MAKE NOT A TOIL OF YOUR PLEASURE

Make not a toil of your pleasure (Old English Proverb).

This saying reminds me of my husband, Ray.  Ray has a way of turning anything into work.  When we got our horses it started out being great fun for me.  We use to just sit in lounge chairs watching them.  Then we spent time leading them around, brushing them, and just spending time with them.  After a while, there started to be “rules”.  There were techniques and strategies required.  There were obligations–a certain amount of time HAD to be spent with the horses every day “for training and to gain respect”.  There were exercises to go through before riding (“you have to earn respect on the ground before you can ride”).  It did not take very long for me to completely lose interest.  It became work not fun for me.  The same thing happened when we tent camped.  We almost always ended up arguing because there were certain ways that everything HAD to be done.  Taking everything down was even worse because every single piece of equipment had to be put in its case precisely the way it came brand new.  Eventually we purchased very expensive equipment from L. L. Bean to make setting up our tent and camp site as easy as possible.  After a while we did establish a good routine where we could enjoy our camping trips without too much stress and anxiety.  It was never 100% stress free though (not the set up or take down part).  Over the years Ray and I have learned each other and grown to appreciate our differences more.  I’ve learned that Ray’s precision and attention to detail is why he is so good at the things he does.  He takes pride in his workmanship and does absolutely nothing second rate.  I, on the other hand, continue to approximate and complete tasks in the minimal way necessary to get it done “good enough”.  We’ve learned to separate our roles and tasks so that each of us are able to use our skills and talents in the way comfortable for us.  We’ve learned not to interfere with each other’s “way” and to appreciate our uniqueness.  Having a relationship is less about compromise and more about complementing each other.  We have stopped trying to change each other and just roll with it.  We did, finally, upgrade to an RV and have enjoyed the use of our RV much more than we ever did our tent.  I’ve just accepted that Ray needs adequate warning on a planned trip so he can spend his week “getting ready” which I call work and he calls preparation.  I’ve learned that Ray actually enjoys this part of any planned trip.  The preparation before hand is part of his fun.  I’ve learned to allow him his “fun”.

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