I am sitting in our living room at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. The television is off, mostly because I got lost in thought before turning it on to play video games. It is about the only kind of hockey I want to watch for the next few days -- the only kind where three wins in a row sounds inevitable. My social calendar takes a hit when the season is over, and it wasn't exactly up to its full potential this year anyway. I'm just preparing for the summer letdown a bit early.

I'm also thinking a lot about the last year. And about the chores that need doing around here, but that is barely creeping into my train of thought. I changed jobs last May, and Samantha subsequently, yet unintentionally, became a full-time freelancer. Those two events in the span of a couple weeks upheaved what had been a a relatively stable sense of normalcy. I have been struggling to return to it ever sense.

Saturdays are lazy here. One or both of us usually sleep in past 11. No yards to mow or big "around the house" projects take up that time. That has its appeal when I'm sleeping through it, but today I'm just sitting here listening to the air conditioner and not much else.

I think I have said the phrase "manage expectations" at least three dozen times in the last month. It is a leftover from working at an agency and doing client work. Mistrust and frustration come out of expectations not being set, or being far out of sync. It is just as true in the agency world as it is in business, and I find more and more examples of where that fits in life in general. Better communication fixes those problems, not necessarily more communication. Putting that into practice isn't easy.

I started this week evaluating where I could cut back on broadcasting so much. What I haven't figured out is how to do better at listening. To stop sending tons of emails, tweets, texts is easy. Replacing that with a better set of ears is harder. Then comes the challenge of active listening.