Relationships: Listening Is Good – Understanding Is Better

By Maria Grazia Swan –

Maybe is just a sign of the times, this perpetual multitasking of the brain. We drive with the radio on, the finger on the iPhone-Droid-Blackberry, fill your own blank. If that’s not bad enough, we often have people and pets in the car with us. People and pets we care about. How can we give 100 percent of our attention to one task without crashing, hanging up or ignoring the loved ones in the car? I bet most of you think you are so used to this routine you can pull off all three activities without a hitch.

I beg to differ. Look at the headlines in the daily paper: car accident caused by driver who was texting. Pet or child left in the hot car.

Now replace people and pets and phones with relationships. Remember, when it comes to relations, you get out what you put into, pretty much like a piggy bank or your computer. I’m aware there are exceptions, but we would be better forgetting the multitasking and giving our undivided attention even if it means cutting down on time spent together. Quality over quantity. I decided to set aside one hour each day to talk either in person, by phone or Skype to the people who matter most. In some cases we went from talking to shouting (Hey, I’m Italian!) but we always make up.

Local author and realtor Maria Grazia Swan decided a long time ago that aging gracefully wasn’t her thing. She is open to new experiences and products touching all aspects of life, from body to soul, from head to toes. She’s also happy to share her successes and mistakes with anyone asking. For more information, visit or email her at

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