No matter what stage of life you’re at, every season can bring its own delights and challenges. Summer is no exception.
For Eric and I, expectations of what we want out of summer can be very different. Ever the Innovator, Eric always has a long list of projects he wants to get started, get finished, get going — and I, true to my Merchant, always have a long list of adventures, and fun things I want to do! At first those mentalities can feel diametrically opposed. And certainly, coming up with a compromise can be a little challenging. It’s not only about how we spend our time, but how we spend our money — you’ll notice both of our summer styles can come with hefty price tags if you’re not too careful. And it can be harder to compromise still because neither of us are speaking strictly for ourselves; we both want the best for the family, we just have different ideas of what is really best for our family (Getting things done, which will undoubtedly make our lives easier? Or having family connection time to draw together relationally?). So how do we get to a happy place where, come Labor Day, we can both look back and feel satisfied with our summer?
Well, before you make any plans, it’s important to connect, discuss, and determine together what really matters to you both. That usually means going to the root of the issue. Within every relational conflict, there is usually a deeper meaning and a dream.
Find out what is most important to each other. What dream or underlying need or longing is beneath the summer expectations? When you know that, it’s much more clear how to find a compromise. In our situation, the root of the issues are clear: connecting with my loved ones is essential for me. I won’t have a good summer if I don’t do that. And for Eric, he needs to provide practical value for his family. If he doesn’t do that, he won’t feel like his summer had value. Now that we know that about each other, it’s much less about the details — we’re not fighting about a particular vacation or repairing a fence. It’s more about asking, what does our summer look like if we do both of those things? Then it’s much easier to problem solve together and decide where, when, and how to invest our time, energy or finances. We’re on the same page, back on the same team, pursuing dreams together, rather than apart.
So what’s the root of your summer dreams?