Explore 2019: Listening

Do you dread talking about certain things with your partner? Travel has long been one of my dreaded topics. When Violet was a baby, I was on the road a ton for work...at one point I was in California then Ethiopia then Las Vegas in a very short period of time. I just put my head down and powered through it but it almost broke my family.

Since that time, I have scaled back on work travel but have definitely retained a lot of baggage. I find myself hedging around the conversations with Jon, or just flat out avoiding them even though I know I need to book stuff.

Last night Jon and I had a travel conversation (that I was dreading) and I realized that I was so deeply mired in my worries about what I thought would be inconvenient or difficult, and that the things I thought would be problematic were totally not problematic for Jon...that the pinch points for him were in a different place. I was reminded that when you're communicating with someone else, it's so crucial to turn off your anxiety brain and just LISTEN first so you know where the other person is at, and discover what concerns are real vs. what you might have conjured in your head. You can get to solutions faster when you start by listening.

It was incredible to come out the other side of this conversation -- which in reality was maybe 5 minutes long -- with a new appreciation for how much simpler things can be when we truly listen to one another. Thank you for your patience as I continue to work on this, Jon.