Tuesday, May 10

Daddy Diaries: Kicking the Habit

Happy Tuesday, bloggers! I am so excited to finally unveil the very first daddy diary post by my amazing and talented husband, Ben Tennant. He is not only the most attractive man I have ever seen, but he is also the most caring, genuine, strong, manly, and godly man. I hope this post opens your eyes to a perspective that isn't often noted, but fundamentally important. Take it away, babe!

Hello all. I’m glad to be here at Joy Unbundled for my first daddy diary. Appropriately, I’m starting off with a post about remembering who I am.  Hopefully, it will help you guys start to get a feel for who I am.
I guess I will start this story out on Friday. I had had a pretty rough day at work. It wasn’t the kind of rough day where you’re just swamped with a ton of work, but one of those days where it feels like you are the one black sheep in the middle of a flock of white ducks. (Yes, the change of species was on purpose.) Basically, what happened was this: My boss told me that I wasn’t dressing professionally enough for my job. I know, I know. That doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But, I went through this about 6 months ago and I bought a brand new wardrobe. However, this new wardrobe apparently still wasn’t enough. However, the point is, I sat on that all day long. Then, when I came home, I was finally ready to just relax and love on my wife. However, that’s not the way it was when I got home. 

Amy had finally had too many days of me coming home tired and grumpy from work. So, we had a big, long, and painful conversation where we discussed some of the things we felt like we were lacking. Through the midst of this conversation, I started realizing that the reason I was coming home from work all grumpy and burnt out wasn’t because I had been working eighty hours or working on creating the next hadron collider. However, it was because I was trying to live up to other people’s expectations of me. I wasn’t trying to do the best job I could, I was trying to show my boss and my coworkers that I was doing a good job. I wanted to please them. I started really pondering on this and I realized that it went much deeper than that, though. I wasn’t just doing this at work. I was doing this everywhere in my life, especially with Amy and with church. 

With Amy, I would constantly seek to do things that would make her happy. I didn’t pay attention to how I was feeling. I didn’t take time to tell her that I was upset, or that something was bothering me. I just did what I could to make sure that she was okay. I didn’t trust her to be able to deal with reality. I just glossed over things, suppressed things, and ignored things. This is not something that had been happening for a day or two, or a week. This is something that I have done since we got married. I even went so far as to turn arguments around so that they could be my fault. I believed that if I could take the blame for something, then I was in control. I could fix it at that point. However, I was cheating my wife. Amy couldn’t work on things. The same problems kept happening over and over again because I wasn’t letting her learn from her mistakes. She had no clue they were her mistakes. Plus, the longer it went on, the more the pressure started to mount on me to fix “problems” with me that just didn’t exist. I was doing everything as if she did not have the ability to handle all of this. 

At church, I would serve and strive to make delicious coffee for the people coming through the doors. I would try and make sure that everyone who was helping to set up was happy and in a good mood. I would even occasionally sweep and mop so that the floors looked good. Now, on their own, none of these things are bad, in fact, they’re great. However, I was doing all of them because I knew they should be done. I did them out of arrogance and out of pride that I didn’t think anyone else could do them. I got burnt out. I dreaded going to church. I dreaded having to wake up and go to work again on Sunday morning. Instead of being excited about going to worship my creator, I was worried about whether or not I was going to be able to keep the coffee pots full enough so that everyone who wanted coffee, got coffee. 

Through all three of these scenarios, church, home, and work, I was seeking to please people. The biggest problem with this is that humans are broken beings that understand things are broken. Therefore, they are immensely unsatisfied. Trying to live up to these standards are addictive, destructive, and consuming. I realized that through all of these things, I had forgotten who I was. I had forgotten those things that I used to strive for. I no longer made decisions on me or what I thought was best. I made decisions based on what I thought others thought was best. This made me deaf to God. I was out of touch with my heart and my spirit. My mind had taken the lead. I was confused, apathetic, and distant. I let myself get distracted and busy and neglected taking time to just be me. So, that’s where I’m at now. I’m trying to remember how to be me. I’m trying to start living more and worrying less about how I’m doing every little thing. 

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