Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Archive for September, 2019

Honeymoon Weekend #34: Sunday musings…9/1/19

Sunday musings…

1) Fly. A young climate activist sailed across the Atlantic rather than fly to a conference to prompt a discussion about the environmental cost of air travel. She hopes to encourage the “climate woke” to fly less.

Sorry. Any trip over 3 hours is torture for me. If it takes longer to drive, pedal, or sail I’m on a plane.

2) Nashville. Pretty cool little city ya got here, Tennessee. Myriad options for drinking and dining layered on top of a truly magnificent music scene. I know that’s no real news to pretty much anyone, but being here to experience it is a tiny revelation.

Shame about the outcome of the Georgia/Vandy game, but still…

3) Connected. The good news: I am able to see pretty much all of my clinical data from the office including notes and tests. The bad news: ditto. Friday was my first full day on our Annual Honeymoon (more in a minute); it was filled with texts and emails and calls about patient issues that were convenient for those not on vacation to have handled during a Friday work day. Unlike many “always on” businesses my staff is largely off on the weekends so I am now somewhat inoculated from contact in all but the most significant emergencies. Also, unlike so many people who cannot turn off their connections lest the boss reach out and their availability to her/him be measured, I am traveling with the boss.

She just has to tell me what she needs and when!

4) Small. As in small world. As crazy small as the world turns out to be without any real effort on my part, the tiniest of friendly gestures can make it downright tiny. When I was an active participant in the Crossfit community, especially in the early pre-2012 or so days, wearing a shirt from CrossFit.com or a Box I might have visited was a guaranteed conversation starter. Heck, I once had a pilot who saw my tee shirt ask to see the Games videos I had on my iPad; the flight attendant brought it up to him in the cockpit while we were in the air. All it took was a noticing what I was wearing and offering a brief, friendly comment or question.

I had one of those moments this morning in our Nashville hotel. A gentleman who looked about my age was wearing a Middlebury Lacrosse tee shirt and I asked him about it. Turns out his son was a 4-year teammate of my nephew, and the two sets of parents had become great friends. We could have chatted for a couple of hours if they didn’t have wedding activities to attend to.

Smaller world moments are only a smile and a friendly question away. They are worth the tiny risk of approaching a stranger.

5) Honeymoon. Beth and I are in Nashville for our 34th Annual Honeymoon trip. What a ride! Without a doubt our marriage is the single most important endeavor we’ve ever undertaken, and so far the most successful thing we’ve ever done. I wish I could tell you that we had a super detailed plan that we laid out and followed all those years ago, but really, there were only two really simple things we did starting in the very beginning. We agreed that we would always talk to one another about everything we were thinking and feeling. No simmering and stewing over whatever might bother us. And we bought into Beth’s brilliant observation that marriage is not a 50/50 proposition, but rather 100/100.

Each of us has committed 100% of who were are and what we have to our marriage.

What does that mean in practice? In the briefest possible explanation what that means is that even when considering something that is vitally important to you, be it your job or some passion you have for whatever, you stop to consider what your decisions mean for your partner. Are you one of those people for whom job and hobby are one and the same? Can’t wait to get to work? Spend all of your non-office time dreaming about your career? Or are you rather that freer spirited soul who works only so that you can walk some other path, one at which you can’t really make a living? No matter. 100/100 means that you consider the effects of your career or passion activity decisions on your partner and your partnership, in our case our marriage.

Of course, all of this requires a huge amount of honesty and generosity, with a healthy dollop of tenderness and empathy. It takes effort. Over time it may become a bit easier simply because you become that which you practice, but in the early years most of us need to learn how to look outward, to hear and see how our personal choices affect that one person with whom we are closest. How do you get there? Well, it certainly helps to be crazy in love, right?! Each time you choose your two over your own one you get a little bit better at understanding how powerful those tiny little gifts to the marriage become as they build over time.

We’ve each been committed to each other, to our marriage, 100%. Two is so much bigger than 1+1.

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