Home Is Where …

My husband and I keep up with our college-age daughter’s emotional ups and downs by reading her Tumblr, the combination blog/diary/Instagram site that some kids her age use to express opinions and angst. One day recently she posted a single sentence from her campus in Chapel Hill, NC: “I want to go home.”

“Oh!” I said to Mark. “She’s homesick! I feel so bad!”

“Who knows what she means by home?” he said. “She’s a college student! Maybe she’s at a party and just wants to go back to her apartment. Our home isn’t necessarily what she means by home any more, you know.”

Oh, I know. And that’s what give me a lot of pause in our new Foreign-Service life. When we were making the decision to go this route in our early 50s, we thought we could make it work because, after our first year abroad, both kids would be either in college or working somewhere after college. Thus they wouldn’t be depending on us to have an actual house for them to live in, or for us to be living close by; they’d want to be on their own.

Except that I began seeing articles about the phenomenon of young adults living at home after college because of the high cost of living – it’s just not as easy, these days, to spring straight to financial independence if you’re not science or computer professionals. And our kids will not be.

But in choosing Foreign Service life, we’ve eliminated the possibility of a home base in the U.S. to which to retreat for a few months or longer – as I did right after college in 1982 – to figure out next steps. There is literally no place to go. We sold our house in Louisville, glad to free up the proceeds for investments in retirement and college funds. Of course the kids can always come see us in whatever country we’re living, but they won’t have the same access to jobs or contacts there, particularly if they don’t speak the language.

When I have wrung my hands at times about taking away their “home,” Mark wisely reminds me that home is where your family is, regardless of the house or location. Still, as a practical matter we’ve limited the living options for our kids and even for ourselves. Our first mandated home leave, between posts, starts a year from now; we’ll spend four to six weeks in the States with a dog and a cat … somewhere.

Of course we can stay with Mark’s mother for a time, but she lives in Charlotte, NC, where we know no one else – and the same would be true with family in New York, Indiana, Southern Kentucky. We can also stay at friends’ homes on a visit to Louisville, but imposing on others is uncomfortable, especially with pets. And staying in hotels gets expensive fast: Some Foreign Service families say home leave can break the bank.

One option would be to reroute some of our retirement savings to a condo to rent out while we’re abroad and stay in when we’re in the States. But a condo has its own complications, including the property management costs and the fact that it wouldn’t be so easy to ensure that it is vacant when we or the kids need it. We could also request a stateside post in Washington, D.C. But renting in Washington would cost too much unless I got a really good job there, which is possible but not assured when you can promise an employer only one or two years.

Another option would be to accept that we’ve made choices and tradeoffs – and the kids now know that returning to Mom and Dad’s house isn’t an option for any length of time. If they can’t find someplace affordable to live, we may decide to help them financially for a time. That’s scary, given the limits on my becoming gainfully employed in a foreign country. But we could figure it out if we had to.

And what about returning home? At least they can do that, emotionally and sometimes even physically. On our weekly Skype chat as a family with our daughter, Mark and I asked her what she meant on her Tumblr about wanting to go home. Did she mean with us in Tijuana? Or her apartment in Chapel Hill?

“Oh it was you guys,” she said, laughing. Mark snapped his fingers, having lost the bet, and I swallowed the lump in my throat. She’ll be here for Christmas, and we can rest assured that she will have had enough of us by early January that she will not look back when she boards the plane for North Carolina, gratefully returning to her college family of friends.

And then we’ll be figuring out what’s next for our son, a senior in high school – college or gap year? — as we look toward our first transition to a new post. Renegotiating “home” for him, and for us, will stretch the definition even more.

Wish us luck.

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Suspended Animation

It’s been so long since I’ve updated this blog I’ve wondered if I should just start over. But then again, I’ve been silent for several reasons, many of which relate to what it’s like being in this new world of Tijuana, the State Department, and family change.

When I began the blog, I intended to post periodic updates about our family adventure as Mark started a new career in the Foreign Service. But back in January, the “adventure” became a rocky road, and we’ve spent most of our energy since then addressing a private family struggle.

We are OK, and the adventure does and will continue! But for several months I’ve felt like I have been in a state of suspended animation, waiting on changes that I do not and cannot control. As a family we have been waiting, of course, for our struggle to ease. But suspended animation is also common for other reasons in the Foreign Service. We arrived here in October 2014 and waited for three months for our belongings to arrive (they were sitting in a warehouse in San Diego, pending approval from the Mexican government). I’m still waiting for a security clearance to start a part-time job at the consulate (it’s been four months, and this is apparently common for family members being employed by the State Department at embassies and consulates — we are generally at the bottom of the list in terms of priority for clearances). Because of our family distractions, we have yet to explore Mexico as we had hoped, and I have put off studying Spanish until my schedule is more predictable. Then there’s the weirdest “wait” of all — we have barely arrived in Mexico and now know where we’ll be moving for Mark’s next posting because of the State Department’s way-early planning process for moves to other countries. Dominican Republic, here we come. In two years.

Paradoxically, much of my work as a therapist in the past has been around helping people  to leave that “stuck” place of suspended animation so they can make the changes they want in their lives. But for the last few months, I’ve also come to appreciate how much is to be learned in these stuck places. Wendell Berry wrote about this type of learning in a quote I discovered in my 20s: “It comes in its own good time and its own way to the man who will go where it lives, and wait, and be ready, and watch. Hurry is beside the point, useless, an obstruction. The thing is to be attentively present. To sit and wait is as important as to move. Patience is as valuable as industry. What is to be known is always there. When it reveals itself to you, or when you come upon it, it is by chance. The only condition is your being there and being watchful.”

As we continue our journey, wherever and in whatever state, I will keep you posted.

Want to Make Change in the New Year?

We’re all old enough by now to know that New Year’s resolutions often don’t work, right? And yet we still want things to be different in the new year. How can we possibly make that happen?

Part of the answer is in understanding why these resolutions so often fail. Years ago I learned how to lead the “Immunity to Change” workshops developed by Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey of Harvard. Their idea is to help bosses and employees understand why workplace change typically doesn’t happen even when people have the best intentions — why we seem to be immune to change — and how to, well, change that. Think of the boss who pledges to listen more (and still keeps the door shut), the employee who is going to speak up more in meetings (and remains mostly silent), the manager who is going to start demanding more of her supervisees (and gives them even more rope). Their process can be applied to personal change as well.

One part of the workshop has to do with New Year’s resolutions. People laugh and raise their hands when the facilitator asks if they have made resolutions and failed to follow up on them, or maybe even failed to remember what they were … by February. We can all relate.

The reason we don’t follow through, however, is not because we’re basically lazy, unmotivated, or lacking “buy in,” Kegan and Lahey say. Most of the time we really, really want to change.

But the New Year’s resolution simply doesn’t respect the complexity of change, according to these experts in adult development and psychology. It assumes that if we bend our will in the correct direction, we’ll start jogging every day, teaching origami to our children, juggling with knives.

However for every commitment we make to change a behavior, we have a competing, underlying, and perhaps invisible commitment to keep behaving the same, Kegan and Lahey say. This competing commitment is incredibly powerful. It helps us protect ourselves from threats to our well-being, and perhaps even to our jobs or livelihood. It gives us immunity to change.

The Kegan/Lahey solution is to help us unearth that competing commitment, examine the fears that surround it, and determine whether the fears are well founded or not. Only then can we dip our toes — or plunge — into doing things differently.

Thus perhaps the boss who intends to listen more is afraid that, if he does, he will waste valuable time (he’s behind already) or won’t be able to do anything about what he’s told, demonstrating that he is ineffective. The employee who intends to speak up in meetings is afraid that if she comments, she will make it clear that she really has nothing useful to contribute. The manager who is going to demand more of her employees might lose their loyalty and have even worse outcomes if they turn on her.

When I facilitate the workshop, I talk about when I was self-employed as a communications consultant in the 2000s. By mid-decade, I knew I needed to start “selling” myself more positively and assertively to stay in business. I fully intended to make that change. But my competing commitment was to protect myself from rejection, criticism, and failure. And if I really drilled down, I could recognize that I feared that rejection would cause me to overreact in a negative way, further sealing my doom. What if I cried, or yelled, or told people off, or couldn’t do what I was asked (and all these reactions had happened in my life at one time or another)? Moreover, what if I really didn’t known how to be a communications consultant and exposed it? I would have no livelihood left. Thus I continued in my old behaviors, waiting to be “picked” rather than seeking out clients, making self-deprecating remarks about my abilities to lower expectations, busying myself with almost anything other than developing my business.

What Kegan and Lahey suggest is starting with observations, and later small experiments, to see if these fears are borne out … and to experiment further to see how safe it is to actually change. In my case, did promoting myself actually lead to rejection and criticism? And if/when it did, did I overreact? Had I actually lost work this way in the past? Was it possible I had just never learned how to respond productively to criticism?

I ultimately did get positive results from unearthing my immunity to change and exploring my fears, although it was in the service of leaving self-employment to go back to graduate school to become a therapist. The process helped me understand better what I was willing to take risks to do.

But the change doesn’t have to be that big, and I still use the tool today when I find myself stuck in behaviors that I can’t seem to budge. Research shows it does work. The boss who doesn’t listen begins leaving his door open an hour a day and paying attention to what happens when he listens for two minutes. Eventually he’s able to develop enough listening skills that he actually finds them useful. The employee who won’t speak up in meetings tries it once and realizes she has allies who may support her comments in the future on more controversial matters. The manager who doesn’t demand enough of employees asks for help with developing a fair way of evaluating their progress and their own immunity to change. And all this applies to personal change as well.

So, if you’d like to read more about their process, here’s a summary: https://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-overcome-immunity-to-change/

You can also order their book on Amazon, or read this Harvard Business Review from more than a decade ago that was my first introduction to them (thanks to the organizational consultant Libby Alexander of Louisville): https://hbr.org/2001/11/the-real-reason-people-wont-change

Also, Kegan and Lahey now offer the course periodically and you can audit it for free! See this link for the last offering: https://www.edx.org/course/unlocking-immunity-change-new-approach-harvardx-gse1-1x#.VKQqfOPF-So

And happy change — or not — in 2015!

Hello and Goodbye

One of the truths about Foreign Service living is that a different kind of intimacy exists when you’re in another country with folks on a temporary assignment. People gather frequently for dinner or drinks or sightseeing; it’s easy to start making friends.

And then they move away.

This week, for instance, Jack said goodbye to Jaime (pronounced HI-may), the driver of the armored van that takes him and five other students to school every day.

Jack liked Jaime from the very first day, when Jaime offered to help him practice his Spanish while Jaime practiced his English. Because Jack was the oldest student, he sometimes sat in the front seat beside the driver. They spent two hours or more together every day starting at 6:30 a.m., when Jack was the first pickup for Jaime’s school rounds before crossing the border.

Jaime was easy to know, whether they talked or sat silently, and that was a relief for a kid who was overwhelmed by starting a new high school of 2,800 students — so many students that it seemed impossible to get to know any particular one. Jaime also took an interest in Jack. He showed him a local university campus (college might be fun!) and got him a light jacket for Christmas, having noticed that Jack never wore one on chilly mornings.

Jaime had told Jack pretty early on that he would be leaving at the end of the semester, returning to his hometown in another part of Mexico, so we all knew he was going. Yet it still came as a shock when Jaime’s replacement started riding in the van to learn the route. I kept thinking perhaps we’d get word one day that Jaime had changed his mind. But by the end of last week, it was clear he was going. And we needed to say thank you.

Those of you who are parents know how you feel about people who are kind to your child — you are so grateful you want to give them the world. But I learned long ago that it’s almost always impossible to pay back people’s kindness. You can only pledge to pass it along when you can.

So we bought Jaime a keepsake (a Mexican friend had suggested a nice pen) and wrote a note to somehow convey how much he had meant to us all.

And perhaps we will learn, in one of our first happy hellos and painful goodbyes, to appreciate relationships more in the moment, not taking the people in our lives for granted. That, in fact, would be one last gift from Jaime.

What a Difference a Year Makes

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since our whole family was in the house together for more than a couple of days.

Last year on Christmas Eve Day, we learned Mark had an offer to join the Foreign Service. Zoe was still home from college for a week or so after that, then she left. Mark left a week or so later for training.

For the next several months, we all lived in our separate bubbles, Jack and me in Louisville, Mark in Washington and Zoe in Chapel Hill.

The adjustment was challenging for each of us, and in different ways. We tried to bridge the physical gaps with Google Chat sessions and plane trips here or there. By the time Labor Day arrived, I was beginning to feel that every drop of resilience had been drained right out of me, along with all the money in our bank account and most of our credit.

Then events began moving fast again. We sold the house, we drove across the country, we got used to a new neighborhood, we learned new ways of driving and working and going to school.

It hasn’t all been easy or fun. Only so much of the turbulence at a time like this is appropriate for a blog or social media.

But I was somewhat shocked to note that the anxiety I was reporting on this blog back in July and August — anxiety that bordered on panic at times — receded and disappeared entirely after Mark, Jack and I were all back together. Even on bad days, I’ve been able to sleep. And there have been many good days where I hardly recognize the worrier I was back in the summer.

I think it has to do with the restoration of family connections and interdependence. I feel safe again, even in a different country.

Of course Zoe is part of all that too, but we have been adjusting to her natural transition to college life. In some ways she has had to speed up the independence process — figuring out her own money issues when things were tight for us, managing one of our pets and his fleas in an house with three other young women, dealing with the care and speeding of a car on campus.

I want to say that I know this is the right thing for her, but as a parent it’s never clear (at least to me) that the difficulty a child is experiencing is “for the best.” It’s just too painful in the moment to feel sure about.

But when I step back and take a look at each of us in our separate bubbles — and then at all of us together — I’m encouraged and proud. And that’s, as they say, the best kind of birthday gift.

The Border

We saw the long reach of the border fence for the first time on our trip back from vacation. Not that we hadn’t noticed the wall between the U.S. and Mexico on our frequent trips back and forth between Tijuana and San Diego. But we hadn’Border Fencet yet seen the extent of the fence, a nondescript rusty brown strip of metal that ran along our right side as we drove west from Puerto Peñasco to TJ. And in fact, our life now revolves around that fence and what it symbolizes. The Tijuana/San Ysidro crossing between the U.S. and Mexico is the busiest in the world, and the biggest job of the Tijuana consulate of the U.S. embassy in Mexico, where Mark works, is to issue — or deny — tourist and other temporary visas for work or other purposes. Tourist visas allow Mexicans to make visits to the U.S. for shopping, travel, visits, but not permanent residency. (Immigration visas are issued at the consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.) Like the other new Foreign Service Officers here, Mark stands behind a window in a long row of windows starting at 7:30 a.m. every weekday, interviewing people and making immediate decisions about whether they get a visa or not. In a way, it’s a fascinating job. Mark gets to meet Mexicans from all walks of life every day and learn details of their lives and culture. But these visa decisions are also a front-line mechanism of U.S. immigration policy. Such visas are required for all foreigners who want to visit the U.S. In many other countries, from which there is less fear of illegal immigration, they aren’t as hard to get. So if citizens of a foreign country want to visit the U.S., they must provide enough details about their lives to overcome the legal presumption that their real intention is to immigrate. But that presumption can be harder to overcome in Mexico — because of its proximity and the long history of illegal immigration. As you can imagine, the federal government has a zillion rules about tourist visas, but there’s also a good bit of discretion. Within a few minutes, the diplomatic officers must synthesize all the information at their disposal, from database checks to the sense they get of whether an applicant is lying or not, and make a ruling. Officers can issue 100 or more visas in a day. Each time, they must balance the effect of their decision on a micro level – it may mean the difference between an applicant getting to see her dying brother in the U.S. for the last time or not – with American interests. And those are complicated too. The U.S. wants Mexicans to cross the border and spend money; it just doesn’t want those who come ostensibly as tourists or on short-term business to live there permanently. Of course Mark’s job is to support and implement U.S. foreign policy, and he does. He also has a window – literally – onto what it looks like from the other side. As do all resident of Tijuana, which absorbs 100 to 150 deportees from the U.S. every week, according to the New York Times. Deportees who are the most destitute, drug-addicted, or desperate may wind up camping in “El Bordo,” a drainage canal that runs along the border as well as beside the Via Rapida, the thruway we use for the commute between our home and the consulate. Occasionally a resident of the canal will dart out in front of cars on the Rapida to get to one side or the other, scaring the drivers to death. So this is what the border looks like – a long metal fence, an intensive legal process, a dirty drainage canal. None of it is pretty. At least that’s what I’m learning.

The New Non-routine Routine

Yesterday I filled up the car at a Mexican gas station, wound my way through a different and unfamiliar border crossing, and attempted to converse with Spanish speakers who were explaining why our electricity had been cut off and how to pay our nearly-late telephone bill at a grocery store. Across the border in the US, I got the car washed and the oil changed, tasks I have often left to (sigh) my husband or my father. Much of this new life is navigating the unfamiliar, which might be why I’m tired at the end of the day like Mark and Jack, though I didn’t have to go to work or school. I do feel accomplished when somehow everything works out, whether or not I had anything to do with  it. And when it doesn’t work out, well, at least I have the time to muddle through it all again tomorrow.

A Holiday in Another Country

Well here we are, not only in Mexico, but on vacation in Puerto Penasco and without Zoe, for our first big holiday away from Louisville, home, and other family members.

In some ways it’s not so different. We’ve spent the last four Thanksgivings eating out or at someone else’s house, mainly to help me get through what is the most difficult holiday without my mother.

Today we’ll be on a boat heading to Bird Island, where sea lions bask and seagulls poop. It would be a great trip for photos except that our only camera is on our only working phone. Since we can’t spare it, it seems inevitable it would fall overboard, so we’ll leave it in the room.

This means I will have to exist in the present, which sounds like a great idea except that the present can include uncomfortable emotions — sadness at missing Zoe, boredom on a long boat ride, gears grinding at the little irritants that accompany an event designed for tourists.

So I will work on my gratefulness in the present — for warm weather, for the company of my husband and son, for my mother’s inherited timeshare points (frustrating as they are at times), for the memory of her love of trips and family dinners, for the anticipation of talking to Zoe later today. And for the funny stories that are likely come out of a Thanksgiving trip to see lions and poop.

A Two-State Solution, Brokered by Diplomats

We have spent our first month in Tijuana trying to find our own two-state solution — how to get an affordable international phone plan so that we can communicate in and from Mexico and the U.S.

To make a long story short, we discerned that T-Mobile is the best option. We have four lines with AT&T.

But the process of paying off an early termination fee and unlocking the AT&T phone in order to transfer the lines — without losing our phone numbers — was absolutely Orwellian. We were told by AT&T that we couldn’t do it. And we were told by T-Mobile that we had to do it or we would have to trade in perfectly good phones and buy new ones to get the T-Mobile plan we wanted.

Over the last few weeks, we had visited the AT&T store in the Plaza Bonita Mall three times, the T-Mobile store four times. These stores are about 10 steps away from each other across a mall aisle. Back and forth, back and forth. There was no solution. But we did have a T-Mobile salesperson we liked who was bearing with us.

Finally yesterday, Mark, Jack and I went back again to the T-Mobile store to throw up our hands and trade in our old phones for new ones. We got hung up on yet another question about AT&T unlocking them. My voice started rising. And then our salesperson said, there really IS a way to get the phones unlocked and keep your numbers, we see AT&T customers do it all the time!! I promise!! Just go across the aisle and talk to them!! Again!! I’d go with you but I’m in a pink T-Mobile shirt!!

We agreed, but I told Mark he had to do the talking because I was ready to kill somebody.

We crossed the aisle. I was so ticked off, I did the talking anyway, before Mark could interrupt. The very young AT&T employee who was helping us explained that why yes, we could make it work, but T-Mobile had to take the first step. No, no!! I said. It won’t work that way!! Yes it will, he said.

And then he added: I’ll walk over to T-Mobile with you and explain.

THIS was unexpected, especially as he was wearing a blue AT&T shirt. He told his boss where he was going; his boss looked confused and wary. But before the boss could say no, our young man hurriedly joined us and ushered us across the aisle.

We met up with our T-Mobile salesperson. The two salespeople sort of agreed on the solution, but not really, until another T-Mobile employee, who had earlier defected from working for AT&T, joined us.

It can be done, he said. I’ve done it. Here’s how. You have to call AT&T customer service and tell them THIS. The young man from AT&T agreed that he was correct.

Still dubious, my negotiating team and I decamped to the food court to call. As expected, the AT&T customer servicer rep on the phone said it couldn’t be done. Then I said oh yes it can, a live AT&T person told me so. I said it calmly. She said she would research it.

And then, reader, she said that was right and did what we needed.

We are still in the midst of it all, so I can’t declare total victory yet. And the biggest lesson I’ve taken from it is that the American people are hostages of predatory phone companies.

But I’ve also determined that there are six morals to this story about negotiation and diplomacy that perhaps even Israel and Palestine could learn from. And they are:

1. Diplomacy requires a fed-up person/population who keeps saying this is insane, it doesn’t make sense, I don’t understand (me). This person/population might be on the verge of violence, or sobbing. Something important must be at stake — like the inability to talk to your child across the border, when she calls in anguish about a problem, without mentally ticking off how many dollars a minute it is costing you to provide aid and comfort.

2. Diplomacy requires a really young person/new perspective who hasn’t been fully trained in self-protection or corporate self-interest yet (the AT&T rep in the blue shirt).

3. Diplomacy requires a more mature person/experienced perspective of someone who has studied both sides and understands them (the T-Mobile guy who had left AT&T).

4. Diplomacy requires at least one mediator that the ticked-off people have a relationship of trust with (the salesperson in the pink T-Mobile shirt who had been trying to help us).

5. Diplomacy requires persistence. Even after an agreement is negotiated, the interests of each side are so entrenched that it may require herculean efforts to make the agreement work. Some people in power on one or both sides will still say the agreement isn’t in effect, or it doesn’t work that way. The ticked-off people have to insist that it will.

6. Sometimes the trained diplomats (Mark) don’t even have to speak up. They just have to be there, as a back-up, in case the ticked-off people lose control.

Shew. It is exhausting solving the world’s problems, much less our own phone tussle. And ours might not even be solved.

Then again, nothing ever gets completely solved, right? Our goal is to be able to communicate freely (if not entirely free) with our family on both sides of the border. And we’re one step closer, which is give us the energy to take the next step, and the next.

What’s *Your* Learning Style?

A born navel gazer, I love assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs on personality type, that give me more insight into myself and others. Several years ago I took another questionnaire, on learning styles, that produced one of those aha! moments. My highest score was in interpersonal learning, which may explain why I can sit in a classroom or workshop and actually enjoy a lecture — though only if I get to ask questions. Even though I’m an introvert and sometimes struggle with approaching people, I often need to talk to people to understand what I’m learning.
My husband, on the other hand, is mostly an intrapersonal learner. He will go to great lengths to read up on what he wants to learn and figure it out himself. He struggles to endure a lecture. He falls asleep at plays and some movies. And, like the old trope about the difference between men and women, he would rather die than ask directions. I would rather ask directions than take a minute to look it up.
This is relevant to our new adventure in Mexico for obvious reasons.
I’d like to say that our complementary styles work beautifully — he goes to the web or the manual or the map while I ask a lot of questions. Somehow we come up with just the right answers!!
In truth, he’s the one who spends all day at the consulate, where he could ask lots and lots of questions of other people but generally is not comfortable doing so. I’m at home, DYING to ask questions, but with no one to talk to, since I haven’t even figured out how to use our local phones.
The obvious answer is for both of us to get out of our comfort zones. I mean, it would be easy enough for me to fiddle around with the cell phone and landline and try to make the various applications work, even look them up online. And Mark could ask some questions around the office.
But we each tend to default toward our preferred style, given that we’re still in major adjustment mode with limited emotional energy. That’s why I sent a looooooong email today to a couple of folks at the consulate with a lot of questions about the ins and outs of managing various bills, car and household concerns. Maybe I could just come into the office to talk it through, I suggested?!
Mark, on the other hand, still tries to figure things out without bothering anyone else — and he doesn’t have much time to ask around the office because of learning his new job and trying to meet expectations.
I suppose eventually we’ll each stretch ourselves a little more — and Mark, I’ll admit, is stretching more than I am these days. Recently I tried to find the manual of our unfamiliar oven online. I couldn’t track it down on the company website so emailed customer service and a real person emailed me back with the manual in Spanish. I then requested it in English and immediately received it. Ta da, success through interaction with a real person! No, wait … I now need to read the darned thing.
For his part, Mark has agreed to ask a real person at the office a question about the confusing utility bill we received, maybe even today. It’s possible he’ll just read it himself over lunch and figure it out. And if he does, that’s fine. Maybe our styles really are meshing effectively, as long as one of us gets an answer, right?
In the meantime, maybe I can interest you in exploring your learning style? And telling me about it? That would give me another chance to interact and put off reading the oven manual!
And learning really is so important — in The Once and Future King, I sometimes tell my clients, Merlin advises a young Arthur, “The best cure for depression is to learn something.”
Here’s a link: