SUMMER SHORTS: Stop The Presses.

Summer Shorts is a weekly short-read in honor of the season, to convey ideas about relationships and life in the blink of an eye.

We can change a relationship. We can change the flow between us and someone we live with, work with, or love.

We can do that by creating new responses to old stimuli. Viktor Frankl, the Australian neurologist, psychiatrist and holocaust survivor said, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

When Eric was alive and well, like any couple, we had our ups and downs, especially at the beginning of our time together. I’m glad to say I learned from those ups and downs.

One of the practices I developed to rescue myself from saying something I would later regret was one I called “stop the presses.”

If I was about to react negatively to Eric, I’d say something (usually silently to myself) along the lines of “whoa, sweet girl, stop the presses, honey.”

A side-note here: I believe in sweet-talking ourselves through change, because change isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and that spoonful-of-sugar-makes-the-medicine-go-down thing can be ever SO helpful. I called myself sweetheart, darlin’, and honey-puddin’-n-pie pretty often.

I liked “stop the presses” because it was short, but also because it carried auditory and visual impact.

Imagine a scene where newspapers are being printed. Hundreds of papers per hour are being pulled through machines by a steady heartbeat, the machines thumping along as fresh newspapers land in a crisp pile at the end of an assembly line.

Suddenly, a supervisor yells over the loudspeaker “Stop the presses!” because there’s an error, a mistake that can’t be sent out in the morning news. The printing operation is called to a halt.

“Stop the presses” reminded me to pull the giant lever in my mind to stop what I was about to do or say. This is one way I interrupted my pattern of making Eric the bad guy, or insisting he should accommodate me by changing his ways.

I used it when I felt a heavy reaction brewing inside, or when I was about to make a thoughtless, snippy comment. (And yes, noticing an oncoming reaction requires awareness, among other things, no doubt about it.) Rather than heading down the path (excuse my French) of thinking he was an a-hole, I’d reach for the lever about to announce inaccurate news.

When the machines in my head came to a stop, I’d get quiet and ask myself, “What if he’s doing something good? And what might that be?”

Or I’d ask, “What if there’s a good reason he’s doing what he’s doing?” or even “What if he’s not doing what I think he’s doing?”

To close, here’s a little more from Viktor Frankl: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. What is to give light must endure burning.

Something to think about while you sip your sweet tea by the seashore… Oh, you’re most welcome, honey darlin’ with sugar on top …

Sweet Changes to you!

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    Toni Galardi

    |

    Love this! A simple solution through mothering yourself before allowing your brain to be high jacked by the wounded child. Brilliant!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Terri Crosby

      |

      Thank you my dear. Love you, appreciate you. So glad I’ve known you forever. :–))

      Reply

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She’s Got Love Fingers

Christie Lenee can play a guitar. She’s the 2017 International Finger Style Guitar Champion of the Year. In September of last year in London, she also won Acoustic Guitarist of the Year.

But lucky for us, she’s not just a champion guitar player. Christie Lenee is also quite the composer.

A friend of hers, Michael Pukac, requested that she write a song, one he described as “the story of love.” She scribbled notes and went to work.

Through Christie’s ability to imagine, his desire became music. Now she plays this song for the world with her love fingers. Lucky you, lucky me, lucky us.

Take very good care of yourself this week. Why not sing a little…

Love,

Terri

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

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