I have spent the last two days attending a conference for "Women in Agriculture".
The keynote speaker was a gentlemen I wish I could have gotten to know while I was at UNL.
Ehmmm.......(imagine me speaking into a brightly painted Mega-phone).
"If you see this name listed as a facilitator, speaker or even in attendance at the meeting. Go.
DROP WHAT YOU'RE DOING.....and GO. NOW!"
His name was Dr. Ron Hanson. His specialty is counseling farm families through conflicts in a positive way and strengthening family relationships thru better communication. Mostly, he discussed (very candidly) the struggles families have encountered as they
a) transistion from the father running the operation to the son returning to take over,
b) the relationship between a close-knit family (and their private financial situations) and the new daughter/son-in-law,
c) the ramifications of not having a will and the father/mother dying unexpectedly,
d) remarriage and adjustments to her needs/farm needs/childrens needs, and
e) disagreements/fights that end family relationships.
This list goes on. I could have sat and listed to him for hours. I will tell you, there were tears (and a few contributed by me) and laughs, and lots of stories from experiences he's had counseling farm families from all-over the midwest.
The most insightful portion of the presentation (in my opinion) was the discussion about the dynamic between a farmer/rancher/agriculturalist and his wife.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day (and my hope to you that you will devote some time to your significant other) I listed the 3 most common complaints bewteen a farm husband/wife regarding communication (according to a study published by Cornell University) which Dr. Hanson presented.
1) He/she won't discuss his/her feelings with me.
2) He/she tunes me out most of the time.
3) He/she has time to talk to everyone but me.
Its sad/disheartening/unfortunate but true. I can think of an example of each situation that has occurred in my own relationship with Ben. Granted, they are isolated situations and we have what I consider "pretty good" communication - but not always.
I thought, "Wow. How lucky are we to receive this information just before Valentine's Day?"
So - I did the only thing I knew how to do about rectifying the situation.........after we got home last night I talked, talked, talked until Ben fell asleep.
And then I proceeded to talk some-more.
Happy Valentine's Day to all you Lover's out there! And if you're not attached - go buy yourself something nice too.....you deserve a treat also.