Weekly Reflection 2.8: Turns Out This is About Communication

It was finally super nice out this weekend in Portland. For some reason, of late, either it’s raining nonstop here or it’s nice during the week and rainy on the weekends (so not helpful). So I was so excited when my 10 day forecast showed a sunny weekend. I literally checked it a few times a day to make sure it wasn’t going away.

I’ve been kind of struggling on weekends here. Between the weather, and the moving, and who knows what else, I just haven’t been having the most fulfilling weekends. Sundays were especially throwing me for a loop. Last week it was that terrible hangover. But the weekends before that, I just got to bed Sunday night wondering why I had done little to nothing with my day. This made it infinitely harder to face Monday where I knew I’d be able to get little done outside of my work commitments.

So, as I know usually do, I talked to someone about it. In this case, I talked to the boy about it. I told him that Sundays have been really lackluster for me lately, possibly even worse than lackluster, and he said he’s been struggling with Sundays as well. So this weekend, we made a plan and decided to go hiking. That’s as extensive as our plan was because neither one of us thought a few hours of hiking warranted much more planning than that. I’m pretty sure in the future it would not. But I think we were both shaky on hiking or something. Also, this was the first time hiking with a dog for both of us. Just to add some level of complication I guess.

Let’s just say, a bunch of things went wrong. We started the day a little later than we anticipated, which meant I was stressed that we’d be late to my parents’ house for the Super Bowl. I HATE being late. Especially when meeting my parents. Then we realized neither one of us had money for the toll across the Bridge of the Gods. Because modern life. Haha. So we ended up deciding to go on a shorter, closer hike but then we got lost trying to find it. Until eventually we did. And then it ended up being a ton of fun! Peter convinced me to let Milo hike off-leash. And he did such an awesome job! He would run along and then as soon as he couldn’t see us he’d stop to wait. He was definitely confused by the other people hiking, but he always did a great job staying close! And he even managed to pose for this beautiful picture:

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Then we headed back, picked up a pie for the game, ate some delicious fried chicken, and headed to my parents to sit through one of the more painful Super Bowls I’ve seen. Though to be fair, more often than not, I really don’t enjoy watching the Super Bowl even though I do enjoy watching other football games.

There’s not much point to this story I guess. It’s one of those things when I learned how important communication is, and not just in romantic relationships. I think a lot of us have a tendency to internalize problems and emotions. When we were starting to run late on Sunday I caught myself just silently stressing out on the drive to the hike. Eventually I thought it was ridiculous not to share my thoughts with boy. This meant we changed our plans, sure, but it also meant that I could actually enjoy the hike instead of rushing through it so we wouldn’t be late. We ended up making it just in time, by the way.

I think I have a tendency to think something is wrong with me when I exhibit any negative emotion (maybe even positive emotion sometimes). Because I assume I’m being weird, I tend to hide that emotion and I think it almost empowers it. Many times, my reaction is completely rational and sharing it leads to a solution. I don’t really know why it is that I assume something is wrong with me, but I have a feeling a lot of you guys do it too. My therapists kept telling me that I had to be assertive, but I always struggled with assertive vs. aggressive. I’m not really sure that I have a great guide for how to be assertive without being aggressive. I think the main thing is, don’t attack anyone. I probably could have let my stress turn to annoyance at the boy and then somehow blamed him for our lateness, but instead I just shared my feelings about the situation with him. He ended up coming up with a solution because he’s hiked around the gorge a lot and knew some of the shorter hikes off the top of his head.

If you have an issue, and you think that issue is with a person, look inside first. Maybe that person has no idea what your expectations are. The boy felt that being late for the parents was no big deal. Neither one of us particularly cared for the game. But then he found out how much I hated being late, and we adjusted. So next time you run into an issue, I urge you to use this method. Look internally and communicate clearly. And then be open to whatever comes next.

Til next time!

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