What a mix of scenarios today did bring!

The day dawned bright, sunny, and solidly into the 30’s (downright balmy in a Northeast February): Such a gift boded well for this Friday. (And this Friday is two weeks out—to the day—from surgery…)

Then, a conversation with my mother—who had a rough week, herself—descended into old patterns, typical pushed-buttons, and high tension. As much as I wanted to; shut my eyes and willed myself to; and vowed to stay detached, rational, yet kind, I submitted to my old ways. Tempers flared, and talking superseded listening.

As we rounded the corner on an hour of such nonsense, I was able to pull myself back. Mom still came on with her confused statements and misreadings of what I put forth; however, I could begin to see her side of things, as well. The less I talked, and the more I listened, the easier the road became.

The idea of “talk less, listen more” is not novel, nor profound. Each time the aphorism is applied, however, feels like a revelation.

We managed to wind down our absurd phone call on a gentler note. And off into my day I went.

Everywhere I went, it seemed that others had stories they wanted or needed to tell. My ears were wide open, and the lives of others (with apologies to the film of the same title) seemed to take precedent over my own.

Such bounty results when we get out of our own way, get outside of our own concerns. My physical pain does not quit, and won’t—not for another two weeks. But my mind and will can carry the days until that time. 

Note to self: Quiet down, and lend an ear.

’Til tomorrow…

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