Friday, November 05, 2010

Of Communication

Something so odd happened when Tom and I first arrived at this old farm.

Our communication got broken in the move (!) I mean, married 30 years, yet suddenly, we couldn't even understand what each other was saying.

I told Tom, "How about if you store that box in the barn closet."

"You mean in the chicken coop?"

"No. In the barn closet."

"Where's that?"

"Gah! It's that other little room inside the barn. The only other room in there. Downstairs, anyway."

"Oh. You mean that storage room in the back."

Multiply that by 600 other such conversations.

We'd practically stare at each other and not even understand what the other person was mouthing. And this after whole decades of marriage!

I think this new place with the huge yard did it, the stress of moving, period, plus all the things one must do when one moves--and doing all that at mid-life. We used to move all the time--when we were young. Big difference there, too.

So. We began naming everything. We sat at our table and gave all the areas of the barn, the yard and even the rooms of the house specific names. A terrific idea, that one.

We also slowed our brains, hands and bodies. We stopped trying to create a whole new world in, like, six days. Only God can do that.

Re-communicating is what I'm calling it. Learning how to speak differently in a different phase of Life.

It's a keen idea for friendships, also. Like, if I receive an email from a friend which sounds as though she's mad at (innocent little ol') me, well, I ask her about that. I could sit at my computer for a month, muttering, "Just what did she mean by that?! And here I've always been so nice to her!" But instead, I ask her about her words. Kindly.

Or if she's not emailed me in ages, rather than assume she's too busy for friendship with (poor, misunderstood) me, I email her and ask if everything's ok over her way. Perhaps her life is falling apart, too sad to even write about.

It's not always about me. I'm still learning that.

Life becomes sweeter when, actually, we make it all about others and do what we can to make their lives easier. Even if it means speaking and doing things a whole other way.



**********

And here's a hilarious post by Judy about another miscommunication.

4 comments:

Odie Langley said...

I always look forward to your posts because they trigger something that I needed to be aware of like friends that I haven't seen a post from in some time. I will take your advice and let them know I have missed them. Thanks.
Odie

Anonymous said...

Great post. I think most of us are guilty of jumping to conclusions, that may not be correct, from time to time. I know I am!

I like your term, "re-communicating".
nancyr

Judy said...

You just gave me a good idea!

I'm going to start referring to the shed out back as "The grandchildren's playhouse". I'll let you know where that takes us.

In our first apartment we had a room that we had no idea what to call. So, it became "The Room". And just to give you your daily chuckle, "The Room" had orange, gold and brown wallpaper of Roman-ish columns with flowers climbing them - and it was hung UPSIDE DOWN of all things.

Fun times, those 1970's.

Saija said...

the start of your post sounding like leo and i - and our conversations at times!!!! i tell ya ...

i totally agree with your point about friends and how i might be thinking their thinking something totally different!!! i've jumped to wrong conclusions enough times, you'd think i wouldn't be so quick to jump again ... but?

blessings on you guys!!!