This week I am changing my style just a bit; my best expressions of what I want to say come when writing my youngest sister, Colleen. So, thinking with my writing here, I am going to share as if I were writing to her. I wrote last week’s piece and it was lacking, lacking that personal connection; all ideas and insights without practical application. My sister relationship is one laced in win-win and writing her is most often the truest expression of my thoughts. I want to convey that in my blog; this is my attempt.
Win-win with you is a given. From the start of our adult years, we accepted each other for who we were and looked to see the best in each other. Seeing the best also brings out the best in the other one, funny how that works. I can say anything to you and not be judged, just accepted for who I am. This acceptance allows me to process and reflect openly and honestly, both essential tools for navigating this journey called life.
We are opposites in many ways and alike in many ways. Though we grew up in the same family, we have little in common, except our enjoyment of mineral water and blueberries, a story from long ago; and we both love nature, particularly strolling along the ocean. You live in the middle of the California redwoods in a log cabin house, a self-declared hippie. I reside in the center of suburbia, a conservative school teacher. Most importantly we are kindred spirits with a fierce commitment to each other.
When it comes to family issues, our relationship, or life in general, you are one of my closest confidants. I can count on you to listen well and I trust your honesty and care in sharing with me. You always have my best interest at heart and are invested in my well-being; I know you know it is mutual.
Thinking to last week’s blog – mutual benefit played out has, at its core, trust and freedom to be transparent. In a healthy relationship we are safe and free; safe to be vulnerable and transparent and free to process thoughts without having to guard words. Win-win comes into play every time we write or talk; we seek the best for each other, and together offer better ideas and solutions than either of us could come up with on our own.
A prime example of our win-win relationship comes each time we set up a visit to our parents. We live half way across the country from each other. That means navigating work schedules (and ours do not coincide) kid events, parent schedules, and whatever else is happening at the moment. It is not easy to spend time looking at all the possibilities and arranging and rearranging our schedules. We do it because we want to see each other and spend time with our parents. Of late, you drive almost four hours and pick me up at the airport so we spend an evening together for some catch up time just the two of us. Last spring we had a family illness and both of us jumped into action to be with our sister, Carolyn. Our relationship history in working together played strongly in just how quickly our plan set into motion and we were not only able to be with Carolyn, but spend time together too.
Win-win is an abundance mindset I appreciate greatly; there is always more than enough to go around – more than enough love, more than enough room to include others, and more than enough support for any and every situation.
Thank you for allowing me to share through the lens of this letter to my sister. Until next week, Judith
P.S. Readers: she gets this letter too.