This weekend, J and I checked out a place for rent in the East Bay. We’ve been considering the option of moving out of the homogeneous, one-horse town we live in back to a place where the average age isn’t 25 years above ours and the options for adventure are more varied (though outdoor options here are plentiful).
Afterward, J commented that he was proud of me. “Why??” Because in the past, I would have jumped on the place that we saw. It barely eeked past the necessities, in that it had a roof and four walls! But the truly atrocious absence of upkeep and update of the place were obvious to me—for perhaps the first time, he said.
I’m a Satisfiser. Meet the lowest, most basic requirements? Done. He’s a Maximizer. Suuuure, this may indeed meet those, but what else is there?
Each approach has its benefits and deficits. I can tend to be okay with some pretty low standards (see my blog about being “shmutzy”!); he can tend to research at the expense of taking action. My way means there’s movement (mostly forward!); his way means he’s aware of a greater field of possibilities available for the taking.
There’s a concept of couples becoming more similar to one another over years, and while this has some pieces within me screaming, “AGENCY!!”, there is a benefit to being positively influenced by someone you’re so close to. I’m becoming more discerning; he’s becoming more content.
While we still have vast gulfs of difference in some areas, the ability to appreciate one another’s style for its benefits means we’re more effective and efficient. Being able to make decisions that raise my acceptable standard of living at a speedier pace means I get to spend more time living in and with those better things. And as Maybelline told me years ago: I’m worth it.