One of the things I value most about our relationship is the perspective we are able to give one another. By that I mean we helptractor1 each other see all sides of an issue, especially when our personal bias or world view makes it difficult to remain objective. Perspective, in my opinion, also involves gently nudging one another back toward the center if we start to drift too far afield. One of the primary areas where I have to help John keep perspective is in the division of labor. Work outside the house is divided pretty evenly between the two of us, but we struggle to maintain that same equity when it comes to chores inside the house. Our conversation one day this week is a perfect example of how important it is to keep things in perspective.

John had been outside most of the morning, but I didn’t have any idea what was on his agenda for the day. I had just started doing dishes when he came in, and from his appearance, it was pretty apparent he had been involved with some kind of machinery project. He immediately started telling me about changing the oil in the tractor and what a dirty, unpleasant job that was. He finished by saying, “It’s a dirty job, but obviously I’m the one who has to do it because I’m sure you wouldn’t trade places with me.” I replied, “Don’t be so hasty to write me off. I might be interested in that deal.” He looked at me in disbelief and said, “You’d really consider learning to change the oil in the tractor?” I responded, “How many times a year do you change the oil in the tractor because I do dishes every day?” He immediately started stuttering and backing up finally stammering, “I…I…I  just meant for today, not permanently.” I said, “You sound like someone complaining about not having shoes to someone who doesn’t have any feet.” He looked at the floor for a moment and replied, “Point taken.” It’s all about your perspective, and I think I pulled him back to dead center that day.

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