Week 9: My Indulgent Husband, Passwords, Accidentally Unplugged

22 in 22? Don’t mind if I do!

Ahhhh! Finally, a normal week! How sweet it is…

#2 Do the heart work necessary for my marriage

Who doesn’t love a little word of affirmation from time to time? I mean, I am a big giant black hole for words of affirmation. The Love Language I speak most readily is words of affirmation.

Except…and this is absolutely awful, horrible, shameful…except with my indulgent husband.

I have examined this strange reality from one thousand different angles to understand why, and I have only been able to come up with this: We have been together for so long that when I look at him, I don’t see someone who is separate from me anymore. It’s not that I don’t see him. It’s just that I don’t see him as “other” anymore.

I mean, after 25 years, we’ve figured each other out pretty well. He knows exactly how I take my coffee, and I keep him on his toes with my mood swings. It’s a match made in heaven.

That is why, when earlier this week, after he helped me edit the text for the French version of the blog, it wasn’t until three hours later that I finally remembered send him a text to thank him for helping me.

There are plenty of benefits to being someone’s other half: it’s comfortable, safe, relatively no-stress. But it also means that you become unintentionally invisible.

So that’s why when, although I didn’t expect him to, he texted me back, I cried for about ten minutes in my car. He said something very kind, and I cried like a baby.

Weird how, when you don’t treat people like they are invisible, they can make you feel seen.

#11 Know my passwords and keep them up-to-date

Earlier this week I had a little business meeting with Facebook Marketing. It’s a lovely little service that they are offering whippersnapper podcasters (and others, I’m sure!) like myself, who are actively trying to promote their projects on social media. It’s free…probably because I have spent a little money on ads here and there and they are a gigantic corporation and see potential for more dollar signs if they tell me how to do this right.

A few weeks ago I had my first of these calls, and managed to make a knot in the brain of the person on the other line. He was perfectly charming about it, but I’m sure he had to take a mental health day to recuperate.

Then Monday, I had my second. Another charming person, another knot. It turned out I did have a little technical snafu, and I needed help from their IT department. Another charming person, this time a delightful woman named Catia, whose praises I will sing until the day I die.

So, as Catia was patiently walking me through how to fix what I broke, I discovered that I needed a password for something. And you know about me and passwords. I start to sweat immediately even at the thought of passwords. I even told her, “Oh dear, I just started to perspire.”

But. Because this subject was on my 22 in 22, I had one little weapon on my side: I knew where to go look for that password! And I found it! Quickly!!!!!!!!!!

Hallelujah!!! Amen!!!!!!!!

Also, just, side note: when you have someone on the line, whether tech support, or client service, or whatever, and they do a bang-up job of helping you out? Don’t just wait til you get the satisfaction survey. Tell the person, while you have them on the phone that you appreciate them and how they helped you. “But they’re just doing their job,” you say.

We all need a word of affirmation from time to time. You can make a positive difference in someone’s day. That’s a superpower. Let’s just all be everyday superheroes, please.

#12 Set aside “unplugged” hours of the day

So, let’s talk about a happy accident, shall we?

I accidentally set my iPad into something called “personal” mode (I have no idea how, nor do I know how to undo it!) This means that I get no notifications anymore. At all.

And this is absolutely the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. Because, as I have discovered, notifications are what get me distracted in the first place. Either the little banner on the screen, or the little red dot on the app.

No notifications, fewer distractions; fewer distractions, less time on my tablet doing things that aren’t productive or helpful to living the life that I truly want to live.

I am fortunate that my work is something I can do when I feel like it and when I have time. So the notifications are not essential. They were fun, though. It was fun to know when someone I had never met posted a new story on Instagram, or when my favorite podcast dropped a new episode.

Now, I have to want to go looking for these things. And as it turns out, without my tablet telling me that I should go looking for these things, I don’t need to go looking for them. And while these things were nice to know, I can live quite well without actually knowing them. I am back in the driver’s seat of my day.

Which has led to a few more unplugged hours and slightly more productivity… It has also led me to sit down with a paintbrush alongside my youngest while he is practicing painting circles and practice painting my own. Yay for productivity.

Episode 31: Mental Health Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: Rage; Sublimation; Mental Hygiene. Episode 31: Mental Health is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories. The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up. Links: The Great Bathrobe Refashion: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/05/18/the-great-2021-bathrobe-refashion/ Rage Refashioning: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/05/27/rage-refashioning/ Sublimation: https://lilyfieldschallenge.com/2021/06/09/sublimation/ You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com. A great big thank you to Seven Productions here in Mulhouse, France for the use of the song "La Joie" as the intro and outtro to the show. Thanks also to Matt Kugler who sang it and Claude Ekwe who wrote it.
  1. Episode 31: Mental Health
  2. Episode 30: Contentment
  3. Episode 29: Commitments
  4. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After
  5. Episode 27: Passionately Curious

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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