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.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. elizabeth
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 07:37:00

    Officially my favorite of your posts so far! It made me think and smile and love knowing you. Makes me want to take the test with my husband, too. He craves a clean house for some reason, and I want it but just can’t make it happen every day either. Love your honesty and the wedding photo at the end seals the deal.



  2. Paula Thelen
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 07:22:20

    That “anonymous” post above is Paula 🙂



  3. Anonymous
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 07:19:32’ll get a chuckle that I am a ISTJ just like Stewart:) See? I am “realistic” and “practical” …not negative:)



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