Back home from Master/slave Conference. It was a rough weekend, for many reasons – the memories/dedications to Ms. Margaret (who passed earlier this year), then the accident (and now passing) of slave David who was beloved in the Northeast. Heavy topics at classes and heavy hearts for our friends who are grieving.
I joked on Facebook yesterday that at Laura Antoniou’s class on “Overcoming Temporary Obstacles in Service” that she was applying a clue-by-four to service relationships. I didn’t expect to be in that frame of mind tonight when slave angie and I were on the road from the airport back to our house.
We were discussing what would happen when we got home.
Me: So I’ll take the luggage upstairs [there were 4 pieces, 2 large] and start to unpack, while you deal with getting the granddaughter ready for school tomorrow. Once you’re done, come on up and help me finish, if needs be.
A long pause…
Her: Master, I’m not sure that’s reasonable…
Let me interrupt a moment. Where that came from, I understood. We’ve been doing well with the packing and unpacking, but there have been times when we’ve come home, exhausted, and then the luggage takes a few days to get unloaded. MsC was really hard for both of us. Unpacking isn’t fun and takes time. However, I wanted to reframe her thoughts and our approach. “Reasonable” is what I deem to be reasonable. I may ask her to do things that she doesn’t like, that she may think are unreasonable. That’s OK, that’s part of the deal. There’s a balance to it, and sometimes, well, being the slave isn’t sunshine and roses, but is done equitably and with consideration.
So, picking this back up…
Me: OK, let’s back up a minute. How about we reframe this to you telling me if you think you have the spoons to help with the unpacking after you’re done with grandkid duties?
Her: I don’t think I will, Master.
Me: OK, then I’ll do the unpacking, you can put your things away, and I’ll get the rest sorted through.
Her: Yes, Master.
We both left this conversation happy. I was going to get the unpacking done, which means that the bedroom is less cluttered and we don’t have that little annoyance. She gave me the info I needed, to understand that her helping wasn’t the best choice to make. Priorities were kids taken care of, as far as I was concerned.
It’s these little tweaks that help to learn that there’s a way this energy and dynamic flows. It seems small, but small steps lead to really wonderful places – where we both feel that dynamic in action.