Overwhelmed by his daunting stacks of papers…and objects…and cleaning…and sorting…and…and…and… that had slowly accumulated over a decade, my father was now only too grateful to allow me complete access. That meant my reach could extend room-by-room to wrest back some semblance of organization from the disastrous mess.
Progress became measured in millimeters. Even a small corner tamed proved great cause for jubilant celebration!
Timing is everything in life.
In the process, I learned something important about timing. What was once off-limits in the performance of daughterly support slowly transformed into an accepted norm.
Now, make no mistake! At a moment’s notice, I was still subject to one of my Dad’s famous hollered lines: “Don’t touch my stuff!!” Have you ever received a similar command from your Un-cope-able Parents?
Naturally, the man was referring to his endless piles littered across every available surface of the downstairs where he basically cloistered. Like a General strategically executing an intricate battle campaign, this daughter stealthily encroached on his “territory”.
You know what else? My father’s feedback on all the work eventually became prideful. His thankfulness was sincere. We arrived at a partnership of sorts over time.
How about we define Observe?
So far under the focused ACTION I suggest we’ve covered off: Advocate; Clarify; Trust; and Initiate. This brings us to Observe.
Here’s how I’m using the term:
- Listening for what’s not being said just as much, if not more, than what is being spoken;
- Watching body language, like the art I developed as a teenager to notice the nanosecond twitch of my father’s eye to discern when he’s uncomfortable or downright lying;
- Noticing verbal “trucs” (French for tricks) like blustering and argumentativeness when he wants to throw others off his trail (this one used to work beautifully on my intimidated mother, but it doesn’t thwart me because I’ve learned to circumnavigate it);
- Picking up on a doubtful hemming-and-hawing tone he displays when I’ve caught him red-handed in an act of subterfuge.
Prepare to become parent-like yourself.
When we forge into Observation in a more detailed way next time, I think you’ll concur that your powers of noticing will become indispensable alongside the clarifying questions you ask.
This potent combination will either confirm or disprove your gut about what’s really going on.
Yet again, we see how the ACTIONS are inter-related as are the LOVING attitudes.