Since I’ve been given some mandatory time off, I wanted to really use my time wisely. My idea was to put together a plan for making the most of my time at home. I work a lot of hours as many of us do. Sometimes, I feel that everyone at work sees the very best of me and when I get home, my family, especially my wife, sees a less affable version of me. I’ve come to the realization that I would like to give my family the best of me whenever possible. So I came up with a three-step plan to bonding with your spouse during a pandemic.
Step One – Show Appreciation:
With my newly found time off, I’m trying to show my wife the appreciation and attention that she so richly deserves…And do you know what? The most amazing thing has happened…  She’s responding to my efforts.  I’m amazed! She’s saying a lot of things to me that she hasn’t said in a long-long time. This started to happen somewhere around my third day at home.
 
For example:                                                                                                                                                                                            
When I look at my wife lovingly, she may respond with something like, “Don’t even think about it Buster!” Or, when I approach her casually, I may hear a very loving, “GET away from me!...” (I’m sure that it’s reverse psychology)  It’s really quite charming. She’s such a kidder!
 
Step Two – Revisit Your Youth:
1976: There were a lot of things that my wife thought were very cute when we were kids. She was very good at feeding my ego. For example: If I bragged as a young man about wanting to conquer the world, or, if I was showing off for her, she would look at me adoringly and tell me that I was “just amazing!”…. It seems like only yesterday.
 
2020: Maybe it’s me, but when I brag about something now, or talk about conquering the world now, Donna will talk to me like a mom would talk to a five year old, or, a caregiver would talk to a mental patient. No matter what she’s saying, her tone of voice has a “You’re such a big BOY and I’m Very proud of you!” sound to it. I’ve also noticed that the look in her eye has been enhanced. She not only looks at me adoringly, but also very sympathetically?
 
Step Three – Learn to Listen Better and to Ask the Right Questions:
If my wife is working on a project, sometimes I’ll try to be encouraging and I’ll ask a lot of questions (so that she knows that I’m interested in what she’s doing). I’ll often hear, “What are you a two year old?!” That response lets me know that I’m asking enough pertinent questions. Has any of this ever happened to you? My wife and I will be having a conversation, …and candidly, sometimes my mind drifts off… (Usually, I get a hazy look in my eyes.) Then, out of no-where, I’ll hear the stern sounds of my wife snapping her fingers as she’s saying, “Pay attention…PAY -A-TTEN-TION!” (Her tone is always so sweet and encouraging.)
 
 Yours in Rotary,
Tony Parziale
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