abundance · level up · partnership

Maximizing.

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Not the actual bathroom we saw, but not that different either!

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.

 

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compromise · partnership · time

Time Wars

I’m slowly making my way through Minimalist Parenting, written by two women who, according to their bio blurbs on the back of the book, founded blogs named to the “Top 100 Mommy Blogs” (which both makes me want to puke that there is such a thing and inspires me!).  What I’m noticing, though, is that there is SO MUCH useful information in the book for any person who lives with someone else, be that a roommate or partner or child.

One of the questions asked by them early in the book is, “What is your ideal time style?”  If given an ideal day, would you plan it by the hour to ensure everything that you want gets accomplished, or would you seat-of-the-pants it and see how the day unfolds?

I am the former “Plan it down!” and J is the latter “Let’s see how it goes.”  Asking this of myself and of him illuminates how differently we approach our days, and also lends perspective to why we fall into tensions around shared time.

It’s important for me to see that it’s impinging for him when I ask, “When?” and it’s unmooring for me when his response is, “Whenever.”

As our lives overlap further, it becomes more necessary that we have consideration for the other’s ideal.  I need to take a deep breath when he says whenever and he needs to give me some boundaries of time within which to place that “whenever.”

I recognize that we’re pretty lucky that we’re well aligned on one of the major sources of couple tension—money—, but Money and Time can be part of one gestalt:  is there enough of it, how does one “make” more, can you “save” it?

J and I approach Time differently.  To embrace cohabitation bliss, we must each give a little latitude to the other’s approach.

Because however we view the sacred gift of Time, we’ve chosen to share it with one another.

 

moving · partnership · stress

Team Jolly.

11.6.18.jpegI’m having a Captain Obvious moment: Moving is Hard.

Now that my homebase is in the same county as my job(!), I am less and less desiring to cross a bridge after work, pack anything up, and then drive it back up over here.  While J and I have already agreed that the larger pieces of furniture (of which there aren’t many) will be moved by professional movers… the ins and outs of when and how—with Thanksgiving eating an entire weekend in which movers may be so inclined to do so—is beginning to give me palpitations.

Add to that fact that I haven’t settled into any regular face-to-face or phone gatherings with like-minded folk, I’m feeling a bit spinny.

So, I got to be brave and tell J this morning that I needed some support.  I was feeling (AM feeling!!!) a little off the rails about packing and scheduling and mustering motivation to cross the bridge twice in all these days leading up to the November 30 deadline to be out.

I said I needed physical support, and emotional … ushering, I called it, instead of “nudging”!

Add on top of many of these home upheaval things that my feelings at work are in high-overwhelm, and I’m not doing so hot.

I’m doing my best, and things are “just fine,” but I know that I need to get my meetings in and I need to get my items in a place where I can feel like it’s not gonna tumble on top of me in the last days of November.

Additionally, I really need to let my boss know—in MORE certain terms—that I’m not doing so well at work.  I have several additional duties and classes/meetings at school this year, and I feel at many times like I’m just drowning in it.

have made the genius move to teach my students mindfulness using the training I received at my last school, and that has helped these Massive Mondays to be a little more centering, but on the whole… I’m not having much fun.

It’s a season; I know it’s not permanent.  But…

as J came to find me in my “blogging room” after my bid for help this morning, he put his arms around me and said, “Thank you for asking for help, for letting me know what your needs were.  We’re a team.”

To quote Lean on Me:

“For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show.”