Today I learned to identified and eliminate all the Self-Triggered-Stress (STS). STS as I define it is any thing created by a person or a situation that I allowed to be blown-out-of-proportion if not accomplish according to my own set of standards that adds stress to my day or worse even made my day.
Joshua and I agreed to undergo a marriage counseling at Pathways located in Jackson. This morning we were scheduled for our initial meet and greet with the Institution’s representative.
So last night before we turned off our light, we made plans for us not to forget anything and set our alarm clock. We even agreed that he is the one assigned to carry the cellphone every time we are about to leave the house for us not to forget it. Part of getting out of the bed early was for me to prepare the breakfast and a take-out-snacks for us not to buy our food outside which was more practical money wise.
When the morning came, we already both knew each others assigned tasks. While I was being busy preparing the breakfast at the kitchen and not forgetting to glance in the wall clock checking the time, my husband was the one who made up the bed, and after it, as usual, he opened the television and watched the morning news while sipping his freshly brewed coffee that made him the happiest person that morning. I was confident that he folded the bed sheet and arranged the pillow well after all it was just a simple task. My mind shifted to the breakfast I made: garlic fried rice, fried egg with spinach on it, pulled pork, freshly cut tomatoes, orange juice and last night left-over oven baked potatoes. In the midst of our breakfast, I asked him what time we need to leave and he said, ” About an hour from now.” The breakfast was a fulfilling one and made our tummy satisfied. Ready to start the day.
He went to the bathroom to had his shower and I went back to our room and to my dismay I saw the end product of him fixing the bed. It was like, no effort at all. He just lifted up the bed sheet and spread it all over the bed and hid the pillows underneath. The scene of last night crime was still there. My golly if you see my reaction, a big disappointment was ripped out from my face. I just uttered, “Baba(the way I called him) hmp!”. So my STS was ignited. People who knew me well and I worked with in the corporate world were fully aware that I was a bit of perfectionist. Of course my husband does but he was being a man and me being a woman. Redoing it the way I wanted it to be was the solution. I composed myself and prepared our clothes and lay it in the bed.
I decided to kept my mouth shot and not to raise any complaint when he went out from the bathroom. Though, deep within I was being stress already. Though I still managed to tame my STS, handed him his shoes and paired of socks. Before I bounce off to the bathroom, the phone rang and heard him talking with someone over the phone regarding the result of his blood test.
I just had a quick shower and fitted my chosen dress. I was rushing myself for being a time conscious. Back to our room, I saw Joshua doing Facebook, too focused in writing a comment to the person who messaged him last night about God not being in throne.
As I glanced at myself in front of the mirror, I saw a pregnant woman wrapped inside a bulky dress. I turned to a clock and started cramming when I saw that it was 10 minutes to go before 9:30. I only had 10 minutes left to fix my hair, to change clothes, and find a container to keep our snacks while Joshua was fully dressed and being busy in social networking. My STS started to find its way out stimulated by pregnancy hormones. But instead of letting myself to react on it, I remembered asking him about the caller. 1,2,3, 4 seconds were passed but haven’t heard any reply from him so when I turned to Joshua I asked him, “Is that important?” and he responded so calmly and said,“Yes this is important.” When I heard it my STS already burst out and said with a bit of a high tone,“More important than talking with your wife?” I immediately jumped into the bed and forgot the time. He stopped on what he was doing and comforted me and said, “Come on, po, it’s just a small miscommunication. We need to be on time. No one made you react like that, it’s your choice what you will do. Look, I am finished, we are both ready, let’s pray, and we will go.” Hearing those comforting words from him, I weighed what to choose: Ignore him, let my pride stands, cried and made him feel guilty or be humbled and give in to his invitation to pray. I chose the latter, one that eliminates STS and which was more peaceful, practical (no tears) brought us to oneness, a relationship builder and God honoring. A day not starting with a quiet time first and devotion made the spirit weakened.
He prayed for me to be wise in choosing how I will react to him and rightly measure the gravity of situations. He confessed that social media is not so important and reminded me that we weren’t leaving until ten minutes before 10am. All that fuss for no good reason!
|Our captured photo after the initial marriage counseling session|