Monday, June 2, 2008

We Would Drive 500 Miles, and We Would Drive 500 More

Last Wednesday after work we made the 500 mile trek to Edmond to visit Ben's mom after her kidney transplant surgery. We stayed through Sunday and came back home last night. Mom is doing great and is back at home now. She is in pain from the surgery and the anti-rejection meds, as her body is trying to adjust to having a new kidney in it. Please continue to pray that she will heal and the kidney will not be rejected by the body. Mike Fowler, a family friend, donated the kidney—we are so thankful for his willingness to go through this for my mom!

Out of the 500 miles we drove back, we probably talked for 450 of them. Monica was sleeping for the other 50 of them. Car trips can be a dangerous thing in a marriage because you can't get away from the other person without jumping out of a speeding vehicle. We had a good car trip due to a new method we use with each other to relieve tension. Here's how it works: Someone perceives the other one doing or saying something that puts him/her in defense/rejection mode. The other person, tongue-in-cheek, says, "It's not about x, I am rejecting you as a person."? For example, Monica orders a drink with her meal as we're on the road, and she maybe drinks ¼ of it (we call this a kitty sip). I'm frustrated because we just paid $2 for sugar death water and she didn't even drink it. So I sarcastically say something like, "I'm so glad you got that drink, I guess our kids are looking at community college now,"? and she gets quiet and a little defensive and we get in a little struggle. I then say, "I'm not frustrated you got the drink, I am rejecting you!"? We have a little laugh at this absurdity and move on with our lives.

I am not suggesting anyone do this! We do this because we sometimes have a tendency to feel rejected by the other and go into "angry bunny"? mode, even though there was no good reason to feel rejected in the first place. Well, the reason is based on past experiences and the way they've been ingrained in the brain, which causes certain neurons to fire and blah, blah, blah . . . If we are on the way to eat and Monica changes her mind after I've selected the restaurant and I retreat like an angry caveman, a saying like this will bring me back to reality--she just wants to eat somewhere else, it has nothing to do with me! It took us a few years to get to this point.

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