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Sharing a Home with Diver or Scanner

After tonight's teleclass on Divers (people with one interest they keep going deeper into) and Scanners (people with so many interests they can't choose one) and how they can get along, someone sent me this question.

Diver and Scanner couple. My husband does not understand all my piles. He calls them my "droppings." I think of them as my "stations." I don't know if we will ever see eye to eye about them, and I might have to collect my "stations" and put them all in one place at some point. But I like to work on different things in different locations.

Hmmm how can we both get what we need?

You're only stuck as long as you see it as "keep my droppings right where they are" and "put her droppings somewhere else." As soon as one of you decides to jump the net and offer to deliver what the other wants, it gets so much easier. You just get clearer on what you really want in return. Then the two of you can work together to find Third Alternatives that work for both of you:

You're much smarter together than alone. And you're much more effecting working toward the same thing than working against each other, because you know each other's hot buttons way too well.

Here's what you might come up with if one of you jumps the net.

  • "Keep my droppings right where they are" and "keep her droppings out of my sight" leads to the idea of droppings organizers. A big, square coffee table with 3" high shelves under it, large enough for trays that can be pulled up on top with ready-to-go projects. Covered wicker baskets in every corner of the house for stacks of papers, magazines, and books. Those new frames that hold 50 sheets of paper and display one. An easel all set up for painting, but with a finished painting displayed in front of the unfinished one (and room behind it for the one in progress to dry). A sewing machine table that folds up to hold one large knicknack. Great looking lined baskets with handles alongside the sofa and chairs, waiting to hold this week's handicrafts, a camera and mini-tripod, or stationery and nice pens. A giant bulletin board and/or white board near the computer. A clever and good-looking CD rack used for organizing notepad pages, journals, or origami supplies.
  • "Put her droppings somewhere else" and "keep my droppings where I am reminded of the project and able to resume work on a moment's notice" leads to a droppings closet plus a bunch of those little stands intended to hold one photo aloft. Each one gets a colored index card with the name of the project, the current status, and which covered basket in the closet holds it. Your spouse might even be willing to fetch them as needed for the joy of seeing a neatly organized closet full of matched baskets.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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