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LIFE’S TRANSTIONS: GOTTA COMMUNICATE!

Let’s cover husband/wife life transitions, since I’ve been on a roll about relationships lately. Hold on! Before you get your panties in a wad, allow me full disclosure: I communicate only what I know. I’m neither discriminating nor judging, and I guarantee transitions don’t either.

Every human being experiences change, such as birth, death, hiring, firing, marriage, and divorce to name a few. Such events are life altering. That’s a given, though we’re typically clueless while in the midst of them.

The transitions to which I’m referring, however, occur with and without warnings. Their impacts almost always catch us off guard, leaving us feeling as if we’ve been locked in a dark closet. Why? We’ve forgotten to communicate. Communication is the key.

EXAMPLES

A. When we had our kids, my husband and I knew they’d grow up, move out, and be off of the “family payroll.” (I don’t know too many adults who have children genuinely hoping they “never leave home.”) Know what’s caught us unprepared for their departures? Ourselves.

B. My husband and I started a business with two other couples as partners years ago. We all worked. As years passed, of the six of us, just two still work together. (Now for the tricky part) I’m not one of those two, our kids are growing and going, and I started my own business. (OK, here’s the other shoe drop) Neither my husband nor I expected me to be so unavailable while … working at home! Know what’s caught us unprepared? Ourselves.

TRANSITION BASIC: COMMUNICATE

Success magazine publisher/editor Darren Hardy once shared, “Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” http://addicted2success.com/quotes/40-of-darren-hardys-most-popular-success-quotes/  Our lack of communication and connection locks us into a dark place. (Kind of basic, I know!)

When “roles” are defined as relationships start, an adjustment period exists. Two lives and households combining, etc. are causes for confusion as well as joy. We already know this. That’s why we talk about it (after lots of sex, likely).

What happens when “we” becomes “three” or more? Kids bring MORE adjustments, requirements, and transitions to their adults. There’s usually less talk and more bustling activity (usually less sex, too).

How about after kids are raised and gone? There’s “us” time now, right? If you’re still talking and have anything in common (let alone having any sex), maybe; otherwise, you’re unexpectedly thrown back to (almost) the beginning of your relationship, learning to talk with each other all over again, i.e. back to a basic.

Now, let’s get back to the core of this issue (it’s not about sex for this blog; that’ll be in a different one).

door-key

“DOOR” KEY

Instead of fumbling around in the dark, embrace various types and degrees of communication (yes, sex included). The key is to:

a. grasp expectations versus needs;
b. understand cycles of change and the opportunities they present;
c. accept change as inevitable and not necessarily bad.

(Good news: if done successfully, this can lead to more sex! Hey! Counts as communication AND connection, remember?)

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT

In G.A.S.P., the first book of my fictional trilogy, the story revolves around two ordinary people searching for more in life. When they get entangled in an international gold smuggling operation, it’s clear they’re not alone in life’s changes.

To sum it up: the key to unlock that dark closet of transition surprise is simply “real” conversations. Ask to understand, accept to cope, and evolve to ease life’s many transitions.

Business/Career Lessons From Passionate Parent

Once upon a time, in a time not long ago, we all knew these lessons. What I’m about to share isn’t novel. So why write about it again? Because it bears repeating, that’s why!

There’s not a professional on the planet, human nor beast, which will disagree with me that these three lessons have been invaluable in their lives. And while there are so many from which to choose, currently, my biggest (and top) three have to be about:

  1. Respect
  2. Patience
  3. Relationships

Been here? Done this? Well, here’s my 2¢. To earn or get respect, ya gotta give it. Kind of simple really. It’s the ol’ “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” rule. Respect:

  • Builds trust
  • Builds communication
  • Builds relationship

Whether building a business (I’m a 4th generation entrepreneur married to a 3rd gen), raising children (we have three ages 24,19,16), or growing your marriage/partnership (we’re married 29 years), showing another respect is vital. This is NOT hard to do! This isn’t about grandiose gestures (though those can be fun, too. Ask anyone married over 20 years). This IS, however, about consistent, deliberate, and diligent efforts (see The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy). Like anything worthwhile in life, respect can be challenging to sustain and requires discipline … but it’s not hard.   

Couple respect with Patience which:

  • Builds trust
  • Builds communication
  • Builds relationship

Nope. Not a misprint. Consistent, deliberate and diligent effort here. You were once new at something, too. If you were considered annoying for not knowing your job immediately (ridiculed even), then you know the value of this trait. How’d it feel when you were shown an even-temper to complete a work task? How have your children responded to a firm but steady tone as you capitalize on a teachable moment? Haven’t you even pushed yourself harder after treating yourself with calmness instead of rage?

Toss in the final ingredient of Relationships to:

  • Builds trust
  • Builds communication
  • Builds relationship

Hmmm. Think I’m onto something! We’re ALL connected to everything/body on this planet; whether you believe that or not, to some degree, we are. Consider this tiny example: a baby with a blanket. Perhaps that object keeps that baby warm in the cool hospital or offers comfort when parents are arguing. The baby is in relationship with that blanket. Now apply this simplistic example to every encounter in your life.

Basically, whether in business, marriage or parenthood, always reach for respect and patience through consistent, deliberate and diligent efforts, and you’ll find your life just as invaluable as the lessons brought to it.

That’s my final answer, and I’m sticking to it!