Progress Report on the Tamborine Test

So this is a long overdue progress report.  I actually started writing this in June when life became so busy that I never got to post it.  So forgive me?  Hopefully, this whole writing thing will become more regular in the coming weeks.

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Here’s the breakdown of this challenge.  In hopes of driving a healthier flow of conversation between husband and wife, The Husband has agreed to eliminate some clutter in our communication tools and for a week, decided not to text or call during the day.  This includes no tagging on Facebook, commenting on Instagram or what not.  Just a notification that we’ve each arrived at work and left for the day.  That’s it.

And I have to be honest…. we lasted four days.  Hahahaha.  Halfway through, The Husband came up to me and said literally in my face, “I do not like this challenge because I miss you too much.”

Enter “awwwwww” sounds.

And while we didn’t really complete the challenge, I did notice some changes to our communication pattern.

  1. We don’t text as often anymore.  Before the challenge, it was a constant exchange.  While we both have very forgiving employers who have been very generous in how we exercise our liberties, I will be the first to admit:  it takes me away from work.  I’m sure the same goes for him.  With the non-texting, I’ve become more productive, less distracted, and more efficient in my workday.  It’s a refreshing freeing feeling.
  2. We reserve long conversations at home.  We learned to reserve the important conversations for home.  This is a very valuable lesson learned for me because it stops me from oversharing with my office mates.  I know that there will always be one or two people from the office that end up being part of your ride-or-die crew, but the silence helped me in keeping things to ourselves.
  3. We have better conversations.  It’s not just the “what did you have for lunch” questions.  It’s having a much better answer for the question “how was your day.”  Most of the time, because we talked so much and had very brief pauses,  our day looked like it had a sports announcer feature.  Almost to every breath, we reported what we did, so when we got home, it was merely a repetition of what we already know.  Now, it’s talking about the news we read in the morning, the conversation we had with our coworkers at lunch, providing input for operational efficiency in the office.  We are also getting more creative with our questions!  So yes, the conversations are much better in quality now.
  4. We find the time to just talk.  Not even while eating talk.  It’s simply sitting down (or lying in bed) to just talk.  No distractions, just us two.  When you imagine it, it does seem weird, like coming into an appointment with your spouse to speak.  But for us it also highlighted that there are talks that we need to focus on — finances, moving out plans, career mapping.   It’s insane how that sounds like a conversation you would have with a life coach, but it’s also refreshing because it reveals you don’t just have a spouse:  you have a life partner.

Fine, I do sound preachy and freaking annoying, but the forced offline modes definitely enhanced our conversations, especially in terms of quality.  Do I recommend this to couples and more?  Absolutely.  Does that mean I now shun texting and calling during the day?  Absolutely not.  I’m just saying we could all use a break from it from time to time.

What about you?  Are you interested in trying this out?

 

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The Tamborine Test

So, have you seen Chris Rock’s special on Netflix, Tamborine?  It’s a pretty good one.  We had a glimpse of his return when we saw him with Dave Chappelle at Radio City last year.  I have to admit, seeing them perform live sent goosebumps up and down my spine.  It was pretty amazing.

Anyway, that’s not the topic of my story.

In the special, he mentioned something about being constantly connected to his then-spouse because of all this technology.  Compared to the time when his parents married, he claims that his marriage that lasted some 16 years is as long as his parents 40 something.  With all the access afforded to us by modern technology, couples went from having an 8-9 hour gap of no communication to almost an hourly reminder to connect.

He proves a good point.  The Husband and I text each other during the day that there have been instances when we meet at home, and there’s nothing new to talk about.  And of course there are some weird conversations that seemed normal at the time (then I watched this special), like me reminding him that I tagged him on something and he should “like” it.

That being said, I have convinced the Husband to take on a challenge with me:  to not text or call each other until we get home.  This includes no tagging in any social media platform, not even those “look I’m so cute right” snaps I send him from time to time (I can be pretty narcissistic).  However, given that I am a new driver, there are some exceptions.  I am supposed to text him twice:  (1) when I get to the office, and (2) when I am about to go home.  The same applies to him.  Unless it’s an emergency, he will only text me those two times in the day.  And we’ll see if there’s more to talk about at home.

What do we expect to get out of it?  Well, we’re thinking that we’d have more to talk about at home.  Maybe a little bit more freedom while we are in our own separate worlds?  I don’t know yet.  I’m more nervous than curious at the moment, even though technically this was my idea.  We relied so much on technology when we were apart that choosing to not use it now that we’re together sure feels a bit off.  In fact, I’ve had to convince The Husband to take on this challenge.  It took just 10 minutes of convincing, but still, it wasn’t a challenge that he’d willingly do.

That being said, I shall keep you updated of how this challenge goes.  Frankly speaking, I’m a bit nervous to do it.  Between him and I, I am definitely the clingier and needier one.  Oh well.  Let’s see how this goes.  Five days should breeze by fast enough.

 

PS:  Just in case you’re wondering why the word “tamborine” isn’t spelled with a “U.”

TALK TUESDAY: Transitioning

My working days started not so long ago.  In fact, this week, I turn two months old in my company.  I am still trying to find my footing, but I have to say, I have been pretty blessed with a motivating boss and a welcoming team.  This job is a great introduction to the American working class.

I feel pretty blessed at this point.  Right this very moment, I am happy.  I am happy to go to work, and I am happy to come home.  I cannot recall having such a healthy balance in my life before.  Although my commuting pretty much ate up my time for working out in the early evening and my weight gain has become more palpable, I really cannot complain.  A lot of people mistake that disposition as optimism, especially my new work friends, but really it’s not.  I am just all too familiar what a stressful life is.

Here’s the thing though:  I have been missing out on wifely duties.  Maybe not even wifely, but chores to be more exact.  Now, I feel the tiredness of the commute, and have a fixed schedule to follow.  Chores are starting to build up as this new thing in my life occupies 40 hours of my week, plus 20 more to prepare and to commute home.  Seeing three weeks’ worth of laundry building up, I can’t help but feel guilty.

Laundry pile

No shame that all of my undergarments are shown in this photo lolol

I felt even worse over the weekend.  The Husband was taking a nap while I chose to fold laundry.  Ten minutes in, seeing that there was so much to do and pretty much getting overwhelmed, I banged the laundry basket, slammed the door, and pretty much kicked the bed frame to wake him up and say, “I COULD USE SOME HELP HERE, IF IT’S NOT TOO MUCH TROUBLE.”  What a bitch, right?  I bathed in my own bitterness, sulking as if it’s the Husband’s fault that the laundry got this bad.

But it’s not.  Life is just taking over, and as much as I want to be the best wife ever that makes and packs meals, does chores, and still look so f*cking glamorous, I’m not.  One way or another, a ball will drop, and it’s okay.  I should be okay with it because it’s not a ball I can’t just pick up.

After my brief rampage, he just started folding clothes with me.  I was quiet for about 20 minutes before I made my way over to his side of the bed and apologized.  I know I upset him, and I know I was being unfair.  After all, I was the one that insisted that he should nap and get some rest.  But he easily accepted my apologies and bathed me in kisses.  It was at that moment that I realized in order for balls to not keep falling on the floor, I should just be more honest and ask for help.

Wow.  Even when he’s napping, he’s truly proving to be the better half in this partnership.  Hahaha.  Oh well.  I can race him to be the better half tomorrow. <3

Bitten by the Lovebug

So, MIA again!  Sorry about that.  I caught a good ol’ winter bug a couple of weeks ago, and unfortunately for me, it’s not bad enough to require antibiotics but bad enough to severely inconvenience us for about 12 days.  There were tons of home remedies, and I now have a renewed appreciation for ginger lemon tea and Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup.  Thankfully, I was able to recover in time for Valentine’s day.

This year is our first ever hearts day together.  Really.  Seriously.  I met my husband in May 2004.  I got back together with him in September 2013.  We got married January 2016.  And he was on assignment in Japan that year during Valentine’s Day.  Of course, I wasn’t even discreet with him about this day being our first.  In fact, I compelled him to take me out.

“This is our first ever,” I said.  “You better make up for not being here last year.”

“I will,” he said.

Monday evening, he took me to Roots Steakhouse in Summit.  Quite a fancy place for our general liking, but it did not disappoint.  We got the seared sesame seed tuna and Caesar salad to start.  They had a pretty decent wine selection, so I settled for this Tuscan wine to match my Prime NY Strip Steak, cooked to its medium rare perfection.  Husband was more adventurous, and took the 20 oz. Dry Aged Cowboy Prime Steak.

I was about to whip out my phone to take some photos but Husband stopped me.  “No phones,” he said.  We slipped away into our offline meal.

It was the perfect dinner, truly an explosion of flavors.  Having a taste of the dry aged beef, I see now why people look after the dry ageing.  It really does have a bolder taste to it, but the tenderness is still present.  My strip didn’t disappoint too, as I sunk into it bite after bite.  I matched mine with potato au gratin, while he had his with creamy whipped potatoes.  Sorry.  We can go fancy, but potatoes = life.

We tried to walk around downtown Summit, but it was frigid cold.  Husband excused himself for having V-day dinner a day early; he wasn’t sure how late he’d come home the next day as they’re paying for the snow day last week, courtesy of Storm Niko.  So on the drive home, I told him we’ll just catch dessert and coffee tomorrow, reminding myself to find a dessert cafe nearby.

The next day, the alarm sounds off and I turn to get up and make his breakfast.

“Five more minutes,” he pulls me back to his side.

“It’s already 6:30,” I said.  He leaves for work in an hour.  “I have to cook your lunch too.”

“Fine, fine,” he sighs.  Then, he pulls me closer and said, “Where do you want to catch breakfast?”

“You don’t have work?”

He smiles.

“You don’t have work.”

He giggles.

“You don’t have work!”

And the rest of the day unfolded like a dream.

It really was all the years we missed bundled together in one day.  He made breakfast, as I requested.  Steak and eggs, since we took home the last bit of our steaks.  Around lunch time, flowers, teddy and chocolates came.  Then he took me out for a couples’ massage.  After, we had late lunch at Inspiration Roll.  On our way home, we bought our desserts and coffee, and crawled into bed early.  It was the perfect celebration.

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It was one of those days when it’s just unbelievable how blessed I am in this life.  I look back at all the raucous and vividly disturbing things I’ve done, especially in my youth, and then I look at him sleeping next to me, and I just wonder how in the world did I get so lucky.  He could have chosen to be with someone else, yet he insisted that I’m the one.  It took me a while to come around, but he was persistent.  I can look for all the reasons why I’m this happy, but at this very moment, I can only bend my knees and be thankful that I am.

Maybe this is something I should not get used to, considering of course we can’t always have it this good.  I mean, who does right?  We’re bound to have rough days ahead, really, let’s be honest.  But still, I have a good feeling we’ll both work on having surprise days like these ahead.

Hope your heart is as full as mine.

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<3

Fuck YOLO

In his thanksgiving address for the World Youth Day volunteers, Pope Francis said the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard from a pope:

Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘forever’, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

… I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibilty, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage to swim against the tide. Have the courage to be happy.

I am not of Catholic faith, but the hope and the sincerity this man has for the youth today is absolutely moving.

I cannot wait to be brave again.

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