We’ve all heard or read Aesop’s Fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. We’ve laughed at the silly relationship dynamics between Hare’s bragging and Tortoise’s plodding along. I always wanted to be the Hare—to move quickly and speedily.
However, I don’t and I’m not.
I’m a Plodder. Always have been; always will be.
No matter how fast my brain says I can move, my body plods along.
There’s no changing my speed—trust me I’ve tried. I wish I could strap on a jet-pack so I could get things done more quickly.
I married a Jackrabbit.
My sweet husband moves around me at lightning speed. He always has; he always will. There are times, I must admit when I get exhausted just watching him move from one thing to the next while I plod along. Guess he got the jet-pack.
This great speed difference between the two of us creates interesting relationship dynamics!
Add to that my stubborn nature and we have a recipe for either intense confrontation or hilarity. Depending on the day, or the moment, take your pick.
Early on in our marriage, we were getting ready to leave on a trip. My husband wanted to leave first thing in the morning. For him, that meant no later than 6. While he was at work the day before, I packed up as much as I could so we could throw the last minute things in the suitcase in the morning and be on our way. I plodded along. All was good.
When the alarm went off at O-dark-thirty, we both got up.
Jackrabbit moved at his normal pace. So did Plodder. The relationship dynamics sparked.
“Why are you moving so slowly? We have to go!”
“I know. I’ll be ready. Why are you bugging me?”
“Come on! Let’s go!!”
“Don’t push me!”
And on this went…and escalated. By the time we got in the car, we were both frustrated, upset, and not ready to leave on a trip anymore. Because I moved so slowly, he didn’t think we’d leave on time and was frustrated by this assumption. Because he pushed me, my stubborn nature kicked in causing me to slow down even more. I knew what time he wanted to leave, but I didn’t want to be pushed. A successful way to ease the situation, right? If memory serves, we left on time. But it wasn’t pretty.
We laugh hysterically about this now!
It didn’t take us long to learn to give each other the grace to get things done in our way.
Even if our way didn’t mesh with the other person’s way. We learned to move together in an understanding dance instead of competing against each other. We began the extraordinary journey of living in harmony with our best friend.
I’m so thankful for Jackrabbit’s speed.
One time while hiking, our youngest got dangerously close to a limestone cliff edge. As he was backing up toward the edge, not realizing the danger he was in, my Jackrabbit shot toward him and caught him just in time. My Plodder’s legs wouldn’t move fast enough. Even now, my heart seizes at the memory.
Jackrabbit still moves with lightning speed; Plodder still moves at a snail’s pace.
Things get done…most of the time. We leave on time…most of the time. The Jackrabbit and the Plodder have learned how to dance together in mutual understanding. It’s not perfect, but it is beautiful.
Are you married to someone that functions at a different speed than yours? What ways have you found to dance together? I love to hear your stories.
Kirsten D. Samuel
Aftershock Recovery Coach
8-week Program, Custom-paced Coaching, Remote, or In-person Sessions