I am not the easiest person in the world to live with. I like things done a certain way and am tremendously impatient. I also set high standards for others and the frustration I feel when someone commits the dreadful error of not meeting my expectations can be intense. These added to a plethora of other social shortcomings can make life with me a challenge for anyone.
I like to surround myself with people that challenge me and my view on the world. I am able to extract a lot of satisfaction in the comradeship one can get in bonding with extremists and then holding on for the ride. This does not come without some personal risks because people like this can often exceed your comfort zone in ways you do not anticipate.
It is this type of personality that drew me so strongly to my wife and while we have had our fair share of gut wrenching, heart breaking experiences in 15 years I would not have traded any of it for the world. My wife is beyond extreme in so many ways and yet somehow has enough common sense to know when I need a reality check. In many ways we are the counter to each others nature and while it may be in your best interests to find someone to provide that balance the act of being pulled away from your chosen course of action can produce a bit of friction.
My wife lives in a world where it is no until someone says yes. I live in just the opposite world. She sees ruin where I see potential and I see a lot of potential and very little risk. Left to our own nature we could cause a lot of damage to those around us. Together we produce a lot of results and stability.
To give you an idea on how her brain works let me share with you some of her moments.
She is not safe unless all of the locks on the door are engaged, no matter the number. Our front door has for years had two locks and she was perfectly fine secured behind them at night. When I installed a security door last summer to let some air in the house this added two more locks to the front door area. Now at night all four must be locked or she canít sleep. This is the same woman who once did a combat assault of the house with an umbrella and a cell phone because she thought there might be a burglar inside.
She has a deep seeded need to be productive. A typical week for her is:
Monday ~ Friday: Teach headstart 10:00 ~ 4:30
Monday : Kids tennis lessons 5:00 ~ 6:30
Tuesday : Boy Scouts 7:00 ~ 8:30
Wednsday : Bible study and volenteer at church 6:00 ~ 9:00
Friday : Kids tennis lessons 5:00 ~ 6:30, Bible study and volenteer at church 7:00 ~ 10:00
Saturday: Seminary 10:00 ~ 4:00
Sunday : Worship and teaching 8:30 ~ 4:00
Along with this are shopping, cooking cleaning and chores the kids can't take care of.
I get tired just thinking about all of this but she revels in it. In fact on those rare occasions where the load is lifted she can have some trouble adjusting. A year ago she had a week where there was nothing to do. School was on break so she was not working, or attending classes. The kids had a lull in all of their activities and she found herself with literally nothing to do. She lasted about twelve hours and then started painting the kids bedrooms. No prior planning, she just had time to look at their walls and decided she did not like white after all.
She likes to try new things and is an easy sell for any beauty tips that she feels are worth a little indignity. I remember shifting position in bed one night and something wet, cold and slimy rubbed against my shoulder. It felt like a slug and as I reached for it I felt a few more against my arms and legs. I shot out of bed and flipped on the light to discover she had cut cucumbers to put on her face and shoulders and they were now all over the bed. At 3 am this is not the best way for someone with my unique talent of indignation to wake up.
She bought a juicer for us convinced that liquefied vegetables were better for you than just eating them. She made the most horrendous concoctions of vinegar and carrots and got me to drink it Ė once. My love for her did not go deep enough for me to drink another. Undaunted she drank this every day until her skin turned orange. The doctors told her to stop because she had consumed enough carrots for the next several years.
She nearly always goes to sleep no earlier than mignight, and rises at 5:30 most mornings just to attend morning prayers and intersead to our Lord for her family. She does all of this mostly unrewarded by all of us as we trudge through our days. How is it possible to take this woman for granted? How is it possible to take God for granted?
Yes my wife is an extreamist but her heart has the depths of the ocean and beyond for so many people. She touches lives every day and they leave better for it. When she walks into a room the lights are brighter and the faces of those who see her smile with antisipation of fellowship with her. She lives, she lives fully and Jesus's love lives though her.