Over the weekend we drove to Arkansas from our home at the foothills of the Appalachias and then, as life would have it, back unexpectedly.(when you have four young adults, SOMEONE always has a car issue, it is a sure bet if you’re ever at the track) Thirteen hours in a truck, followed by twenty two hours with your sweet family, followed by seven hours in a truck. What you don’t understand why it was five hours longer on the way down? Did I forget to mention there was construction and pouring rain to for our driving pleasure. Well, you get the picture. Les (my dear husband, sometimes denoted as Dh or Feller, which is what I refer to his Oklahoma upbringing) and I love road trips, we really do, as a blended family there were many years our date night involved driving several hours one way to drop off our youngest two at their other parents, then the “date” was driving home in moonlight together. Actually one of the best periods of our marriage…you see in Southern Arkansas where we lived at the time, there was no movie, no bowling alley, no Walmart to peruse. This forced march drive every other weekend took us through three little towns so we had an unexpected bonus as we drove home. Truck stop restaurants, a few home style parking lot bbq joints that might be open since it was Friday night, and the occasional church fund raiser. We loved them all. Meeting folks is fun, meeting yourself as you see many different folks way of life, is priceless.
Talking to other adults that know you is illuminating. Feller and I used to play a game where we could ask three questions each then we truly listened as the other did. We talked first of the lovey dovey new couple questions “What do you find most appealing ’bout me?” but after mentioning his pink tutu…no..no…no… that would be me who wanted his affirmation. Feller would ask things such as “what do you see the best gun for out future hunts?” Yes, he’s an Oklahoma feller, a government worker, and I’m here to say he leaves me WIDE open for when I speak. Never have I had to look for material outside our own home yet when I do retreats for women (Growing into Lovely) My dear children and their love of deer children has always provided.
Have you asked yourself questions lately? After all we’re into a new season. What kind of questions do you ask yourself about how you are? A few of mine are:
Do I like what I a doing for ________ (work, play, health, finances, fun, creating, and organization)
When I answer that to myself honestly…I start looking for three reasons or examples of why or why not. The positional play goes like this:
Do I like what I am doing for work?
- Yes! I love working with my clients
- Yes! But I want to work differently on my schedule
- Yes! But perhaps this is no longer my best role
then I start looking at the answers:
- Yes #1, Okay are we doing the work we’re called to do?
- Yes #2, What would a perfect day or example of that look like?
- Yes #3, What role would you like to develop?
after that I brain storm those same #1-#3 in Sweetieland (well, it’s MY perfect world after all, the one I live in, so I have to build it!)
Our drives often revisit these questions of each other after we’ve had time alone with them. We don’t go through the “doing the work” or the “answers” until we’ve heard the other’s dialogue on what it is they see in the same concept. It’s wonderful to be in the car, talking this through without the planning stages or detailing, for that we can do on our own or together later.
Personally I think we got into that habit, talking and building our lives together, because of the forced march exchanges when we had small children in our blended families. It wasn’t the exchange that was hard, it was that we all lived on exhausted in those days. Working full time, weekend march drives, another one two days later then home to laundry and a full week again. Learning to make fun conversations meaningful and some meaningful conversations fun…well..we revisited that during our 20 hour drive through the storms weekend, and while I do not recommend the method, the intentional time listening and sharing our answers…it was a rich piece of unexpected pay dirt. Etheleen J. Myrtle would have approved. More on her later 🙂
- Do you like what you do and who you work with?
- When do you feel loved?
- What’s your favorite dinner at home?
- What makes you smile to remember of OUR memories?
- Where would you take me if money was no object (and yes, the hunting stores of America would be visited people, I’m telling you Feller believes it would be the trip of a lifetime)
- Who taught you what matters?