I spend my life doing too much. It's almost a badge of honour except I wear it as bags below my eyes. And just when I pat myself complacently on the back about how I hold a management job (I mention that it's management so you will know it's 45+ hrs a week), sit on boards and committees, write plays, direct a few, hold a few workshops, do some teaching, parent an ungrateful teen, keep up with friends, keep the house in groceries that sometimes require actual cooking vs. defrosting AND manage to keep up with the dirty underwear and socks pile (teen reference again)... well just as I'm doing a pat, I trip over my feet and sometimes go straight down.
So lying on the rug.. or sidewalk... facing the sky/ceiling/piece of something under the couch (I never said anything about vacuuming)... I get a new perspective. Today it was that even when we've listened really hard, we've only heard a snippet of the whole conversation.
You can't know what's in someone's head because words are only part of the story. As is body language. Your gut can fill in some blanks but really, Sandra Boyton (children's book author) put it really well in a greeting card which I just gave my wretched child "You and I are very different. Although I guess I'm even more different than you are." We listen in sound bites. We process against the only frame of reference we have - our own.
And yet we manage, with some folks, to learn enough to connect. It's fascinating. I'm going to go make chocolate mousse for the pot luck dinner tonight and think about this one some more.