What’s with the Teapot?

Teapot 011

As you may have noticed, I’ve smothered this blog with images of a little teapot. Initially this was completely impulsive, but I think I’ve decided to keep it. Mostly because it’s cute. But also because the teapot is what made me decide to start this little project and will, I hope, keep me motivated.

The other day my husband ventured out into the world to be productive while I retreated into the recesses of the bed and pulled the covers back over my head. And I didn’t like it. I didn’t like how much more disciplined and responsible he was being, and how much it was showing. We’re almost twelve years apart, and I often find myself feeling like I’m having trouble keeping up. Sometimes I think that I don’t have much to contribute to our partnership – he’s more experienced, more adventurous, well-read, well-traveled, successfully self-employed, socially well-connected, and multilingual.

So as I crawled out from under my pillow I made a decision. ‘If I’m going to stay home today,’ I thought, ‘I’m going to accomplish a lot. When my husband comes home today, I want him to think, “Wow, I have an amazing wife.”‘

So I got up, made myself presentable, and attacked the house. I shopped for groceries. I cleaned. I exercised. I gardened. I did laundry even though it wasn’t laundry day. I swept out the garage, the kitchen, the front walk, and the foyer. I whipped up a batch of fresh homemade pesto just because I had the time. I resisted the television. And right before he came home I made fresh bruschetta so he’d have a warm snack waiting in the oven.

I felt fantastic. What had started as a dreary, unmotivated morning had become a personal triumph – not just because my husband was happy, not just because my husband was proud, but because I was proud of myself. And don’t worry, I’m getting to the teapot.

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And so as he munched happily on the bruschetta, I turned on the kettle and went to fix his usual green tea. But before I submerged the teabag, I stopped. I wanted to be amazing. I didn’t want to deliver an expected, bland teabag I’d bought from Costco to the beautiful Japanese man sitting at the table, who I knew would’ve really appreciated a decent cup of green tea with delicate presentation; who I knew would’ve thought that this tiny act of thoughtfulness was amazing.

So I put away the teabag and reached into the back of the cupboard to get the sweet little teapot and the loose-leaf green tea from Satsuma, Japan. It made him so happy. And I felt amazing! That’s when I realized I didn’t want to be amazing sometimes, or only for special occasions; I wanted to be amazing all the time. I always wanted to bring him steeped loose-leaf tea in the tiny teapot. I always wanted to have homemade snacks ready, made from fresh ingredients. I wanted us both to be happy, healthy, and satisfied whenever we were at home, and I wanted to provide that.

The teapot helped me realize that through small acts of thoughtfulness and just a little bit of effort, I could be an amazing wife all the time. And I’m excited.

So that’s my goal. To understand myself, my relationships, and my world, and contribute something in return. What’s yours?

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