Shutting a door on self-criticism

I’ve had to make some adjustments lately, mostly revolving around the absence of my husband and life partner, who is out of state for several weeks on a really cool theatre gig. We’ve known this was coming for a long time so I had plenty of space to prepare for the shift. I myself have a couple of big commitments during the beginning of this separation, and of course I work full-time. Then he’ll be back for a few days, before leaving again for the last bit.

It’s an adjustment for me because about four years ago we agreed that he would leave his horrible office job and focus on taking care of the household while I continued at my very good job. I hate doing things around the house, especially when I’ve worked a full day. I can barely make a decision about what to have for dinner when I’ve spent the entire day managing multiple people’s needs and deadlines and making one decision after another. So this arrangement has worked out extremely well for me. I don’t have to worry that bills are getting paid, that there will be clean clothes, that we’ll starve, etc. — until, of course, just now.

My milestones in the last week or so having included running our “new” dishwasher myself for the first time since we got it and this morning I took out the garbage for the first time since I can remember. I’m an adult! I’ve managed to feed myself, for better or for worse on occasion. Frankly I consider having not outright binged every night of his absence to be a victory. I’ll have to go to the grocery sooner rather than later, but rather than dread it I look forward to the challenge of making good choices and not eating like a third grader while he’s gone.

But this post isn’t really about any of that, that’s just sort of a where-I’m-at update.

A few months ago, at the recommendation of a most monstrous and wonderful friend, I started the practice of choosing my outfit the night before a work day. It takes less than two minutes and I don’t think twice about it. I’ve been doing it just long enough to forget why I started doing it in the first place, so it is not all that surprising that I chose to forgo this practice last night in favor of continuing to lay on the couch and fall asleep to iZombie.

Then this morning, for about ten minutes past the time I should have been getting out the door, I tried on every skirt in my closet. It’s only like, six or seven, but the more items I tried on the more anxious I got, and the more critical I became of how I looked in everything. It was only ten minutes, but it was ten minutes of anxiety of self-judgment that was totally unnecessary and totally preventable. So we’re not doing that anymore. Even if it’s the best episode of iZombie evar.

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