Attentiveness has been on my mind lately. Attention. When I’m not paying attention, I get caught by surprise, and I tend to respond poorly. Most of the disagreements my husband and I have are a result of inattention. Either he’s thinking of something else when I say something, and I get upset because something perfectly obvious to me catches him off guard and he doesn’t have a clue where I’m coming from or vice versa. This has always bugged me, and over the last day or so I’ve figured it out. Well, at least the cause. I’m not sure I have the solution yet, but we’ve been made aware of it in the class weeks ago with the Laws of Giving card.
I promise to be a grateful receiver of the gifts that surround me, noticing nature, kindnesses, smiles and compliments, which I gladly receive with a â€œthank you.â€
Yes, we’re supposed to have been noticing. I’ve been attentive to all those things for months now. Am I the only one who has been waiting for that knowledge to apply itself? I don’t think so, because I saw a post in the Kindnesses area tonight that said something similar. And I haven’t been entirely passive in this. I have been paying closer attention to nature.
My husband was serving dinner tonight when 7 pm rolled around. TNT’s broadcast of the Spurs – Cavaliers game was coming on, but I was thinking about something else (The Spurs is about the only thing I watch on television), and he said, “245.” Startled, I asked, “What does that mean?” He seemed angry, and he said something to the effect of, “Forget about it, then.” I had to sit there and think for several minutes trying to figure out what 245 meant that I should know. Finally, it dawned on me that must be the channel number for TNT on DirecTV.
I wasn’t thinking about what he was thinking about, but he thought I would be, because he detests sports and only tunes to the games for my benefit. Naturally, when I wasn’t on the same wavelength, he was upset. And, of course, he was doing me a kindness, and I didn’t recognize it. (I’m not a mind reader, but I do try.) I also get upset when he isn’t reading my mind either, but it’s not so much mind reading, it’s paying attention to what the other person is doing before we speak and expect them to know where we’re coming from in our conversation.
I’d love to be able to have a spontaneous and harmonious conversation with my husband, but, like the Sit, the Blueprint, and so many other things we’re working on, spontaneity takes practice to carry off harmoniously. I’m going to have to train myself to pause before speaking and make sure the elements of communication are in place before I do so. After some practice with this, perhaps it will become second nature.