Peace and Calm in the Windy City

Just a quick little post tonight because I haven’t written one in more than a week.  Our computer died, but now we have a new one, so I can blog-a-log again.  Woo-hoo!

We took a short trip to Chicago this past weekend.  Beatrix bought an American Girl doll.  That, my friends, is an entirely different blog post in itself, but I’ll process that some other time.

Chicago is an incredible city.  It’s my favorite “big city.”  This past weekend we got to enjoy Open House Chicago, a two-day event where anyone can have access to stunning buildings and architecture which wouldn’t normally be open to the public.  We took the kids to the Columbia Yacht Club (which is housed in a huge ship that is permanently moored in the harbor).  We walked through the ship, saw the dining room, the bridge with the old Captain’s wheel, and felt the very cold wind More

How Does a Sensible, Prudent Man Put Up With a Mess like Me?

[For the past week, I've been planning a post that I'm very excited about, and I suppose I'll get around to that soon (it involves audio and video and hilarity, and you will all love it, I'm sure).  I'm procrastinating because I know it's going to take time and energy.  I've only made a video like this once before, and my need for perfection is getting in the way.  Also, I'm afraid I'm going to break some sort of copyright law because of the music I've chosen for the video.  But I will get around to it.]

See that crafty video idea up there?  Notice also my penchant for procrastination?  Yeah, that’s pretty much me.  I’ve been pondering my personality lately.  My husband’s too.  Sometimes I feel like I have changed so much since I became a mother, I can’t imagine how he puts up with me anymore.

Ambitious and Lazy

Last night, we both took Meyers-Briggs personality type tests (free ones we found here and here).  I’m not sure why I feel this need to discover myself.  In one respect, I want to understand the differences between Stewart and me.  I want to be able to work together better.  In another respect, I feel the need to validate myself for being such a mixed-up pile of emotion, creativity, thoughts, ideas, inactivity, perfectionism, fact, and fiction.  Sometimes I feel like there’s something wrong with me and I need to “fix” my personality.

INFP Stressors

 

I did receive some validation after taking the test last night.  I fell somewhere between an “INFP” and an “ISFP.”  Here is what those letters mean (in a sort of summed-up version of my own):

a) where we focus our energy and attention (Extraverted or Introverted)

b) how we take in and process information (Sensing or Intuitive)

c) how we make decisions (Thinking or Feeling)

d) how we orient to the outer world (Judging or Perceiving)

I’m an Introvert, but that doesn’t mean I’m shy or don’t like people.  Rather, I’m introspective, aloof, distant, cynical at times, but generally laid-back.  I’m pretty balanced between my Intuitive and Sensing preference.  Intuitive people are imaginative, filled with ideas, and focus on what might happen.  Sensing personalities are observant, practical and down-to-earth.  My third preference (how I make decisions) is Feeling.  “Feelers” follow their hearts and crave peace, harmony, and cooperation.  Perceiving, my fourth preference, means Iam flexible, open-minded, and like to mix work and play.  I won’t go into more detail about the tests and meanings of all the Myers-Briggs types, but you can Google them or go to The Myers & Briggs Foundation Website, or to 16 Personalities, where there is a free test to find your personality type.

My husband is an ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging).  He’s dependable, reliable, quiet, unselfish, and able to take responsibility (though he doesn’t necessarily like to be responsible).

 

Or, as one mother told her ISTJ son, "You were BORN old." - I have literally heard this my whole life. Is being an old soul a good thing?!

 

So how the heck does he tolerate my multiple ideas that never come to fruition, my very consistent ability to be late to everything, my need to talk about my feelings incessantly, as well as my need to constantly ask him about his feelings?  (He’s fine, by the way.  Sometimes he’s “not bad,” or even “good.”)

The answer is “I have no idea.”  But he does tolerate me.  I guess when we fell in love, there was something about me that he felt was worth the “long haul.”  We compliment each other in strange ways.  He plans a budget and sticks to it.  I’m horrible with spending, but great with balancing our check book and figuring out all the numbers.  He helps me find more realistic ways to think about things and keeps me from taking my ideas to the next level without making a plan.  I compel him to have fun, find his passion, and “live a little.”  He keeps me motivated and helps me out of my moods by asking me to take a walk or ride my bike with him.

Our sense of humor is one thing we share, as well as our love of weird sci-fi/humorous/mystery/eclectic novels, movies, and TV shows.  Also, we cry about things.  I cry a lot.  I cry about happy things, sad things, feeling angry, feeling overwhelmed, and all the precious things our children do and say.  He cries during movies, especially movies about sports and overcoming obstacles.  He cries every time I read DragonTales Race to the Finish! to the kids.  He’s a private person, so I’m sure that sharing this information with all the Inter-Webs will bring him great joy.  I like to share my life – in writing, mostly – so, you know, he’ll understand.  Maybe.

And…that’s about it for Stewart’s crying.  Except for this one time.  He wasn’t watching a movie or listening to a story.  It was at our wedding, right after we walked back down the aisle together.  I’m pretty sure they were happy tears.

Crying while Wedding

(Okay, so maybe I cried a little too.)

 

Understanding our personality types will help us in the long run (and his personality will ensure there is a long run).  Even when I’m exhausted, but refuse to go to bed, or when I complain about the house being a mess, but rarely clean, we’ll still be okay.  I will (try to) keep my ideas to a minimum.  What would that number be, exactly?  How about 183?  That sounds reasonable.  I will stick to that budget of ours, as long as it includes just a teensy bit of wiggle room for the occasional fast-food dinner and random thrift-store find that I want to repurpose into something crafty (even though I won’t get around to it until five years from now…or ever).  I will probably-maybe-no-not-really clean more, and I might take better care of myself.

Stewart, on the other hand, will do the things he says he’s going to do.  He makes a plan and sticks to it.  I try to keep our options open, because I never know how I’m going to feel tomorrow.  Somehow, that works for us.  I love him, he loves me, and even though we frustrate each other, we will keep laughing and crying, and living this messy, crazy, beautiful life together.

He will wish it were clean and calm, but I know he would never want to change the beautiful part.  Because that beautiful part?  That’s US.

 

Three Dog Night: My Failure to Find the “Perfect Pet”

There is a story behind the name of the well-known 1970s band “Three Dog Night.”  The girlfriend of one of the vocalists told this story to the band members:

On cold nights in Australia, Indigenous people would sleep in a hole in the ground, with a dingo curled up next to them to keep them warm.

A chillier night required two dogs.  And if it was freezing, it was a “three dog night.”

 

“Three Dog Night” should conjure images of warmth and loyalty.  For me, however, the phrase is one that pops into my head when More

Dog Days

About two years ago, I sat Stewart down to have a serious discussion.  Almost an argument, but not quite.  I had been pushing for a while to get a dog.  Stewart likes dogs, but he’s not a dog person.  However, I made it clear that in the near future we would have to get one.  I never imagined our family without a dog.  It was a dealbreaker.  (Okay, not really, but I didn’t feel I would be “complete” without a dog, and I didn’t want to have any resentment toward him).  Stewart’s main concern was that a dog was a huge responsibility, and would take up too much of our time.  We had two kids that required enough attention as it was, not to mention two cats as well.

Lily

You wanna get what, now? After making us suffer through the babies?

Tuna

Whatever. As long as I can still sleep.

 

I am a dog person.  I love dogs.  If I see a dog anywhere More

Hopes and Dreams and Cleaning House

If The Lorix Chronicles were my home, then I would need to clean house (and possibly add an addition or two).  Thank goodness it’s not, because my real home is a disaster and if I wanted to add to it, I’d have to save up for 13 years to put in a 10-square foot closet.

 

(Isn’t she cute?  She’s all happy about vacuuming and dancing-while-cleaning.  This is the opposite of me.)

However, this blog does need a makeover, so in the next week or two More

All About the Love

The summer before I started my first year at the University of Michigan, my mom told me (warned me?) “Please don’t become a liberal.”  At the time, I suppose I considered myself a moderate-conservative Christian.  Of course, I was eighteen, and who knows who they are at that age?  I knew I was open-minded and wanted to be in a diverse environment, and I wasn’t opposed to the fact I had been accepted to what many considered a school which getting into was difficult.

 

Off I went from West Michigan to Ann Arbor, and, lo and behold, five years later (yes, five years – don’t judge), I left the University of Michigan proclaiming myself a liberal.  I don’t think I More

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