit that my normal reaction to this would be anger and that anger generally comes out of guilt (for being a temporarily absent wife and mom). But last night, when I noticed the tell tale signs of his mounting impatience, I tried a different approach. Instead of getting angry and defending my position, I thanked him. For stepping up to the plate to pick up my slack. For being an awesome dad. For letting me have this sometimes crazy career where my work day extends for weeks without end. From the bottom of my (very tired and guilty) heart, I thanked him.
And instead of fighting, he gathered me in his arms and reassured me that we were in this together and that he was happy to be helpful.
Huh. Who knew that a simple and heartfelt thank you could be all that someone needed to feel appreciated and loved?