… I don’t mean that in the physical sense…
… nor numerical sense…
but in the sense that when you are thinking/expecting one thing and you let your guard down; your expectations up – it would figure something would go wrong…
Greg and I had one of those moments tonight. But, through this moment one of us realized we were thinking in the wrong sense…
Greg has literally spoiled me these past someodd weeks; he has given me every thing I’ve been wanting – in the materialistic way – for years in just a span of 6 weeks. At the same time, he’s given me something I’ve never had before – an experience that I’ve never felt – and this something has no physical-ness or material identity, and that something is being in-love.
With the combination of the two, I have quickly adapted to a form of attention (so to speak) and let my guard down and allowed expectations to creep in. Generally, I don’t set expectations for myself or others. I would rather not feel let down or disappointed in something that I have no control over; and with this outlook I have probably missed out on a lot of opportunities in life.
I have a point to this, I promise.
I had let my emotional guard down (yes, I still keep some level of a guard up – old habits are hard to break) in regards to my expectations of Greg and our first anniversary (of being in a committed relationship together (which has been very emotionally trying, at times, for me)).
Last night Greg and I talked about our plans for this weekend and next weekend. It was decided, from my understanding, that we would celebrate my birthday more low key rather than what he was originally planning. I had no problems with this because we had agreed to celebrate my 30th birthday by going on a cruise together – which in my mind it didn’t make sense to go overboard (ha ha – pun intended) two birthdays in a row – and that we would focus more of our planning for our first anniversary. With that being said last night, my expectations of this anniversary and everything it means went up a couple of notches; and I let my protective guard (the one that prevents me from setting expectations) down.
Tonight Greg tells me that he’s having second thoughts about his plans for our anniversary; feeling that the amount of money that would be spent doesn’t justify the means. In so many words.
That started the emotional roller coast.
It upset me; it even hurt. I told him, after explaining that it’s not the amount of money spent, but what memories I am going to have about this event in our life (granted, not as big as our wedding but at this present moment in time – right here, right now – this is a big moment in my life with him) that it felt like he was placing a monetary value (as in what’s costing too much) on something that’s suppose to be memorable by the emotions we feel for each other and how we celebrate this milestone.
We talked, at length, about how we interpret milestones in life (birthdays, anniversaries, etc). To Greg, achieving those milestones, year after year, have none, if very little, significant value to him – he’s just happy to hear a ‘happy birthday’ on his birthday. Maybe this perspective is just a guy thing, I don’t know. And, in all honesty, I usually feel the same to somedegree. I don’t expect a lot of attention or recognition on my birthday, or something I’ve achieved; i don’t expect to be treated like a princess or queen for a day or anything to that degree. But, when it comes to an anniversary – something very significant as the first anniversary, then yes – I do have a higher level of expectations; after the first anniversary my expectations revert back to the levels of a birthday (a card at least).
Greg did some serious thinking about my feelings of our relationship and why this anniversary means so much to me and realized what he’s been doing and how he sees things.
Greg’s epiphany, so to speak, was that he’s always thinking in the sense of ‘seeing’ when it comes to the emotions and meaning of a gift – meaning he relates the emotional gratitude of the gift by what the person physically has but not by the emotional memory/meaning of the gift; he relates a value by money rather than by memory. He’s ‘seeing’ things with the wrong perspective.
I am really trying to express my thoughts into something more accurate and easier to understand than what I’ve written. It’s frustrating, slightly, that I am unable to write what I feel. I am seriously considering a writing class so I can learn to express my thoughts in writing better.
When he realized all this, he realized why I was upset by what he said earlier. He realized that it isn’t the amount of money spent on the anniversary but the memories I (we) am going to have from our time together – the whole package of us celebrating this milestone.
How does this figure out? Greg is going to try to think outside of the money box and more into what the meaning. This doesn’t mean we’re going to go balls out on things in the future – but he’s seeing the meaning of certain milestones in life rather than the cost to create those memories.
**** **** **** **** ****
Greg and I are very similar in thinking when it comes to money; if there is extra money, we’ll treat is as something to hoard. It’s very hard for us to spend money on things that are unnecessary, such as a hotel 15 miles up the road, even though Greg and I are financially stable at this time – it’s still hard for us to let go of the money (and this extra money isn’t including the amount in our savings account – which is for the purpose of an emergency) – even though we acknowledge that we are not putting ourselves in jeopardy by spending this money; we’re not delaying any payments to anyone; we’re not depriving ourselves of something we need over something we want. This extra money is available for us to have fun – enjoy this once in a life time moment of being ‘free’ from financial stresses. All of this we know is safe to do, but we’re having such a hard time doing it.
Thinking like this has its benefits and downfalls. I feel that Greg and I have our financial priorities straight and we know when we can’t afford something. Yet, at the same time, we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy the moments when we have the ability to treat ourselves.
It’s a vicious circle, money that is.