Living With A Wildcat .. where did THAT come from?

I came up with the name for this blog from an incident in my early years in the workforce. Many years ago, at a company Christmas party, our founder and CEO was addressing us about how he started the company. He needed an entrepreneur to help him so he hired a man who was now our president. Obviously, the pairing was quite successful, but, as our CEO was about to tell us, although they worked well together and had built something out of nothing, “sometimes it was like living with a wildcat in a phone booth!”

I never forgot that analogy. Over the years, I have come to believe that it applies to almost every relationship there is, work, friends, customers, family and even those involving love. After all, we are all different people and clashing about something, sometime is almost inevitable. But, like our CEO and our President, we cannot allow those time to tear apart a relationship that is good, strong and nourishing for both parties. Instead, we need to use those times as learning experiences, to help us understand the other’s viewpoint and to strengthen the relationship.

This is where couples sometimes fail. They think because they have a horrible argument that their love is no longer strong enough to hold them together. Or, worse, that because of the harsh words, that they no longer love each other at all!  The great majority of the time, neither of those things is true.

In the heat and passion of the moment, nothing will be resolved because no one can think rationally when they are that angry. Just agree to disagree, walk away and think about it when you are calmer. Note, that becoming calmer may take some time! 🙂   However, you will usually be able to see the other person’s perspective better after your anger has waned. After you have mulled it over, sit down and talk about it again, calmly. Some compromise can surely be reached. Then you can apologize and kiss and make up! And, I promise, you will find that the wildcat you were just experiencing can turn into a soft, cuddly kitten quite quickly!!

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Let The Guy Do What He Loves!

Today I am going to re-cycle the first post I ever made on this blog.  Time hasn’t diminished the story or the statement so I think it is still relevant to today’s audience.  Enjoy!!  Tommy

When I was in my early teens, I remember when our next door neighbor, Linda, was complaining to my mother about how much time her husband spent working on his race car and how he spent every Saturday night at the local drag strip racing it. Linda felt like Russ should be spending that time with her. She wanted him to fuss over her the way he fussed over his car. Being so young, I had no idea if Russ was paying enough attention to his wife, and I still don’t. I did know that Russ was fanatic about his car and had even built a bigger garage than the one that came attached to the house so he would have more room for the car and all the tools he needed to work on it. My mother didn’t know if he was giving Linda the proper attention either, I am guessing, because her advice to Linda did not address that issue at all. Mom was simple and straight forward with our neighbor as she said “Linda, Russ LOVES to work on and race his car. It makes him happy and he truly enjoys it. You need to realize that and stop complaining to him about it.” The incredulous look on Linda’s face I can still see today. She had fully expected my mom to agree with her that Russ should sell the car and spend more time with her. Mom continued “At least you know where he is, Linda. And you know he is doing something he loves. That beats NOT knowing where he is or what he is doing.” I don’t remember any more of the conversation. I may have become bored and gone out to play ball or ride my bike. But I do remember that, about a week later, Linda was again in our kitchen talking to mom when I heard her say “Midge, I have thought a lot about what you said last week about Russ and his car and I have decided that you are right! He DOES love working on and racing that car and I should let him do what he loves.”
At the time, I did not realize how smart my mother’s advice had been nor how insightful my mother was about men.  It was really just a way of life at our house that my dad hunted and fished and went to the sprint car races on ocassion and spent a lot of time restoring his old “32 Ford Coupe because those are the things he loved to do and mom never complained about any of it. In retrospect, I understand why my parents stayed together until death did them part, because they understood that they both enjoyed things the other did not and they never tried to deny one another the chance to do those things.
As a result, I have never understood why women would tell their man that they “couldn’t” play golf, go fishing, go to a baseball game or any thing else that he wanted to do. After all, she is his wife, not his mom. Women need to realize that by trying to deny a man something he loves, she is just driving him away from HER, not away from the activity he enjoys. When we get married, we are not giving up our individuality, we are just adding someone we love to the equation. As I look back at my life, I realize just how much my mother and father taught me about relationships without even trying. They just set a wonderful example that I have emulated without even knowing it.

 I think Kahil Gibran said it best “Stand together, but not too near together, for the oak and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”