29 December 2011

The Little Things That Bring Me Joy

It's funny how being in love changes a person. I used to be one of those people that hated household chores. I did them because I had to, not because it gave me any pleasure. I never really had the satisfaction of a job well-done. 

Cooking, sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, doing the laundry...cleaning the BATHROOM?


Dishes, especially, were of great personal loathing to me.

God, I always HATED dishes. They seemed to pile up endlessly. I could never manage to keep up with them. It was impossible to get my ex to rinse off his plates and bowls, resulting in a disgusting and ugly mess inside our dishwasher. Eventually, it ended up breaking completely, and I was forced to clean all those dishes by hand, once again, fighting with the disgusting, dried-up mess on plates on a daily basis. 

All this isn't even taking into consideration the fact that I was disabled before I ever married my ex, and trying to grasp dishes with my disabled hand tends to cause me tremendous pain over time.

Succinctly, I loathed dishes and everything to do with them, and I couldn't stand my ex's inconsideration of me. He didn't care that I had to work extra hard to make the dishes clean because he was too lazy to run them under water. He didn't care that doing so was causing me a great deal of physical pain. He clearly thought that was the only thing I was good for-- cooking and cleaning up after him.

This, among many other things, led me to loathe him just as much as I did all those hated household chores. Eventually, it led to the dissolution of our marriage altogether.

And you know what? In a lot of ways, I'm glad it did, because if I hadn't gotten so thoroughly disgusted with this lazy, dirty man, I never would've gotten the nerve up to move so far away from home...where eventually I did end up meeting the one true love of my life. Thank you, God.

Things have changed with me in a complete 180 since I met K. A lot of the things I couldn't ever stand to do back then give me a tremendous amount of satisfaction and joy now.

The reason why is because I know that he appreciates everything I do for him.

I love to cook now, when I used to hate it beforehand. I never got any pleasure out of it, because the simple fact was that I knew my ex didn't appreciate me or anything I did, especially when it came to things like running the household. Doing the laundry, while not entirely pleasurable, is a lot more enjoyable to me because I know that doing it makes my HOH proud of me.

My nemesis, dishes? Oh yes. I LOVE doing the dishes now, surprisingly enough! We have a dishwasher, and lately it's been acting up. Instead of whining about how it needs to be fixed so that dishes come out spotlessly clean like they're supposed to...I decided instead that I'd start washing all the dishes old school-- by hand. It needs doing multiple times a day to be sure that a huge mess doesn't end up all over the kitchen counters, but I love doing it anyway...because now I take pride in the appearance of our home and I want things looking nice all the time. 

It doesn't even bother me that much when my hand starts hurting me, because my sense of pride and the feel of his love for me kind of just...covers it up. It's a pain worth bearing for me because of the rewards I get from it.

The biggest reason for all this is simple: I want my HOH to be proud of me. I feel like I need a sense of accomplishment, and making sure that everything is neat and in order, all nice and clean, is one way of doing that. I know for a fact that K appreciates everything I do around the house, because he tells me so regularly. It bolsters me up and makes me want to keep on keeping on, and even find new and better ways of doing things in order to keep that appreciation and sense of pride.

This is one of those things that just makes sense, and it isn't a one-way street, either. It's very nice to feel appreciated, and I love it. However, it's also very easy to forget to show appreciation for the things your partner does for YOU. You should always remember to show appreciation for your own HOH. Let him know that the little things he does for you are important to you and make you feel special-- even if it is something simple like changing the oil in the car or mowing the lawn. Those things take time, too, and are just as much a reason to appreciate him as he does for you.

Showing appreciation for each other is another way of showing love. When it's a two-way street and both partners are feeling appreciated, it makes them want to work harder, for their partner, for their family, and especially for themselves. 

Stay appreciative, and you'll find that your relationship stays strong, too!

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