Finding Opportunities to Focus Intention

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I find myself having difficulty writing about my areas of focus this month, because there isn’t generally a tangible way to measure them. In January, as I focused on decluttering and organizing, it was very obvious whether a drawer looked like a disaster. February and March were similar as both could be measured with numerical values. But April has been different, which in many ways makes it more difficult. Last month, it felt like it was more of a team effort, discussing money, and communicating about finances and investments.

I think part of it is that the first book I chose to read this month is How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. Perhaps in a way, because of the book I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t talk about the happenings our relationship, because then it defeats the purpose of the book. I’m still unsure about the book, and its overall philosophy, but I’ll be posting my review and thoughts on that soon.

Due to this, there has been a great deal more introspection and internal work. “Be the type of person you want to come home to.” “Don’t keep score.” Both of these require a greater amount of self-awareness than the previous months’ work. Although it is difficult, it’s the opportunities for practice that foster improvement.

This weekend my husband went golfing, which I am totally fine with. Saturday we decided he should go early, so he could be back in time for me to go exercise and also get a variety of things done around the house. About an hour and a half after he left, he told me that the game was moving very slowly. ‘No big deal’ I thought; it would probably just be a five around round instead of four. His golf game took 6.5 hours; it was insane and annoying. The longer he took, the more I found myself ruminating about not being able to exercise, that he was out getting to do what he wanted and that I wasn’t going to be able to get done what I wanted.

I realized that although there aren’t tangible ways to track improvement in my marriage, I could and should focus on my relationship when opportunities arise; and this was an opportunity to work on multiple areas of focus. I decided to focus on my attitude and what I could control about his golfing excursion. I reminded myself that I could not control how long his golf game took, and apparently neither could he. I focused on the fact that he told me the game was moving slow, and that he was trying to keep me informed. I also realized that when he came home I could be irritated that my plans for the day were shifted because of his, OR I could just roll with the punches and laugh with him about how frustrating it must have been to sit and wait on the group in front of him for 30 minutes on one tee box.

I decided that my attitude was going to make or break the rest of the evening. Could I “be the type of person you want to come home to” not just on an average or good day, but also a day where there is frustration? It took a good helping of self-awareness, but I was able to take a step back, look at the big picture, and laugh with my husband. He came home frustrated and apologetic about the length of time it took as well, and we were able to make light of it. He had also traded in one of his clubs for the newer version for free, and was extremely excited. If I had kept score and had a bad attitude I wouldn’t have been able to share in his excitement. I wouldn’t have been able to be the person he wanted to come home to.

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