Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In which I don't ask for what I want, but get what I need

Cue the Rolling Stones. This morning, D and I slept in--well, D slept in, and I woke up early to study because it's finals week in the graduate school world. He woke up when one of his co-workers called to remind him about the pot luck lunch that was happening today at his job, to which he was supposed to bring a relatively substantial dish.

When he informed me of the imminent need to cook something, I went into freak out mode. I have more studying to do today than any day this week, and I was incredibly concerned that any time devoted to buying ingredients, cooking a dish, and/or driving to D's place of business to drop it off would absolutely kill my study plans and cause me to crash and burn on my exam on Friday. (Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but I was annoyed, to say the very least.) D was, of course, non-plussed and took more of the attitude that things would get done when they got done and everything would work out fine. I'm not sure why I'm always suspicious of this attitude, even though it's pretty much always right.

So I spent most of the morning fretting--what if I didn't finish this outline, or that study guide? How was I going to have time to cook and read that chapter? Why was D so careless to forget this when he knew how precious my time was this week? Should I put my foot down and tell him that I could not do this, that what I needed was to sit down and do nothing but study all afternoon without stopping (even though, to be honest, I would much rather just spend some quality time relaxing with him)? That plan was what seemed best--to simply tell D that I would have to hunker down and couldn't help. I was *this close* to saying it when D asked me to let him give me a neck massage. And then take the dog out with him. And then go to the store and cook the dish and take it to work and have some lunch. When the neck massage started and we left the house, I was almost livid--both at D, for ruining my study plans for the day, and at myself, for not asking for what I needed. But then something magical happened--on the drive to the grocery, D and I got to talk and laugh and spend a little time together. Then he quizzed me on a few questions while we cooked. On the drive to his work, we relaxed together a bit more. We enjoyed our lunch. And by the time we got home, several hours of lost studying time later, I was relaxed and comfortable and no longer irritable, and sat down to knock out some of the most productive work I've had all week.

I know I say it to myself over and over again, but sometimes I think I just need a reminder that things do tend to work out, and letting go and doing what I want can actually be exactly what I need after all.