Putting the Chisel Down and Sitting on the Rock

April 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty | Leave a comment
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Barton and Megan in the gardens at Cambridge, UK.

We just travelled on a trip to Chicago where Barton attended a Coaches Training Institute seminar. Can you believe we were naïve enough to drive to Chicago- in one day! Neither one of us were prepared for the 16 hours on the road, or our discussion.

Long trips provide a great opportunity to brainstorm or problem-solve, and we always end up in some really interesting philosophical or spiritual discussion along the way. On our way up to Chicago, Barton came up with this great visual image- if you rely on your partner as your rock, sit on your rock instead of picking up a chisel and carving away.

What does this mean, you might ask? I admit that it is easy when I get frustrated about something, I can ask a million questions and end up picking at Barton instead of slowing down to listen or work on the actual core of the issue. What does this picking do? Of course it puts him off, feeling as though he is emasculated since nothing will stop my incessant chatter.

The chisel can lead to a piece breaking off, turning away, anger and disconnection. How many times do we chisel away at each other, the ones we love, pick until the other the other one leaves, just because we want ourselves to be heard?

This discussion of emasculation led an interesting path from acknowledging situations within my family (learned patterns), why men cheat on their wives, the emasculation of men and rape of women, to the polar opposites within archetypical roles (king, jester, lovers, etc).

What would happen if the chisel were laid to rest?

Last week, I had a moment of pure vulnerability. Instead of turning my emotion into anger or frustration (which is really ego), I laid it out, sat on the rock. This allowed the space for Barton to do what he needed to do to move us, dropping his attachments in the process. I felt him beneath me, completely, so I could fall and we could rise back together.

Shifting these types of patterns and learned cycles isn’t easy, and takes time and patience. In the end, it’s incredibly powerful to truly sit on your rock and allow yourself to be moved.

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Gourmet Breakfast

April 19, 2010 at 1:27 am | Posted in Around the House, Ramblings | Leave a comment
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Once or twice a week, after Barton has gotten out of bed, I am already up and on the computer at work. He will come and ask me, with a smile and a glint in his eye, if I would like breakfast. With his morning assistant, he will make an omelet, and lately, they have gotten creative by adding onions or mushrooms. Over breakfast, we chat about little things. We have the love of writing in common with his assistant, so we often strike up a conversation with her as well.

While at first glance, it may not look like having breakfast together is important, we have found it is a vitally important part of beginning our day. Beginning our day together in this way starts everything off on the right foot.

The past few weeks, I have been a bit stressed in the mornings- between taxes, working hard get projects completed while worried about the upcoming changes to our jobs. Having breakfast together has meant more to me than anything else. Beginning off the day with a nourishing meal has been so enriching.

What’s even more is that there is a “Special Plate” that is part of a tradition by my father’s family. The Special Plate is used for special occasions- birthdays, anniversaries. It was given to us by one of my cousins for our wedding. Last week, Barton broke out The Special Plate, which of course made me smile.

You’ve always heard the advice about not skipping breakfast. And I can attest to that. But I would add, if possible, to have breakfast with your family. Food always brings family together, in celebration, in community, and in love.

To know that Barton would go that much out of his way for me is incredibly affectionate, and not just in a romantic way. It’s really important for Barton that he is able to take care of me as his wife, and not just the basics. To be able to do something like provide me with an incredible breakfast & to see how excited he is to give this gift to me- that’s worth more than anything else in the world. That’s love.

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Crashing Not Allowed

April 19, 2010 at 1:24 am | Posted in Ramblings | Leave a comment
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Last weekend, we worked both Saturday and Sunday without much break.  While normally we begin Monday feeling restful and energized for the week ahead, we both were already on the marathon run.

We admit that one weekday last week, we crashed. It began when a few meetings cancelled and we were looking to get some work done at home- and of course Barton had to ask to sit on the sofa. We found ourselves unable to move- all day. While we did get some work done later in the evening, we needed the break.

Crash days are important, even necessary, and our minds need a break. While it might feel unproductive, and we agree that there are times when it’s necessary to push through, allowing some down time is important to value.

When we came back to our work, we were more focused and creative, and were more productive. There are times when we are writing and can only squeeze out a few sentences. If we just let it go for a while, come back to it, we find the words just come naturally.

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Time for a Dip!

April 12, 2010 at 1:23 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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 Last weekend, Megan and I went swimming together for the first time in who knows how long. It felt absolutely wonderful, not only because we had the chance to do something we both love and enjoy each other’s company at the same time, but also because neither of us has had the chance to swim in a while. Heck, I don’t think I’ve been in a pool since before we were married!

I’ve always loved the water, as does Megan, and though we’ve talked on numerous occasions about finding the time to swim together, this is the first time it actually happened.

We arrived at the pool with the intention of both of us swimming laps. We decided that it was likely best that Megan swim first; that way, I wouldn’t be sitting on the side of the pool cold, wet, and itching to go. After about a half an hour, Megan finished her workout and it was my turn to dive in, well, ok…

it was more of a slow submergence with the help of a chair lift but the truth is that I would have been much happier diving in. Anyway, once I was in the pool it took us a while to find the right depth, which is usually around five feet for me, and for me to remind Megan what I needed to help me swim. But after this was sorted out, I was off in a splash.

I’ve always wondered how it must look from someone else’s prospective when I swim as, the way I go about it is to have whoever is assisting me drop me. From there, dogpaddle a bit, which must look like a drowning rat attempting to wrestle an angry sea creature and losing miserably. Then as I find the need to take a breath, I drop to the bottom and push off the floor with my feet with enough force to thrust my entire upper torso into the air, fill my lungs, and start the process over.

Now, I used to have this refined to the point that I could swim a mile and a half with this method but after five years or more, I found myself gasping after only one lap. I can’t wait to go again!

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Molten Praline Pecans Spilling Over

April 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Wild Stories You Just Wouldn't Believe | Leave a comment
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This morning, I was telling a story about kitchen disasters to Barton’s morning assistant as Barton & I ate breakfast. Two years ago, Barton had surgery to replace his Baclofen pump (a story in & of itself) since it had been “recommended for replacement” based on a piece of the motor that could stop working properly. A nice way to avoid the word recall. Barton decided to have surgery around the holidays to avoid missing workdays, and thankfully, we were home the day before Christmas.

Since I had missed making Christmas gifts or sending out holiday cards, Christmas morning, I was inspired to get into the holiday spirit by making praline pecans. Barton was already up, but unfortunately still not feeling well due to the lingering effects of anesthesia & the surgery.

I had always used the same bowl to make praline pecans, and in my normal routine, took out the blue plastic bowl and filled it with butters and brown sugar, sticking in the microwave. Our microwave sits just over the stove & oven, so I have to reach up to take anything in/out.

When the timer went off, I lifted the bowl up to pull it out of the microwave, but the bottom of the bowl had melted, leaving the plastic bottom, as well of the contents, into a liquid goo, filling the bottom of the microwave spilling over, dripping down onto the stovetop and down the side of the oven to the floor below.

Of course I was freaking out, and Barton, on the other side of the house, couldn’t figure out what was wrong- obviously the expletives were a little louder than I had realized. This was another America’s Funniest Home Video moment. If only we had had a video camera rolling.

The rest of Christmas morning was spent cleaning up the mess before it hardened into praline plastic candy. Trust me- scraping out the microwave on Christmas morning was no fun.

I admit, I’m not the greatest in the kitchen & prefer to stick to the simpler dishes than an exquisite cuisine. But Barton has his share of food mishaps as well. There’s a reason we have two black labs who both vacuum the floors with their tongues.

Between the two of us, in the manuscript we are working on, there is a whole chapter devoted to the cooking & meal comedy of errors that we tend to play out. It’s great that humor plays such an important part of our lives- trust me, we add quite a bit on our own.

We’ve gotten used to the kitchen mishaps, and Barton has actually broken me out of my shell, as I begin to explore with dishes and spices that aren’t necessarily called for in the recipe.

Still, there is plenty of room for error…

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