Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘opposites attract

Starting Big

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In the beginning, I was asked to build a terrace wall for Cyndie to have a produce garden. Seemed like a good idea to me. We talked about creating two levels in the space she wanted to use, but decided to focus on just the upper level to start. We have never grown our own food before, so I suggested we start small and learn what works in that location.

Just a suggestion.

The other day I saw no less than 21 different names listed in a text where Cyndie described what she has planted.

So, that one terrace I started building has been dwarfed by subsequent construction Cyndie undertook on her own. Fencing and netting, all hers, three different locations.

Plants are in the ground and awaiting some mulch. Woodchips are something I can contribute to her new project. The rest has spun up so quick it makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

When Cyndie bursts headlong into her projects, I tend to get out of the way. I am inclined toward sequential thinking and prone to plotting each step in advance before taking action. Cyndie operates more randomly and takes action simultaneously to figuring out a plan.

I guess we serve as a classic example of the attraction of opposites.

Here’s hoping she meets with an incredible success that exceeds imagination come harvest time.

I’ll be watching to see if my terrace does its job. The rest will be gravy.



Written by johnwhays

May 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

Everything Goes

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I remember this energy from the days after we first moved here. When Cyndie puts her attention to a specific project, she gets down to action and does it big. I am more inclined to wade in slowly, spending a lot more time contemplating and plotting, before breaking a sweat on the labor.

In 2013, I understood we were about to get horses, but it didn’t occur to me that we would need almost everything horse-related that Fleet Farm sold.

Now we have returned the horses to their old herd. When I got home from work yesterday, I came upon a startling sight. It looked as if the barn had regurgitated its entire contents out of both ends.

Everything must go! Buckets, mats, blankets, fans, ropes, brushes, fencing, toys, books.

I’m wondering if Cyndie is trying to eliminate anything that reminds her of our days owning horses.

She has cleaned and catalogued everything, posted flyers with photos and prices, and included her phone number. The calls making claims on the goods are underway.

It reminds me of the beginning, just flipped and going in the other direction.

Everything goes, on a massive scale.



Written by johnwhays

April 24, 2019 at 6:00 am

Different Sense

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I suppose this is related to the concept of “opposites attracting,” but living with someone who perceives the world differently from you has a way of complicating otherwise straightforward coexistence. Several times in the last week, Cyndie’s and my dramatically different abilities to sense smells has been made vividly obvious.

She brought a horse blanket into the house to be mended the other day. When I stepped inside after a day of work, I immediately commented, “It smells like a barn in here!”

She didn’t notice it.

Friday night, she put a pork roast in the slow cooker before going to bed, to let it simmer while we slept. The longer it cooked, the more intense was the appetite-triggering aroma that filled our home. When my slumber was interrupted by a full bladder in the wee hours of the morning, getting back to sleep amid that incredible smell, was like trying to go to sleep while someone continuously knocks on your door.

I couldn’t do it. Cyndie barely sensed the aroma.

There are other differences –or opposites– that tend to have greater significance. The way we process grief, and the intensity with which we experience it, is a particularly hefty one of late. The horses aren’t even gone yet, but the mental anguish over rehoming them started way back when the idea of doing so was first brought up.

The torment over their departure is deeper than just coming to grips with them no longer being here, it delves into the original vision that brought us to this land in the first place.

The difference in the way Cyndie and I perceive this whole development, and the varying degrees of processing our personal grief over it, can make for a difficult… life together.

It would be great for me if I could just deal with all of this my way, but then I would miss out on life lessons that are the gift of living in relationship with another person.

Cyndie and I got to where we are today, together. We intend to get to where we are going next, the very same way.

We’ll discover it together, even though she doesn’t smell half the things I do.



New Insight

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I awoke with a song in my head. It was a Roches song, but I didn’t know which one. I let the short snippet play round and round, over and over, enjoying it thoroughly, but that still left me wanting.

It took only a few tries to locate the right song, “The Scorpion Lament,” from their album, Keep On Doing. Ahhh. It’s like scratching an itch.

While processing all that, something else was revealed to me this morning. It is probably obvious that we would have a list of things demanding attention here on our new property. – I wonder how long I get to refer to this place as ‘new’ to us. I will probably use that term through the first year, since every day is still new to us, because we have not experienced spring or summer here before.

Anyway, regarding that list, …there are a couple of things that seem to me as though Cyndie should take the lead. When I don’t hear of any results on those, I toss out a few hints, occasional reminders and eventually realize I’m simply nagging.

“Yeah, I could do that.” she accommodates me.

With regard to one particular issue, last night I finally asked her if she needed something else to happen first, as if there was some step in a sequence that hadn’t yet occurred. That is a loaded question, in a way, because she is so classically random, …like the way she mows the lawn.

I was becoming confused with her choosing not to act in cases where it seemed to me it would be something that could be quickly knocked off our to-do list, or at least trigger action that can bring subsequent progress. What was holding her up from taking this step? If she was truly random, things should be able to happen at any time.

That’s it! This morning I realized that her not doing things isn’t the result of waiting on a sequence, it is the very manifestation of her randomness. That is why it doesn’t appear to bother her that a particular step gets done by a certain time. Meanwhile, I grow uncomfortable. I want it to happen in sequence, meaning, do this now, and then other things can follow.

It is why I am bugged by the fact that we suddenly find ourselves working on one thing, when I feel like we haven’t yet finished another. I also realized that after we accomplish some of the random tasks, I don’t get the same sense of satisfaction from having done so, as Cyndie does, because I’m still framing it as having been out of sequence.

Eventually, things work out for both of us, one way or another. We are invested in learning from our styles, and in achieving more together than would be possible, each on our own. I know that I have benefited greatly, over and over, as a result of her randomness through the years.

Our success is the reward that comes from the attraction of opposites, which is accomplished by overcoming the difficulties inherent in being so different from one another!