One evening, my husband and I were cleaning up the kitchen and I noticed an empty carton of ice cream on the counter.
“You finished the ice cream?” I asked.
“Yup,” he said, continuing to load the dishwasher.
“Wow,” I said, “that was fast.”
He just nodded and kept moving.
In that moment I realized I was being passive-aggressive.
I thought about what I’d really meant by what I said as I cleaned the stove. My husband and I have been focused on a healthy diet (not “diet,” as in “restricted calories,” but “diet” as in “the foods we choose to eat”) for the last couple of years and, for the most part, we’ve both done well with the changes we’ve made. We follow the Whole30 guidelines because we find we feel better when we do. Despite this, we have both “fallen off the wagon,” at times, but we’ve encouraged each other and tried to motivate each other to get back to eating the foods we know are good fuel for our bodies.
So, if I could go back in time I would not have said what I did. I would have said something much more supportive and clear.
But I can’t go back in time. So I did what I could.
I told my husband: “I’m sorry I made that comment about the ice cream.”
“That’s okay,” he said. “Tonight’s Fat Tuesday.”
The French words “Mardi Gras” translate to “Fat Tuesday” in English and both refer to the day of eating and merrymaking that precedes Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. My husband and I observe Lent but we’ve also started using “Fat Tuesday” as a shorthand way of saying we’re going to return to our regular, healthy, eating habits.
“Cool,” I said, and took the recycling out to the garage.
Sometimes I catch myself before I say something passive-aggressive, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have to hear myself saying the words to realize how negative they are. When that happens, I take a moment to reflect and then offer a sincere apology.
What do you do when you hear yourself saying something less than positive?