Saturday, February 06, 2016

"Please, tell me about your journey of self-discovery" said no one ever.

Every few months, I try to reread this article. The TLDR* of it is this: A happy marriage boils down to following up on your spouse's attempts to telling you things.

If TheCSO has read a news article on, say, a new major transportation project and pops in to tell me about it, the way to stay married is to get enthusiastic about what makes her enthusiastic rather than being an asshole and making a big show of not caring.

The article puts it more nicely.

But that's the bones.  When your spouse is trying to tell you something, they are making what the article, and the research underlying it, call a "bid for attention."  In happy marriages, people response positively to those.

I've been married for going on twelve years and I've listened with interest to descriptions of innumerable transportation projects.  One of the great secrets to married life is that if you married a smart and awesome person, many of their interests are likely to be smart and awesome as well.  If you listen when they talk, soon you're invested in those interests too.

Anyway, I work pretty hard at this wife thing.  I like to think that I respond fairly well to my friends' bids for attention too.

But recently, I've been thinking over my theology and my philosophy of life, to the degree that I have those things.  As I've tried to articulate what's important to me and how I can focus my life around those values, I've started to wonder, what if there are bids of attention from the world and the way I see it that I've been ignoring?  So I'm starting to make a practice of mindfully pursuing my yearnings, mostly the nerdier sorts, and look for what I might be trying to tell myself.  And I'm going to write about it, because truly I don't know what I'm thinking until I've written it out.

If this revived blog has a goal, it is that, to watch the world more carefully for invitations to think harder about things and to find meaning in new places, and to chronicle me wandering through the world more attentively and what I find when I do.

*Internet for  "Too Long; Didn't read" also known as an "executive summary."

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