Birthdays and anniversaries are a great way to take stock of one’s life. I know for me it becomes apparent that I need to do a life review upon those type of events. Not just milestone anniversaries or big birthdays, but annually because it begs for a moment to reflect where one is at. This past weekend marked our eleventh year anniversary, and while not a milestone by any stretch of the imagination, it definitely gave me a chance to reconnect, reflect, and review on what I have learned in my eleven years. The short answer: I got a ways to go. The other is that more I learn to communicate effectively, the better my chances on reducing misunderstanding, hurt or disagreement.
It’s a lesson I am still learning because what’s clear to me from the outset is not necessarily clear for others. Assuming the person is on the same wavelength is setting myself up to fail (which happens). Not expressing my feelings in a clear way is guaranteeing an argument. Quietly listening but not responding as acknowledgement can make others feel not heard or seen. Not speaking about what’s really going on with me is a recipe for heated disagreement on the the wrong facts.
And so I continue to learn, and hopefully grow. I still remember a line from my MITT training, what am I pretending not to know, and for me, that is that I am communicating clearly when I am more content being silent, and waiting by some miracle to figure things out. Talking it out, no matter how difficult, is the way to get to clarity and so I get to keep working on that.
Yet anniversaries are great reminders that we are plugging along, learning, growing, loving, and facing new things on the horizon.