Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Yet 30 Nights

Lately, we've taken up what we call "Not Yet 30 Nights." They consist of staying up too late with disregard for the next day and doing something fun, you know, like people under 30 do. Once we both hit 30 this year, we're afraid we will turn dreadfully boring, especially since we will be hitting 30 with no kids. That means a two things:  no vicarious living options available via little ones and an increased pressure to have kids for said vicarious living.

Memorable "Not Yet 30 Nights" this week included staying up late on Monday night (okay, only 11:30) to watch a movie having something to do with pineapples and the dangers of drug use, and on Tuesday/Wednesday, Monica going to the midnight premiere of Eclipse while I stayed home and watched Wassup Rockers.  I think Monica got back home at 3 AM. Only one of us had to go to work this morning while the other continued dreaming about eternal vampire love. I hope you can easily decipher who did what!

It was my Great Uncle Roy who introduced to me the term "draggin' bottom" (he used the a-word). What a good description of what I feel right now--of course, I am almost thirty...

Friday, June 18, 2010

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.

I would just like to state for the record that I am not writing a Friday blog because Ben wants me to. In fact, as discussed in his previous post, I'm surprised that I would ever write one again considering that strong will of mine. I am choosing to take it as a compliment that I am able to balance out our blog with my fun, witty, less serious posts. Besides, how can you say no to these puppy dog eyes?
Technology Hiatus
We are spending this next week in the great outdoors counseling at my dad's camp session in Missouri. Until last year, my phone did not even get reception there & I was forced to take a break from TV, computer, phone, blog reading, Facebook etc.

Unfortunately, I got my new iPhone right before camp last year & was mesmerized by all the bells, whistles & awesomeness that is the iPhone, so I cheated. I missed out on the one week of the year that I always look forward to for that much needed break from technology! I have vowed this year not to so much as update my FB status. Ben, on the other hand, says that he may die if he can't check the scores of the World Cup games, so I will be abstaining alone.

Systems vs. Twilight
This has been the theme of casa Thompson the past few weeks ...well that & some World Cup game that Ben has DVR'd playing in the background. Ben has been reading more crazy, insightful books about Systems Theory & I have been rereading the Twilight books for the third time in anticipation for the premiere of Eclipse.

I already have tickets for the midnight showing & am super excited! Ben is equally excited about systems & this makes for some interesting conversations. He will be explaining how family systems work with a gleam in his eye & I will pipe in about how that is like the Cullen family or Edward & Bella to which he will respond with "Sure" & an eye roll. Personally, I think we have way more fun conversations than the average couple.

Portland, Here We Come!
At the end of September, we will be flying out to the Northwest to celebrate our 7-yr. anniversary. We had discussed going to that part of the country anyway & then when Donald Miller (one of our favorite authors) decided to do a seminar there, the deal was sealed!

Planning vacations in our family is an interesting ordeal. Since I used to be a travel agent, Ben says I get to do all the planning & then throughout the process he has small heart attacks as the charges start showing up on our bank statement. Then we go, have a great time, rinse & repeat the next year.

Well, I'm off to get my biannual hair-cut. I hope you have all enjoyed my "completely my idea that had nothing to do with Ben wanting me to write it" Friday blog.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blog Imbalances and Strong-Willed Women

Our blog is trippy, as in I almost trip over myself when I look at our blog (I'll get commission from the Grandpa's League for that brilliant one-liner). The balance is off without regular Friday blogs. I've done my pleading to Monica and hope she can help the inner ear problem of our blog. Her Friday blogs are crucial to the order and progress of the world.

With that said, one of the worst ways to get somebody to do something is to will them do it. Have you noticed this? And yet, it is one of the most common strategies for change. If I can come up with really good reasons in my head for Monica do something and proceed to tell her why she should do it, I have now rendered myself almost completely ineffective. Rather than abandoning this strategy after it doesn't work, I get sneakier/more passive about it and throw in little comments like, "Our blog balance is off," or, "But the children LOVE the blogs" (adapted from Elf and to be read in the voice of a sweet nun).

I used to use the term strong-willed to describe my wife. I can't use it anymore because it puts me in a bind. If I refer to her as strong-willed, what is she really strong-willed against?* [Drop head, mumble level 1 expletive] My will! It is one of life's great ironies. One of my major marriage goals is to be unwilling.

As a result of this, when Monica is not paying attention to one of my brilliant expository lectures on why she should change or do something, the question changes from, "Why is she using that stubborn, strong-will again?" to, "Why am I trying to will her?" Of course, the answer to the latter is, "Because I know best." After all, I am now an LMFT--Licensed to Make Families Terrific! (More commission!)

Be careful, though, this might change the book you reach for when you are trying to deal with a "strong-will." This is where I am supposed to say, "And I've written that book," and have a pretty little link to Amazon where you can read reviews about how people bought my book for others who needed it more.

*Hal Runkel and Edwin Friedman are my main influences for this way of thinking.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Truth, Fluff, and Fake Prison

You know what's worse than fake prison? Knowing you are in fake prison and feeling helpless about it. I have done my time in fake prison, and it's time to get out.

Lately, I have immersed myself in a world that tells me if I follow my dreams and ideas, I can be successful. In this world there is a premium on following what I am passionate about and pursuing it as my mission in life. If I break out of the limiting world I've created and accepted, they say, I have a very good chance at success. In essence, I can do what I love to do for a living.

But is this world true? Or is it part of a business plan to keep me buying into something that will make a profit for someone else. They have a found a great and vulnerable niche--those of us that feel unfulfilled in our lives and need a glimmer of hope that life is more than what we've accepted. Maybe the ones who create this world are only a tiny minority that have found a larger voice and larger bank accounts.

I'm choosing to believe them. They can cash in on my vulnerability. I have the passion, the message, and the vision...and I am ready to be successful. I have something I know the world needs, or should I write that I am something that the world needs. If I die, what I have will die with me!

Most of us are not in physical prison, and yet still feel trapped. Then, you run into annoying, yet compelling, people and books that tell you that you don't have to feel imprisoned. In fact, they say, there is a way out and you already have the key, because you are the key. Thanks for nothing! Now, I feel like I am in prison, but I am being told there are no bars and no guards, and the door is wide open.

Is it true or is it fluff?

I don't care anymore...I just want out of prison.