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For the last few weeks I have been working on a wedding shawl.  The pattern is from the ever fabulous brooklyn tweed and it has been an absolute joy to knit.  Once I knew we were getting hitched I suddenly became obsessed with the notion of an heirloom shawl.  Now that it’s finished (and awaiting the weekend hand-washing/blocking ritual) I return to the socks I was knitting for my beloved.  Pictured above, the yarn is a Raven Frog Farms bare feet.  It is lovely, soft and perfect.  Since my beloved has incredibly large feet and the pattern, It’s Tea Time by Stephanie van der Linden, has a long cuff we needed to add a contrasting toe.  :)

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about my own judgmental nature.  On the whole I’m not particularly judgmental, in fact, I would guess that most people would describe me as sweet and accepting.  But once I’m with my immediate family everything changes…  So far what I have come to is that a) this is a family trait – all of the women in my family practice guilt and judgment as a method of inspiring change in others, b) it’s all about perception and perfection, and c) it’s really difficult to quit!

As long as the actions of another in no way reflect upon how I am perceived I can enjoy people for who they are.  This is one of my greatest pleasures, in fact.  I love the girl in front of the Starbucks with the green hair, and the way my students make incredibly inventive terrible choices. But, once I perceive that I may be negatively impacted or viewed for the way someone else lives their life I become incredibly judgmental of that person’s actions.  It’s u-g-l-y ugly.

Lately this means that I spend far too much time harassing KK about her job search (she’s in a one year residency that will end in August), complaining about the mound of laundry at the end of the bed & our dirty sheets (that’s her chore), and poking her about the fact that she still doesn’t have a license.

Here’s the thing…  Her student loans are hers, but I obsess about the debt load we carry and thus bug her about full time work.  If I wanted clean sheets I could wash them myself (and I plan to this evening).  And the trait I love most in KK’s life is her slow pace.  She does everything about half speed compared to me.  Taking the bus and walking isn’t a problem for her, it’s a problem to me because I take it upon myself to get her places and then feel guilty when I can’t or when she’s late.  In all cases, it’s about my perception of how others will see KK’s choices and my choice to be with her.  And as I said earlier it’s UGLY.

There was a time earlier in our relationship where I had a clear sense of our individual natures.  We existed in the same spaces but separately and for the first year of our relationship we never fought.  There was this ongoing dance of placing the other first and celebrating the fun of being together.  Somewhere about a year and a half ago this changed in my mind and suddenly I was no longer interested in celebrating all the things I liked about sharing space, but refocused on everything that annoyed me.  Last night we stayed up giggling about nothing, but all I could think of as I fell to sleep was, “Why doesn’t this seem as fun as it used to?  Why does my daily life win out now when the joy of being together used to always win?”

I’m not really sure where this goes, but as an external processor it seemed like this might be a good place to begin.  As much as I ponder this one in the car as I commute it doesn’t seem to go anywhere so I will send it out into the intertubes to see if that doesn’t give me some traction as I try to tackle and curb this seriously nasty trait.

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