I take pride in what I do and want to be good at it. You’re probably the same. Nobody likes to fail, right? I’ve been a graphic designer now for about a decade. My hubs likes to put together his own comic covers and then bind his favorite series in the custom covers. I use my knowledge to help him with Adobe creative cloud software, printing, cutting, and color control. It kind of stresses me out sometimes but the smile on his face when one comes out to his satisfaction makes my heart swell. It’s like giving the perfect gift to someone and seeing the reaction that tells you they think it’s perfect too. Think back to when you did that for someone. Now you’re smiling too, aren’t you? 😉
His latest project required some trim marks printed so I helped him by saving new files on his thumb drive. We then headed to FedEx with his fancy paper and hopes and dreams.
We got to FedEx, swiped our debit card, and plugged the thumb drive into the printer. Nothing. It the thumb drive seemed to be completely empty! ARGH. I’m a bit irritated but I know they’re on there so I try jacking with some of the settings. When that doesn’t work we pull it out and move to another printer because, after all, technology is finicky like that LOL. But like I said, I know it’s not because of me! Hello! I do this for a living!
The second printer does the same thing. **Insert one of those bad words that Christians aren’t supposed to ever mutter but you know we do (another post, another time)** By this time my mister is frustrated. I absolutely HATE it when he gets flustered (side note, we’ve got to learn to handle our man’s frustrations. We’re not responsible for his emotions. He is. Again, another post for another time lol). This is something he’s really been looking forward to, working hard to perfect, and excited about getting done. Um, it’s not getting done.
That Little Voice in My Head
Did you grow up with good parents that expected much of you? I grew up with extremely high standards that I couldn’t ever seem to reach so I eventually cracked, quit trying, and completely rebelled. All those insecurities came rushing back. That little voice in my head loves telling me what a screw up I am, how stupid I am, and what a disappointment I am – that I’m bound to fail. And it spoke all those things in a matter of milliseconds. My knee jerk reaction is more often than not to get defensive. I know those stupid files are on there!
We move to a computer and we’re both getting tenser as I try to open a session on this public computer and he stands over my shoulder. He tells me where the USB port is so I give him the thumb drive to plug in. That’s when things simply fall off the cliff, hit the fan, screech to a halt, whatever. I’m scrolling through the user agreement when he tells me to “just hit accept”. I quickly snap back that you have to scroll all the way to the bottom and he retorts by telling me that I’m so stubborn. I get to the bottom and the “accept” button activates. The thumb drive shows no files. He yanks it out and heads to the car and I’m left in the store to shut down the computer session. To make matters worse, the only other customer in the store was a woman that we somewhat know!
How embarrassing are those altercations when they’re in public?! Please don’t tell me you’ve never had one.
Working Through It
After I finished in the store (I asked the employee if he thought it might be because I had saved them from a Mac), I went to the car and we finished our errands with minimal speaking to each other. I knew he was mad. He knew I was mad. We each needed that cool down period but we weren’t going to blatantly ignore each other when a question needed to be asked or answered. We kept things short and respectful. Through the years I’ve learned through this kind of failure to remind myself of my man’s good heart, his good will when we’re clashing.
We got home and he grabbed the laptop to head back. He asked me if I wanted to go and I simply but firmly said NO. In my mind I’m railing! Why in the world would I go help him after I had felt belittled and chastised in public by my husband?! For second servings?! Um, no. Thank you.
Once he was gone, I went to cleaning and worked out a lot of the anger I was feeling. Another thing I’ve learned is this helps in two ways. I work off pent up energy and frustration. He appreciates a clean house. I don’t remember exactly what I did but I think I scrubbed the kitchen floor or something drastic like that lol! After a while I was calmed down a bit and sent him a text message that said;
“I feel bad for not going but I didn’t want frustrations taken out on me or to be called names. I hope you get them printed and they’re to your standards. See you at home.”
I was still really hurt and mad. Can you tell from my text? I’m hoping the answer is no. I had to make an effort to be honest, non-accusatory, and sincere. Plus I let him know that I wasn’t packing bags to leave him. 😉 I didn’t lash out. I’ve learned plenty of lessons about lashing out in my younger days with my mister. You can see some of those here. Those are hard and painful lessons to learn. Was everything hunky-dory after he got back (without good prints)? No. There were still feelings of frustration and resentment on both sides. That doesn’t automatically go away with a text. But we’ve learned to (for the most part) control our words while working through a disagreement or problem.
After a few days we slowly closed the distance and reconnected. I had to be honest in my communication and not sweep it under the rug. I tend to do that. Since I witnessed fights growing up I lean to avoiding conflict. He had to let some little things go and watch his frustration levels. Through honest communication, respect, patience, and love, we finally worked our way back to normal after our FedEx fail.
Note, the prints have still not gotten done.
Thankful for grace,