Sunday Post 80: Reframing Your Thinking

Posted by Danny

Before Lisa and I got married, our minister required us to go through three sessions of premarriage counseling.  As part of the process, we had to take a personality test.  When Dr. Eller presented the scores he told us that Lisa was 98% idealist and 2% realist.  He then put a positive spin on the fact that I was the exacct opposite: 98% realist and only 2% idealist.  “They say opposites attract!”

Many of the conversations Lisa and I had over the years went like this:

Lisa:  “I like this house.  I think we should buy it.”

Danny:  “It’s considerably over our price range.  I’m just not sure we can swing the payment.”

Lisa:  “We can cut back on other spending, and we both get raises every year!”

Danny:  “It is going to be really tight…”

We generally compromised or took turns as we faced decisions in life.  If we always went with my line of thinking, we’d still be living in a 900 square foot adobe and driving the cars we had in college.  On the other hand, if Lisa had taken the lead on too often a basis, we’d be living in Hawaii with a house in foreclosure. 

But things worked out.  We seemed to have an uncanny ability to land on our feet.  Perhaps it was the balance we brought to each other.

Recently, I’ve started working on reframing.  As I look at a situation, I’m trying to see the potential good versus the potential unease.

Today I drop Stephanie off at camp for a month and Michelle off at camp for two weeks.  It’s a great experience for them, but I dread the quiet house. 

Reframe:  I strive to have some one on one time with each of my kids.  What a great opportunity to spend some time with DJ without the distractions of her little sisters.

Last week I returned to work after two weeks of vacation.  My absolute favorite place to be in this world is on the beach at 4 pm on a summer afternoon – the breeze coursing around my body.  Nothing, nothing feels better to me.

Imagine my lack of zest for returning to my brown desk and hundreds of emails.

Reframe:  I love what I do for a living!  I love the people I work with!  I have a job and there are so many out there right now who are unemployed.  I have worked at the Y so long I have a ton of vacation days each year.  I’m a fortunate dude.

I recently read an article that said we spend entirely too much time searching for happiness.  Instead we should be looking for true contentment.  As I see it, happiness is more temporary – it’s unwrapping gifts at Christmas.  Contentment is the ability to be thankful for and enjoy the gifts you’ve received well into the new year.  It’s deeper.  It lasts longer. 

I’m working to reframe for the long haul, trying to get out of the daily ups and downs that can keep me from enjoying today.

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5 Comments

  1. GodCountryGolf

     /  July 15, 2012

    Hello Danny~
    When I was in college, my advisor taught me the concept of “Be Here Now.” It has 3 parts: Cherish the past, Prepare for the future, but Be HERE Now…be present in your life now. My husband and I tried to live within this concept and in his absence it’s even more important. We cherish the life we had with him and we trust in God’s plan for our future. But, we have to be here now. We do our best to find the joy in each day and find the strength to carry on. You seem to be doing that, Danny Tanner, and you are doing well. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  July 15, 2012

      Someitmes that is harder said than done. But I like the philosophy and hope I can adhere to it! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  2. Aunt Susan

     /  July 15, 2012

    I can see the personality tests, for both of you. and your right, together you made some good decisions. Enjoy the time with D.J. and your self, and look forward to the time with the others as well. I like the “reframing” idea, it will go a long way for you, and I think Lisa is saying, “about time!”
    Don’t forget to let D.J. drive, she needs the practice!

    Reply
  3. I just discovered your blog from n and o mom2mom. I really like it! You are doing a great job and it’s great you are writing about things, the hardships, the joys, despite your loss. I’m so sorry about the loss of your wife. Keep writing. Writing is such a great way to honor someone’s memory! Looking forward to reading more! I’m a Raleigh writer too at lizlogic.wordpress.com and u2areloved.com Take care!

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  July 31, 2012

      thanks for reading Liz. I’ll check your blogs out.

      Reply

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