AUTHOR: Sean Savage | POSTED: January 21, 2011 | COMMENTS: 3 Comments
CATEGORIES: Daddy on The Fly, Love & Marriage, Tags: challenges, compassion, constant battle, dysfunctional family, Inconceivable, perspective, work-in-progress
Advance feedback on our forthcoming book always includes the following statement: “I really liked the use of the two voices throughout the book.” I do believe this approach works for our story, but I will also admit that if we tried to write it with one unified voice; we would still be stuck on the prologue. Carolyn and I are not good at tackling a large project together. We work much better when we divide tasks and then head to our neutral corners to complete them.
Carolyn and I have our first speaking engagement booked and the audience will be in excess of 5,000 people (scary!) and the time has come to write a speech. There was no better opportunity than this past Tuesday when we were in the car alone for several hours to launch this process. I would not deem this car ride a success. Here are highlights from the transcript* of our “discussion.”
“How are we possibly going to give a speech together?”
“Do you really think that is a good thing to put in the speech?”
“If we keep going this is going to lead to a huge fight’
“Why don’t you just do the talk by yourself?”
‘Why don’t you just write the [bleep bleep] talk by yourself”
“This approach is not working. I am done!!!!”
“Why are you not writing anything down?”
“Holy ____, we have been working on this for 30 minutes and we have nothing”
‘Why don’t you do the (beep beep)________talk yourself”
“Let me review what we have so far. (I read: ‘Carolyn and Sean walk on the stage’) Carolyn, we cannot be done. We have not even started!”
“We should probably take a different approach”
[*NB: Edited from the highlights were the blocks of intentional and heated silence.]
The only reason the “discussion” lasted as long as it did is that we were both stuck in a car on a highway.. In a moment of pure brilliance, we each concluded writing the speech together would not work. So we—literally–stole a page from our own book and decided we would each write our parts and then fit them together like a puzzle at the end.
Carolyn and I were not pleased with how we handled the car ride. Just a little perspective would have allowed us to handle the situation with understanding and compassion. Have you noticed how sometimes it’s easier to show compassion to virtual strangers than family? We have nearly eighteen years of marriage under our belt, which also means eighteen years of baggage. All of this baggage creates impediments to focusing on our deep love for each other. We are a work in progress and need to continue to focus on being more compassionate for each other and I am sure this quest will be a lifetime project. We have found it begins with taking time to sit with each other and listen and try to express thoughts without placing the other in a defensive mode. It is quite challenging.
And as for the speech, we are making some progress.