I’ve had to relearn, or perhaps just be reminded, of a simple truth as I start my vacation. It’s this:
We often mistake a lack of clarity in relationships for tension and blessings for interruptions. We need to help people understand when they’ll see us and be open to reframing our expectations so we receive blessings.
The other day, my wife and I sat down and discussed the tension that we’ve had recently as I try to dedicate time to my writing and this blog. Turns out, she just had expectations for my vacation that were different than mine. It wasn’t tension, just a lack of clarity in our relationship.
Put out into the open, we clarified what we were both looking to accomplish during this time. Knowing full well what we can expect from each other and what we each need, it was easy to sort out just how we could both be happy. There was nothing insurmountable there, we just set aside specific times where I’d be unavailable that meshed with what she wants to get done. Squared away in an hour’s chat, and today opened with a lot easier framework. We both understood what the other was looking for, and knew we’d get what we were hoping for.
When the Clock says Five
I discovered the same sort of thing with my son weeks ago. He’s three, and all groovy with me not being available for play when I’m working. If I don’t say when my work will be over and he can have me all for himself, though, that grooviness steadily decays. Today is easy because I took a bit of time to let him know what I’m doing and when I’ll emerge from that Ziggy Marley echo chamber affectionately known as my home office.
So, take some time and clarify what your loved ones can expect from you. They’ll probably be glad to give you time to yourself for your projects, if that’s what you need, and it’s a lot better than trying to squeeze out time in the wee hours and becoming defensive when you’re working it out.
But I’m Here
When the day starts, that’s all out of the window. Today was no exception. The day breaks with great enthusiasm and hope. My wife wants to sleep in (not a morning person), but that’s just the universe aligning to bring me a central blessing:
Whatever I start the day with is ultimately unimportant, because for now the first thing my son wants to do every morning is play toys with me. And that’s a hallelujah.
It’s not the vacation, he started looking for me first thing after waking up last week while I was still working. And it’s the best and most awesome way to interrupt a meditation or email stream, by all means. At first, my response was to request a bit more time to finish whatever I was doing, but I was all wrong in that. I soon realized that playing cars at 7am is the very manifestation of divine blessing.
So, set it all up in terms of when you’ll do what, but don’t let your own expectations interrupt the delivery of blessings to you. Take them while they’re fresh.
Open the Doors
But why stop there? These two principles have created new warmth and love in my household, despite it being already what I already conceived as a warm and wholesome place of heart. I check into social media and email and see that people have reached out to me, and is it any different than what I’ve just relearned at home? Are my own efforts at creation not an attempt to bridge the gap between people? I respond and go further, dropping notes of heart and blessings to others I’ve not heard from, then circle back to my writing.
Only when I lower all my internal walls, can spirit blossom within me. The walls that block out others, even when those walls are meant to lessen the noise and find peace and calm, block out my soul and leave me stranded in my ego self. People can’t always understand and sometimes interruptions are actually interruptions, granted. You’ve got to take the good with the bad, to get the good. If we take the ways of home and extend them out to the world, the world will be our home.
Keep on keeping on,