The plane landed and I hurriedly walked to meet my ride. After having been gone for a five day business trip, I was eager to meet my family at my son’s flag football game. After we shared hugs and heard about the kids’ week, my husband informed me that he had moved everything out of our office to install some carpet. “Oh!” I said, trying to manage my surprise. He went on to say, “I labeled anything that I moved and organized it in bags and laundry baskets so you can find it.” Unsure what to say next, I replied, “Wow, that was a lot of work!” Inside, I was a mess of emotions ranging from, “Oh my, I wasn’t ready yet!” to, “I can’t believe he moved all my paperwork! How will I find…” to, “He was just trying to finish a project we had been planning,” to, “Don’t blow up. He put a lot of work into this. Show him respect. Calm down. It had to be done at some point.”
My daughter was sitting in the bleachers with us and I didn’t want to have a discussion about it in front of her. I wanted to enjoy seeing my family and watching my son. As I processed the thoughts in my mind (thankfully my ability to keep my thoughts to myself is getting better) I chose to have a positive posture and hope for the best. I said something encouraging about it to my husband and we watched the game.
On Monday, the next morning, I remembered that I needed to pay for my son’s piano lessons on Tuesday. But, before I could do that, I needed the contract so that I would know how much to pay. These were the thoughts going through my mind.
“Where is the contract? Yes, on the desk in the office. That is where I left it. Oh, but the desk is not in the office and everything on the desk is in bags and laundry baskets. Which bag should I look in first? There are so many. It will surely take hours to sort through all of it. I don’t have hours to find it. Honey, look what you have done. Now the contract is lost and I will have to spend hours looking for it!”
Frustration was building inside of me. Historically at this point in a situation like this, I would have been upset with him, blamed him, and shared my feelings in an inconsiderate way. But, I am trying to get better. I remembered that I had decided to see this situation in the positive, to give my husband the benefit of the doubt, to remember that he wasn’t purposefully trying to make my life more difficult. So … I said nothing.
That evening I sat down on the couch to get ready to practice piano with my son. I opened up an orange folder to reference his practice list. To my surprise, in the pocket adjacent to the practice list was the envelope with the contract. I had not left it on the desk in the office! It wasn’t “lost” because of him, rather because of me! I was humbled. I was relieved. I was thankful. I smiled. I took a deep breath. I sat up taller. Sure I was grateful to have found it, but I was more grateful that my choice to see things in a positive light enabled me to avoid blaming my husband for something that he didn’t do, enabled me to show him the respect he deserves, and helped me to avoid unnecessary friction in our relationship.