an early Christmas present for my husband

by Joanna on January 7, 2013

We hit quite a bit of traffic on our way home for Christmas. Mike is a pretty even-keeled person, doesn’t really get worked up about things. But when it comes to traffic–not so much. He gets super grumpy and frustrated by it. He’ll start huffing and puffing, throwing his head back, you get the idea.

I don’t think we’d even hit Baltimore before I heard this comment: “Yep, time for more traffic, it’s been 5 minutes since we were sitting in traffic, it’s time.”  It was going to be a long ride.

Of course, I didn’t want to start my Christmas vacation on a grumpy mood and Mike didn’t either–we’d planned to take our time on Saturday morning and go to our favorite coffee shop before hitting the road.  I perused the bookstore for a few minutes on our way out (one of my favorite activities) and found three gifts!  Then, I was ready for a nice leisurely drive.

Then traffic hit.  I could feel Mike getting irritated as we crawled along.

And then it hit me: just because he’s grumpy doesn’t mean I have to be grumpy.  I can sit back and enjoy the ride–regardless of how fast or how slow we’re moving. So I did. I relaxed into my seat and into my thoughts and looked out the window.

I enjoyed the ride.  I really did.  I was so proud of myself for not taking on his mood.  I have a tendency to pick up other people’s energy but with that realization comes the power to make a different choice.  So I did.

Getting grumpy because Mike’s grumpy not only sours my mood, it doesn’t help Mike either. You know what they say “happy wife, happy life.” So I decided to be content, at peace even in the traffic and even with grumpy-pants sitting next to me, and decided to let Mike be in his mood–not trying to change it or tell him why it was silly. That’s like a double early Christmas present if you ask me.



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