Blogging is one of the many things I’d like to be a regular part of my life, that I enjoy and think is good for the soul, yet seems difficult to keep up with regularly. Other activities on that same list include sewing, photography, guitar, flute, dog training, and birding. What are your favorite activities that don’t seem to get done?
I have a lot of posts in mind but for this morning I thought I’d talk about the title of this blog. “The Wolf and the Tigress” is a mouthful! I love how it symbolizes my marriage though. Greg and I are so different in some ways, but of course quite similar in others. I like to think about how peoples’ favorite animals sometimes reflect their personalities. Greg’s favorite animal is the wolf. We actually went to the wolf sanctuary recently which was fantastic.
Wolves are remarkable animals. They have complex social structures, and a strong “pack mentality”. Everyone has a job, and everyone does their job. The pack survives because there is a leadership system and delegation and routine and methods. They spend a lot of time around each other, and they might squabble sometimes (wolf arguments are quite vicious sounding actually!) but it’s just part of life. They are able to take down even large prey like elk or moose due to their teamwork. Wolves can definitely be described as team players.
It makes sense to me that wolves would be Greg’s favorite animals when I consider his personality. For one thing, he loves spending quality time with his family. I was blessed to spend a week with him at his family’s house recently, and I noticed how frequently everyone would gather in the living room and talk, play with the dogs, or just “be together”. Greg is definitely a family man and I love that about him. He cares strongly about his “pack” and thinks of those he loves, not just himself. It seems that he would rather spend time with his loved ones than do just about anything else. In fact his entire family was extremely welcoming to me and made me feel like I became part of ‘the pack’ when Greg and I got married; I’m now part of the family structure just like anyone else. I love that about them, too.
Greg also seems to think in terms of leaders, roles, and structure. This makes his military career choice particularly appropriate! He doesn’t seem to have a problem with leading others, nor with following appointed leadership. If he has a job description you can bet he’s going to fill it to the letter – whether that’s his first choice or not. He understands that groups of people need to work together and each accept their role to accomplish great things. He’s a team player. In our marriage he says we will have a successful and strong marriage when we each put in 100%, not 50/50. He takes his role as husband seriously and dutifully. Again, one of the many, many things I love about him!
My favorite animal is the tiger. Well… it’s one of my favorites anyway; I have several. I feel like I identify with tigers. In fact as a child, Tigger was my favorite character from Winnie the Pooh, and I still have most of his song memorized. Tigers are solitary animals. They need their personal space, and they certainly don’t need help from anyone else. They are very good at what they do; there’s a reason tigers are feared in their native countries. They are made to hunt, and they are excellent hunters. They are made to blend in to the jungle’s shade, and their stripes are perfect for this. They are made to be stealthy, and their enormous soft paws can sneak right up behind you. They are powerful, quick, graceful, and independent.
Much like these beautiful animals, I lean towards an independent attitude. I don’t like doing what other people tell me to do, and I sometimes snarl if I feel pushed. For the things I think I’m good at, I don’t need (or want) any help; I’d rather just do it myself. I strongly dislike routine and will do things differently than last time for the sole purpose of mixing things up. I resent being put into a box, and question whether I can or should do more, or if this part of the task is really my job or if someone else could do it. I do like spending time with the people I love, but I’m an introvert at heart and get “peopled-out” and need alone time to recharge. I feel strong when I feel independent; for many things I’d rather be able to say I did it by myself than that I was merely a smaller part of a group effort. That’s not to say I never accept help, because I do, but as my dear husband could tell you it can be hard for me to let go of some tasks and allow others to help out. It’s not just a pride thing, it’s also a perfectionist thing; naturally, my way is the only right way and I’m the only one who can do it right. Right? Let’s just say delegating is a skill I’m working on and it stretches my comfort zone.
The good thing about an independent spirit is that as a military wife, I don’t collapse into helplessness when my spouse is deployed or training. I don’t get as much done without Greg around, but I get by. I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone and spend every moment I can with him, but when we can’t be together I can handle the separation and be alright. I think it takes a bit of a tiger to handle the house, finances, family relations, and vacation planning virtually solo.
As with any marriage, the fun part is putting two very different people together and seeing what happens! With us, what happens most of the time is we feel like a power couple. Our contrasting strengths make for a more complete team. I love my wolf! He’s a little more extroverted than I am I think, and *definitely* more psychologically stable… haha! He’s a do-er, he gets things done. I’m an intellectual and a multi-tasker, always keeping tabs on a dozen things at once (I think all of you ladies know what I mean!) and trying to find the best ways to do things or make the very best choices. Greg follows rules, I invent my own rules. Greg is good at both leading and following leadership, I’m not a fan of doing either one. I tend to head up the financial planning, Greg makes it actually happen. I research workout and diet strategies and learn as much as I can, Greg actually gets us to the gym and working out. He may be a wolf and I may be a tigress but one thing is sure – the wolf and the tigress make a rockin’ awesome team.