Reality Check

… in which I realise I’m not nearly as good at keeping my rules as I thought.

During a recent weekend check-in, Xander asked me how well I was trucking along with the rules I’d just recited. I said, “Alright…ish, I think,… Master.”

So he made me recite my rules again and expand for each one how well or not I’d managed to keep it of late. Then he would sum up my answer with “So that’s another no.” Oops. I couldn’t really contradict him, either. Now, the longer this interview went on, the more I dreaded where this was going.  It sure felt like he was making a mental tally list, and he was keeping that domly poker face that tells me exactly nothing.

Checkmate by Robbert van der Steeg
Checkmate, mate.

Now, a lot of my rules have an “at all times” attached to it. Like my respect, obedience, and honesty rule, and the “I am mindful of my tone” rule. If you ever tried to stick to those 100% of the time, come rain or shine, then you know how hard that is.
Some of my rules are restrictions on behaviour I want to control better. I can’t always stick to them by the letter, even if I do in spirit. And it’s not the end of the world when that happens. Example: “I don’t have alcohol or sweets without permission, except for two pieces of chocolate per day.” So I have to ask for anything else, and since I don’t ask very often, I usually do get permission – for this at least. But sometimes, when I’m about to melt down with the kids (an even bigger no-no, remember “mindful of my tone at all times”?) and I know that a single piece of dark chocolate right now can help me get back into better-mum-headspace, I won’t even message my man, but I do the needful thing, have that piece of “Samoan single origin 70%” crack, get back on track, and tell him later.

So, pretty much all of those not-sticking-to-my-rules were minor infractions. The big ones I always tell him anyways, and the little ones I usually tell him, too. Nonetheless, these instances still are, technically speaking, not sticking to my rules.

So… I finally arrived at the end of my list, and had gotten “So that’s another no” for about 90% of my rules. He didn’t say anything, just looked at me, still poker-faced. Inside, I was squirming like a whole can of worms while I waited for his response. When it became clear he wasn’t going to say anything, I finally asked, very quietly, “So what happens now?” After a seemingly endless time – at least a second or three – he answered, “Nothing. I just wanted us both to be on the same page regarding your keeping your rules.”



Picture: Checkmate, by Robbert van der Steeg.