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October 01 • No Account Me

Day 815 A fourteen-hour car trip began today with an online 12 Step meeting from the passenger seat. My wife and I were on the way to spend a few days with her family, and she suggested I not miss the weekly meeting that I've been doing virtually for several months. The topic today was about how we react when we feel the pressure to get things done, pressure that usually comes from our wives when domestic chores are overdue. I started my share by disclosing to the meeting that my wife was driving the car (that's not intended to be metaphorical), that she could not see or hear them (yea headphones), but that she could hear me. I jokingly commented that I had to be careful what I said in the meeting so that I didn't give her any information or ideas that would invite her to hold me accountable for anything. As for the topic, I shared that I learned a long time ago that the guilt, anger, and frustration I would often feel when pressed to finish a project, or help with something I didn't want to help with, was truly in my head. It was about my desire to control my time, the guilt that I hadn't done something without being reminded, and the knowledge that my life would be better if I'd do things when they needed doing, instead of when I wanted to get around to them. Yeah, there's nothing there that could be used against me in a court of in-laws! After the meeting, we immediately switched seats, and my wife started her Zoom meeting that lasted ninety minutes or so. A few hours later, maybe half-way to our destination, the subject of my meeting came up. My wife did not want to talk about any of the examples I had used to describe my procrastination tendencies, but she did want to talk about my little joke. "Are there really things that you don't want me to help you be accountable for?"
"Of course not, it was just a joke." I had responded way too quickly. Of course, it was not just a joke. It was more like the damn truth laced with nitrous oxide. It took me a few minutes to sort that out in my mind. A few minutes later, I confessed — or claimed — that I am concerned about putting her in the position of being my accountability police. I said I was also reluctant to empower her with the knowledge of my own knowledge of my weaknesses. She took that to be a form of deception and secrecy, and perhaps it is. I did not defend the position nor the resulting lack of transparency that would be inherent therein. But I also argued that it is important for me to own that defect right now. I am not proud of it, but it is mine; it is me. I was a little bit proud that I could joke about it, but I also had to apologize for joking about it because she doesn't find that sort of humor funny. But again, that's me. It's always been a problem between us, although the more we talk about it in the moment, before the resentment kicks in, the more we appreciate each other's perspectives. I do want to be accountable to my wife; I just don't want her to be the one to decide when I am accountable and over what issues. Is that too much to ask? Probably. By the way, the new car is excellent, and the ride is smooth. Take that and put it in your metaphorical pocket! –JR I'm a cultural infidel, coming from the heart Free thinkin', hoodwinkin', unblinkin' man Start trouble, burst bubbles, join my caravan Someone's got to talk about accountability –Jimmy Buffet, “Cultural Infidel"

October 01 • No Account Me
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