Life of Liz

Reaching your personal ‘Pitch Count’

In Authentic Life, Out of the Comfort Zone, Red Pill, The Countdown begins on December 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

It is less than 2 weeks away.  13 days to be exact.  Am I ready? Is our home ready?  Kiddos ready?  Yep, those are the millionmillion dollar questions.  I did grab a ‘glimpse’ of a paradigm shift the other day.  It was as I drove through a predominately Asian area and noticed several Grandma Types pushing strollers and watching kids play at the park and I remembered how common it is for Grandma Types to live with their kids and assimilate into their household.  And it’s not a huge deal; it is expected and common in the Asian culture.  It started me thinking that I am over thinking things.  I am going to try and spend some quiet time exploring ‘why’ I am so anxiety ridden about the ‘what if’s’ of my Grandma’s move in.  I already have an idea of where that is going to lead (selfishness, fear of not meeting my own expectations) but instead of shying away I am going to try and pro-actively peel back some layers of Liz!

Selfishness is tough.  Everything is ME oriented.  Everywhere I turn I am encouraged to think about myself, how I am affected.  And being an admittedly private and introverted person ME Mentality fits in easily. It is true, having Grandma in our home is going to cause me to stretch outside of my comfort zone if for no other reason than she will be IN our home day in and day out.  I haven’t been stretched in this way for a long time and its challenging for me to embrace what I know is going to be an uncomfortable process.  I am frequently disappointed with how often I slip into ME Mentality.  Why don’t I dwell on the obvious … Grandma is a 90 year old lady who is moving across the country; she is giving up her independence and entering a brand new phase in her life.  Think about it … you are 90; you’ve lived in the same area for most of your LIFE; you own a car and drive; you live in your own apartment, cook your own food, and pay your own bills.  BUT now you are moving 2000 miles away and changing 100% of your daily activities.  Putting it that way, why am I whining?  Yep, selfishness.  At my core I am all about LIZ – is God using this situation to stretch me, make me uncomfortable in order to work out some of the ME Mentality?   That is the first part of what I will ponder in my quiet time.

hair_1And then PERFECTIONISM raises her pretty (perfectly styled, colored and highlighted) head and whispers in my ear … it’s your job to make sure everything (Yep, everything) is planned, scheduled and orchestrated in a way that would make both Martha Stewart and Social Sally take a breath.  Grandma’s living space has to be perfect.  Grandma’s social calendar and introduction to the Sr. Center needs to be scheduled.  How Grandma will fit into our everyday life needs to be orchestrated.  And this is my struggle; all of the above are easy enough to accomplish – but when your own level of expectation is unattainable … failure is easy.  My controlling nature lends itself to owning (taking responsibility for) the expectations of others … does that make sense?  Grandma is happy to have an area to be her own within our house – it is LIZ that needs that area to be Martha quality and conveys the message “you are welcome in our home”.  Grandma is likely ok causally dropping into the Sr. Center – it is LIZ that needs to be assured that is it orchestrated so she has a grand time with her new BFF’s.   I will need to remember that I can’t control how Grandma adjusts to her new space, or whether she embraces the ladies at the Sr. Center.  Yep, control and failure.  This is the 2nd part of my quiet time focus.

And the countdown continues … The weekend was not the best for Henry and me.  In fact, it was pretty *yuck*.  He is stressed about money.  I am stressed about Christmas.  It took me the better part of a ruined Saturday to remember a few key things I’ve been reprogramming my mind to believe.  Henry is a MAN and I am NOT.  Seems simply but when Henry is stressed, he internalizes and works things out in his head.  On Saturday I took this personal and reacted accordingly.  Also, as a MAN (again, which I am NOT) there are times that Henry just wants to do MAN things – and on Saturday that meant cleaning out junk from the garage.  Mind you this wasn’t on MY very busy list – and again I reacted as such.

It is a learning curve – this submissive wife thing!  Equally daunting is keeping my commitment to thoughtfully review (via RED PILL glasses) the blips in our relationship to ensure what I am seeing is ACTUAL and not a hold back from yesteryear (a society that disregards the important differences between men and women).

Pitch count is the number of pitches thrown by a pitcher in a game. The pitcher wants to keep the pitch count low to avoid overuse that could lead to injury.pitcher

We were finally able to connect on Sunday night but we lost all of Saturday and some of Sunday.   Henry said something last night that is worth sharing.  When we got to the point of spanking, I gently asked him why he had not initiated a spanking on Saturday (because in my FEMALE brain, that would have been a quick fix).  He gave me a very MANly analogy from baseball, “pitch count”.  To Henry, since I had a fairly strong reminder on Thursday morning he thought Saturday was too soon for me to pitch again.  Now mind you, he was no longer concerned with my pitch count on Sunday night!  Nope, we talked, I apologized,
he explained and then he reminded me who was the leader in our marriage.  And since it was bedtime anyhow, and because HE felt so inclined, we ended the night in an explosive way, hint hint!

  1. Now then Liz, calm down girl, calm down! (I can hear my year 9 class at school giggling and saying to each other “Listen to Mother! Mother’s talking!”) I suppose the one benefit of being 60 is that I’ve encountered most scenarios in my long and varied life – and I hope to encounter lots more I can tell you. People look at us both and exclaim “You simply can’t be that age!” (my Beloved is 62), and we smile at each knowingly and remember how we learned to change 3 years ago. But that is another story. Yes, I realise it was before Dd, but it was at that point that I suddenly realised that I needed to change dramatically, and that I wasn’t going down without a fight. And I suppose it was about then that I first became aware of how submissive (I prefer the word ‘compliant) I actually was. But that is another story, and I am saving it all for my blog when I start one up. Simply put, we decided we would forget about age and enjoy life as fully as we were able. (I don’t mean spending vast amounts of money – this is nothing to do with money; but with the ability to enjoy ourselves the way we had when we first met.) I think I have already told you that we have many friends much younger than us, and that they refer to us as ‘the teenagers’, not because we act immature, but because we embrace life and are not afraid to laugh at life and at ourselves.

    There comes a time when you have done everything you could be expected to do to welcome your Gran. Now you need to sit back and watch developments. The only advice I can give you is that, okay, we sometimes had the odd run-in with my grandfather when he lived with us, but he was an amazing person. He was very eccentric and quirky. We still laugh when we remember his sense of humour and his political incorrectness! I just wish I had valued him more at the time. He died in 1981 and my mother followed soon after in 1982. And then everything went to hell in a teacup. That’s for another time too.

    Draw on your Gran’s experience of life. Get her to tell you stories. Get her to reminisce about little incidents in her life. Get your children involved. All family history is very important even if you don’t think so at the time, and whether it is good or bad, interesting or commonplace. She will love talking to you all and will also value her ‘time out’ when she can rest and relax away from the noise and hub-bub of a busy family. She will soon acquire her own niche in your lives. My beloved’s mum is only 85, but she is only 4 minutes away in a neighbouring village. She is always busy with the Church, and helping at numerous events around the village, And all this with replacement hips and bad arthritis among other ailments! I’m pretty sure she will end up with us eventually, but for now she values her independence, has her own little car, and has a 92 year old man friend!

    Money is one of the greatest issues in all marriages. We have all gotten far too taken up with the commercialism of Christmas and forgotten what it’s all really about. This year we decided we would stick to small gifts, homemade decorations (that means lots of greenery) and I will cook the dinner but everyone else will do the clearing up afterwards (which I hate anyway) and organise some simple family games that everyone can join in like charades. I realise that it can sound a bit naff, but it means that all the generations will be able to join in everything. (I hope it will go okay anyway – but I have a tendency to get het-up and stressed the same as every other woman on Christmas Day!)

    Oh dear Liz. I wish at times I didn’t know how to touch type because my thoughts come tumbling out so quick and when I look they are down on paper!

    I’m glad you explained things like ‘Pitch Count’ because I hadn’t a clue what you were on about. Just think. You are so much further along than us. To me, Thursday morning is looming in quite a scary fashion! But for once I have to trust the other half and that he knows what is best for me. At least tonight we are going out on our first ‘date night’. It will be wonderful just being the two of us without anyone or anything else to worry about. I’m so tired today after work because I have written nearly 60 reports after school and am running out of constructive things to say!

    I look forward to your next post. Remember, lots of calm soothing breathes; roll your shoulders and relax your muscles; cook a favourite pudding; take a walk and kick the leaves (or the snow); and if all fails, have a sherry!! Or a gin!! (Giggling uncontrollably now!)

    Hugs, Ami

  2. oh i know about controlling other people’s response / expectations and being responsible for them.

    i have recently had a situation with the parents. they are senior. very senior. 79 and 81. and could do with a live-in helper. they’re throwing me excuses left right and centre why they don’t need one. hello? maybe *I* need one if you’re gonna be living with me?

    no? you don’t wanna come live with me anymore then? you choose to remain in (darth) brother’s home instead? where the wife is an alien and the kids are gremlins? where you’ll be in danger of disappearing into the abyss without anyone knowing?

    yeah. ok. sure. go. *grrrr*.

  3. All’s well that ends well, as the saying goes. End up sums it up too doesn’t it. LOL

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