We’re still in that transitive period where the webstore is still closed (aka Warehawk Down), leaving the blog with nothing to promote. That leaves me a touch directionless, but also with free reign for Rayne free blogging. Since the year started with a series on my complex New Year’s resolution, and we are three-quarters of the way through January, I thought I’d post about an early resolution success.
One third of my three-tiered (nine subtiered) New Years resolution involved being there for my wife in the same way she’s there for me. Tina is the foundation and architecture of our marriage and family, and I am better in every way for having her in my life. However, as skilled as she is at handling the logistics of her life, mine, and our kids, she has her limits and can get overwhelmed. Enter Surrogate Tina.
Our oldest daughter’s 5th birthday is coming up, and I offered to handle planning the party. When that didn’t work, I insisted. When that didn’t work, I wrestled it from her. There’s a reason one-third of my Tina resolutions tier (11% of my overall resolutions) was about getting Tina to let me be her Tina.
Why and How?
Even though Tina is not currently stressed or overwhelmed by all she takes on, I felt it was important to take responsibilities now when we were both flexible than wait until she was overwhelmed, and I used Tina’s own words to make my argument.
Fix The Root Before It’s a Problem
Just the day before, we were talking about a mutual friend whom we often step in to help. Tina was pointing out that they ignore their problems when things are good, and then everyone scrambles to help when things are bad.
When Tina admitted that she can get overwhelmed but isn’t overwhelmed now, I told her (or she told her through me) that makes this the perfect time to help. It lifts a weight before she’s weighed down, and gives me momentum in the right direction.
I’m very strong. Everyone knows this. Tina has explained to me that in the 15 years we’ve been together, she’s noticed that because she lets me carry all of the physical loads, she’s gotten weaker.
Tina is way better at organizing things than anyone else who ever lived, and a magnitude even better than me. However, like her physical strength, I have noticed that my ability to organize has weakened the more I let her handle. That means that when she feels overwhelmed and needs me to handle more responsibilities, it’s like if I’m carrying a washing machine and hand it off to her when my arms are tired. I need more periodic responsibilities so that when she needs to hand off a load, I can handle it.
Before she succeeded the planning to me completely, she warned that giving up a responsibility causes her more stress than the responsibility itself, especially if I fail to follow through. Even if getting Tina to put the ball in my court was the hard part, I can’t treat that as a victory and drop the ball. (I apologize if you like sports for the mixed metaphor).
Onward to Victory!
That night I sat down with our daughter to make a plan for her birthday with her. I followed that up by designing invitations for the party. I reached out to a friend who bakes like a boss as a hobby or sidegig (shout out to Barb!) and got a quote for the cake my daughter said she wanted.
So far, the party planning is going well. I’m not locking Tina out of the planning, I’m just handling the organizing. Not only does this help Tina, I like seeing how my influence impacts the party. Because I’m taking the lead, I feel more ownership over the successes I’m seeing than if I’d just said I’d do whatever I was asked.