I made a fantastic dinner. Filet Mignon, with home-made croutons and mushroom and pepper sauce. It was great – expect the oil for the potatoes was too hot and messed all over the hot plate of the stove. Cleaning it, I burnt the cloth, so I decided to let it cool, and I went to watch an episode of Top Gear, on my laptop…and fell asleep.
My house-mates got home, saw the mess, and were less than impressed – and woke me to clean it. To say I was a little annoyed is putting it mildly, and Tuesday morning, I woke with fire in my belly, ready to have it out about the assumption that I would simply leave the mess…after all, I had intended to clean it, but the stove top was too hot to do it…and I just fell asleep before I could do it. Right?
When I called my housemate, something in her voice made me stop…and with a calm voice ask if she was OK. Turns out she’d had a HUGELY rough day, herself, and seeing the kitchen in a mess had just been the final straw. I listened to what she said, felt like a dog because I had been angry, and talked her through some of her emotions. It became all about making her feel better, about her rough day, and nothing about the kitchen, or how I felt. A strange thing happened…I suddenly realised that I could be a compassionate person, that part of being selfless meant swallowing your pride, even when you had your nose out of joint, and helping another person with their feelings, and understanding that anything you had been angry about, was merely because they had a rough day. In the past, I would have taken offence – gotten the wind up, because why the fuck does YOUR bad day have to impact on ME? But sometimes, it does. And part of this growing up and healing thing, is to roll with the punches.
I’m glad I didn’t explode on the phone, but chose to listen, first. I’m glad that I could share an emotional moment with my housemate, and make her feel better – it made me feel good. It also restored the peace in the home, and in me, about the home.
I guess I’m growing up a bit, then, at 38. Just don’t tell anyone!
© Dave Luis 2013. All Rights Reserved.