I’m sick, sick enough that I felt justified in calling in sick to the college and going back to bed. I thought I would get up at ten or eleven and work on-line. Instead I slept nearly all day. But I also did some reading (when the meds were at their best and I didn’t have a crushing headache on top of this sore throat and cough). Somewhere — I can’t remember where! (I blame the meds) — I came across a comment about nagging. This is interesting, I thought. It’s a theme! When we nag, the comment ran, we don’t make progress. Did so! Did not! Did so! I thought of an exchange with Pearl not too long ago. I was giving her a ride to church, and as I parked in the lot, I patted her knee and said, “I’ve enjoyed this talk.” She pushed open the car door and jumped out, then leaned back in and said: “Actually? It was more of a lecture.” Slam.
When you negotiate you keep your options open. You agree to try some things, experiment and see what happens next. When that voice in your head says, “I can’t do that,” try to answer with another voice that says, “Well, could you do this? Could you just take a baby step toward that?”