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My Beautiful Life

Money isn’t the answer to life’s problems, but it sure does help.

Josh and I are in a really good place right now. We’ve been doing some deep work on our relationship. What would have ruined us emotionally a year ago, we’re able to talk through and make emotional compromises and sacrifices. It’s amazing what a few well-placed rules can do for your relationship!

We’ve integrated a few, simple rules into our relationship that we hold in high regard. Our first one is: never interrupt. Before I began studying psychology (5 years ago), I was unaware of how much I interrupted people. I would focus on their subject, and before long, without even realizing it, my thoughts would bounce around like popcorn- and I was jumping into their sentences with similar experiences or something “pertinent” I thought would add to the conversation. And not to excuse myself, but this is not an uncommon thing for many people. Few people have the mental and emotional restraint to hold back their thoughts until there is an empty space in the conversation. And not to be sexist, but men do seem to be able to master this artful skill more successfully than women.

I guess my son, Brian, helped me also more than he’s even aware of. In an argument once (our only “email battle” that we’ve ever had), he accused me of being a narcissist. These days, this is a common slag against parents. I’ve read kids saying their parent is a narcissist many times lately. At first, I was angry when I read it. But then I came to the conclusion that in his anger or not, he still made the statement for a reason. Would he ever accuse me of being a kangaroo if he were angry? Of course not! it’s not on the radar because I’m not a kangaroo and it’s obvious. But the very fact that he did call me a narcissist- even in anger- and the fact that it made me angry to read that tells me that there was some level of truth to it. It wasn’t my truth, but it was his.

When he stated that, I immediately dismissed it as youthful arrogance on his part. What does he know? He’s all of 18! But then later, in the quiet chambers of my mind, I dissected myself. Do I try to make things about me? When he’s talking about his life, do I try to make it about my life suddenly? How often do I talk about myself? How often do I mention my own situations and experiences when he’s discussing his? And how often do I interrupt others?

These were some troubling questions that actually scared me when pondering. I couldn’t deny that he was right- to some degree. Looking back, I’m so glad he said that to me. I needed the reprimand. What it caused me to do was to become more aware of other peoples’ experiences and each person’s unique “voice”. I’ve worked very hard at this since he’s pointed it out. I’m mindful- always- of not interrupting others and I’m more careful now.

So, back to Josh and I. We’ve been working on some potential land mines that had the power to rip us apart. Through our careful navigation, we’ve been able to better communicate and show care and attentiveness while the other is talking. And again, it’s amazing how that one little rule (to never interrupt) has transformed our relationship- entirely. We seldom argue any more. It’s a beautiful thing. :0)

Also, for the first time in many years, we’re in a really good financial place! We’ve been able to pay off all of our credit cards and put back more than $1,500 in savings. We only use one of our credit cards actively, the rest are 100% payed down and we’re choosing to simply “garden” them- leaving them untouched. We may live in a mobile home, but darn it- we own it. Our home and car are payed for. Also, being home owners comes with additional perks.

We picked up a 40 inch flat widescreen for our bedroom wall, so now we have this enormous queen sized bed with a gajillion pillows on it and a really awesome widescreen on the wall at the end of the bed. Also, I’ve just ordered a new Lensbaby Composer (kit) + a Super Tak SMC 28 MM/3.5 and a Carl Zeiss 35/2.4- 3 new lenses! Life is pretty damn good right now.

Brian is spending the night here with his girlfriend, Amanda, so I’m off to make some ribeyes and collard greens + toasted whole grain baguettes (with EVOO + pink Himilayan sea salt and assorted fresh cracked green, pink, and black peppercorns, of course!).

Yeah, life is really good right now. 🙂

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9 responses

  1. yvo

    I am so delighted to hear this B. wonderful musings and I need to take the cue and work on my tendency to interrupt. ( I call my enthusiastic agreement ` like I just be jammim’ wich cha) but yeah. i could stand to be a better listener. So glad you are in a good place. I smiled through your post and send my love. ahh yes. x

    January 15, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    • I/we can use all the love we can get, so thanks for sending it! :0) Yeah, we’re doing REALLY well. And judging from some of my more private emails I’ve sent you months ago, I honestly never thought Josh and I would be in this place. He’s only recently told me that he no longer thinks of another life that he “could” have (or could have had- kids, etc.). We’re just really content with who we are right now. I think going through so much hell with a person brings you closer to heaven with them, truly. Thanks for your love- always. 😉

      January 16, 2015 at 2:40 am

  2. Nice to know someone is enjoying their life 🙂
    P.S. Where is the ‘like’ button?

    January 16, 2015 at 12:16 am

    • Thanks! And, I killed the “like” button long ago to encourage people to actually comment, rather than just “silently liking”. ;0) You’re the first person to actually comment on that!

      January 16, 2015 at 2:41 am

  3. Most people talk about themselves. The art of being a good communicator is not only respecting the pauses in a conversation, but also cultivating the other person in the conversation. People often talk, but are terrible communicators. Being able to listen and reflect is a skill more people need to learn. I can talk to just about anyone by simply allowing them the space to talk about themselves.
    I have the older Tak 28mm 3.5. I got it for it’s great flare characteristics. The Super Tak has better multi coating, and therefore improved flare resistance.

    January 21, 2015 at 12:17 am

  4. I can’t explain how happy this post makes me Birgitta!!! YAY for paying off credit cards! What an accomplishment. I know that is a load off yalls shoulders. People don’t realize what kind of stress financial issues put on a relationship. Looking back on my marriage to my x I see how instead of empowering me and motivating me, he made me feel like I was never enough. I could never make enough, do enough, etc. I never felt like he was proud of me. This led to us fighting and things getting bad. But anyway im totally getting off track hah! Continuing on, I could really relate to you saying you were going to work more on listening. This plays a HUGE role in relationships working. I did not do enough of it and in future relationships, I am going to try to remind myself that though I find my view to be right lol, it does not mean that it is. But the point is not to “win” more so as it is to see both sides of the coin. To care enough about the other person to WANT to know how they feel about something. When you talk at people (like I often do) like you are a judge and are handing out rulings, they tend to back off and shut down. So I am right there in that boat with you to work on that. And whatever you were making with those peppercorn things…sounded amazing hahahaha!! miss you!

    January 22, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    • You’re so funny. 🙂 I was laughing at the peppercorn comment! You’ve said everything here so beautifully and I don’t think I could have put it any better. We’re ALL guilty of wanting to be heard a little too much. I’m so bad about that. But yes, I really want to work on this area. it’s going to take some time, but as long as we’re aware of it, you know? That’s when the work can begin. I miss you so much! We’ll definitely have to catch up soon. 😉

      January 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm

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