I am not a procrastinator by nature. I prefer to get things done first and relax later. Sipping that glass of wine on the patio just isn’t the same if my mind is full of a list of to-do’s. I have been know to have trouble sleeping if I don’t at least write down what I need to do the next day, be that at work or at home.
My husband (sorry honey!) on the other hand, needs time to unwind and relax before he is ready to tackle the to do list. If he feels stressed out or like he hasn’t had a chance to sit down all day, it is hard to be motivated to do yet more. He tends, therefore, to leave things to the last minute. No. Matter. What.
This can cause, as you might imagine, a bit of a clash. If I can’t relax until the dishes are done (yes. the kitchen is my #1 BIGGEST pet peeve and I NEED it at least appearing kinda clean before I have to make breakfast and lunches the next morning) and he says he will do them, but waits until the last minute… well nether of us really get what we want. And neither of us really relax. Me because I don’t have that ‘ahhhh everything is done’ feeling I crave and him because, lets be honest, I am a bit of a nag and will bother him about it until he does it. Sometimes I don’t actually say anything, my nagging is now telepathic. Which means he can’t get that wind down he needs to then feel the motivation to do the dishes.
But despite the occasional culture clash, it really doesn’t matter much which philosophy is followed- we get about the same amount done. I may not like to procrastinate, but I have my limits and there are many times I say ‘screw it’ to the less important things and let them slide. And my husband still chips in a ton around the house, despite his procrastinating ways. When you really think of it the “I can’t relax until everything is done” and the “I’m not ready to do stuff until I have had a minute to relax” both make sense. No philosophy is better then other other and both can get out of hand when practiced to the extreme. (* cough cough, clean kitchen obsession*).
I am going to go out on a limb and assume that within every family there are culture clashes like this. I don’t mean culture in the traditional sense, although I think many families have that too, I mean culture in the ‘mode of operating’ sense. How we deal with life and what life throws at us, differs so widely from person to person. Some people like to talk it out when a conflict comes up, others want time to process. Some people like to plan ahead, others prefer to be spontaneous. Ect. Ect. Most couples I know may have similar interests, but have at least some of that ‘opposites attract’ tendency at play as well.
So how do we deal with these clashes? Do we change? Do we just muddle through, somewhat frustrated? Do we argue about them, trying to get the other to see the ‘wisdom’ in our ways?
In our house, we mostly muddle through. I try to be less obsessive about the kitchen, or just get up and do it myself. My husband tries to do the dishes before they drive me crazy. We muddle. I don’t really think people change much when it comes to ‘mode of operating’. We change our opinions, our perspectives, our priorities… but our mode of operation? Not so much. Just like our little bad habits that drive our partners nuts. They aren’t going away.
So tell me, do you have a culture clash in your house? Is it over procrastination or something else? Have you found a better way to deal beyond just muddling through?