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.”