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I told you so!

Introduction…I am a Social Dominant Enneagram type 7. End of introduction.

I’m staring at a blank page having just had a conversation with my husband this morning, over coffee as is and has been our morning routine for 25 years, about what a real writer does. She writes. Every day. So here I am…writing. I made the declaration, dare I say, vow, that I was going to change my morning routine, get up earlier and write before I even got out of bed. I would set my alarm and take my computer to our bedroom so I would have no reason to not get started right away. There are many things I don’t do well but sleeping isn’t one of them. I should be ashamed of myself for sleeping late but I hear a huge percentage of people can’t get a good night’s sleep so I guess I should actually be proud. Nonetheless, I figured I could be more productive if I got up a little earlier. Well, maybe not more productive but I wouldn’t run around like a Tasmanian devil getting everything done because I manage and have always managed to get ‘er done! But if I got up earlier I could pace myself and go about my day in a calm, dignified manner. Maybe I'll wear pearls like Agatha Christie or take up smoking five cigarettes a day like Joan Didion. I'll get up early and become dignified like the revolutionary women of great literary fame. Me, up early and dignified, indeed.

His immediate reaction to this great idea was what his reactions usually are…non-reactive. In the best of times, in the worst of times he has some other worldly ability to process the information in a kind of warp speed, super microprocessor computer capacity before he says a word. I both respect and bemoan this about him because sometimes you just need to rip the bandaid off and get all the uglies out in the open, slap on some rubbing alcohol, scream at the pain, get back out on the field and play ball. He calculates and contemplates like a seasoned championship coach and I tend to get slapped with numerous false start penalties. Sports metaphors is one of the love languages we both speak. We’re like the tortoise and the hare and yes, I know the moral of that stupid story. The point is that he sat perfectly still and, in response to my new plan to write as soon as I awoke, calmly asked, “Before you’ve had coffee?”

To say he has supported all my dreams, last minute plans to throw a party, amazing ideas or impulsive decisions to start yet another new adventure is a quantum understatement. Is that a thing? As soon as I wrote it I looked up the definition of quantum which states: 'a discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.' So sure, quantum understatement it shall be because the quantity of energy it must take to withhold a sudden outburst of whatever emotions he keeps inside the brain of that outwardly non-reactive body could, surely, be comparable in magnitude to a nuclear explosion. I’m not a physicist so my formula may not be accurate. My husband is a Self-Preserving, Enneagram type 9 whose main mission in life is to avoid conflict at all costs so you do the math!

In my imagination there’s a little flashing red light that goes off in his head, in moments like this, as a warming that he is wandering into a danger zone conversation. Even when I call him with news of a minor mishap or a major meltdown because I’m lost in Tennessee and driving from point A to point B should never have even included the state of Tennessee, he’s cool with a James Bond kind of smooth, unflappable spy vibe. He mentally scopes out the situation never exposing fear or exasperation with the woman he dearly loves who also cooks his dinner. His replies are measured and precise so as to not add to the possibility of upsetting the applecart or the pot of chili that I had already told him we’d be having for dinner. Chili is one of his favorites. He’s very wise, this man of mine.

Did we always understand this seemingly contradiction in actions and reactions or the lack thereof between the two of us? Absolutely not! I may sound like a broken record but what we have learned about the motivations of our Enneagram types and the dominant instincts we use to navigate our lives has lead us to love and appreciate, what might otherwise become, places of contention. Do we ever have times where we don’t see eye to eye? Of course but we chose to open our eyes, learn what makes the other tick, what fears may be unspoken and most importantly, what makes each of us feel safe and loved.

Will I follow through with this idea to become the early riser writer? We’ll see if I can open my eyes before the sun comes up. But in all these years he’s never once told me I was incapable of something I’ve set my mind on doing. Best and smartest reaction of all, when I change my mind, which I might have done a time or ten, he has never said, ‘told ya so’…out loud.

See? He is wise!! I told you so!

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