It started as a way to use up some egg salad that was in the fridge.
I took the diced egg, spring onion and mayonnaise mixture from the Tupperware and put in between two slices of bread, then added a few slices of cucumber, wrapped it all in greaseproof paper and gave it to my husband to take to work.
The next morning, while I was drinking coffee and getting the children’s school snacks ready, I slapped something else between some bread and threw it into a sandwich box with some carrot sticks.
Before I knew it, without ever having thought very much about it, not because he asked me to and not because he expected me to, I noticed that I had become a wife who makes her husband a packed lunch to take to work.
The minute my brain put this label on it – the label of a wife who makes her husband a packed lunch – it started to jeer at me.
Look at you, making your husband his lunch to take to work with him.
What is this, 1950?
Have you nothing better to do with your time?
And then one morning, I found I didn’t want to make the sandwich. The small thing of kindness which took no more than 5 minutes to do felt like a burden, a chore I was too emancipated and busy for.
He could make his own sandwich if he wanted it – I argued (with myself in my head)– he could get something from any shop, it was ridiculous to expect me to make a sandwich every morning (remember, he never once said he expected it).
I was watching all of this happening in my mind that same morning as I was writing in my journal like I do every day, so I wrote it out as it was happening, capturing the two way conversation with myself.
Capturing what’s happening in my mind and getting it onto paper is the most effective and efficient way I know to organise my thoughts that I’ve ever come across.
So anyway, here’s the convo I caught between me and that other me:
Me: I shouldn’t have to make sandwiches for my husband.
Other me: No, you shouldn’t have to. But do you really HAVE to?
Me: No, actually I don’t have to.
Other me: No problem then.
Me: But I actually liked making the sandwiches
Other me: Oh. What did you like about it?
Me: It felt kind. It felt good and I liked that. Making the sandwiches felt like a nice start to the day.
Other me: So why not make sandwiches today?
Me: Because it’s pathetic and I’m not that kind of wife.
Other me: What kind of wife?
Me: The kind of wife that makes her husband sandwiches.
Other me: What kind of wife makes her husband sandwiches?
Me: A downtrodden, put upon one.
Other me: Are you a downtrodden, put upon wife?
Other me: Would you become one by making a sandwich?
Other me: So you get to choose whether you make the sandwich. And it’s totally ok if you do or don’t. What feels good?
Me: Actually making the sandwich feels kind. I like how it feels when I start off the day like that. And it only takes 5 minutes and sometimes not even 5 minutes.
Other me: Nice. You’re allowed to do what you want and what feels good.
When I noticed that the only reason I’d started doing this small thing was actually for myself, because it felt good to me, not doing it felt ridiculous.
When I’d identified the brain error I was running – only put upon wives do stuff like make packed lunches and that making another human a sandwich made me pathetic – it was so easy to find my way out of the stuck thinking I was in. I made sandwiches this morning – roast beef, mustard and tomatoes.
A nice start to the day.
A lot of us are feeling quite blue right now. And there are lots of reasons to justifiably feel so.Something the blues hates to be around is kindness.
An excellent, tried and tested way to shake off the blues is to experience kindness – either as a receiver or as a giver. I love creating that for myself, equally as much as I love to receive it.
No matter what it is you’re doing or preparing, give yourself the gift of giving it openly and freely. The person who’ll benefit the most is – you so let yourself really have the good of it.
What I did above is identify a brain error that I have that was tripping me up. Part of the work I do with my clients is identifying brain errors they have that are either holding them back, stopping them from showing up the way they want to show up or causing them to lose time and energy by replaying out the same thinking and doing patterns over and over. We all have brain errors but once we identify them and know them, they have so much less power over how we make decisions and take action. If you want to speak with me about how I can help you, book a free consultation with me here.