Archive | July, 2010

Last Time I Thanked the Mr….?

22 Jul

So when was the last time I thanked the Mr.? Wow – surprisingly I could answer that today alone I’ve thanked him for various small deeds at least 5 times.

But is saying “thank you” really enough? I tend to regard saying TY the same as saying “I love you”… You can say it all day long but does it really hit home for the person receiving it?

Being thankful and grateful are truly vital components in marriage. After all, who would want to dedicate their lives to a relationship only to get a mumbled “thank you” once in a while?

There are so many interesting ways to say thanks to your partner. The key is actually knowing in which way your partner appreciates and receives your gift of thanks. Let’s take the Mr. as an example.

I could scream thank you from the top of the roof, but he wouldn’t even notice. I could buy toys, give him a card or even write a poem and he still would just reply with a curt “you’re welcome”. But if I really really really want to say thank you, all I have to do is somehow get physical with him.

I know I know – most men appreciate physical touch, but I know from experience just how much he NEEDS and APPRECIATES it. So when hubby decides to brew me a cup of tea for when I get home from work, my first response is to run my fingers through his hair, give him a kiss and some close-up time. This is a thank-you that he will always remember.

My thank-you’s on the other hand are a bit different. When the Mr. wants to say thanks for a back rub, he’ll take care of a few errands for me that will shorten my day. He’ll even book my appointments, pay the bills, or even write a poem if so inspired.

He understands that to make his thank-you count, he has to show me his gratefulness through action or thoughtful gifts. And no – I’m not one for jewellry or expensive items. But he knows that I don’t spend much money being the frugal cheap wife that I am… so he makes a purchase that I would have normally put off to save more mula.

For others, words of affirmation or quality time spent together are a perfect fit. And it’s these simple acts of thank-you that keep us in check – reminding us how lucky we are to have each other. And we are so very lucky – to have a partner who’s willing to show their gratitude on a daily basis.

So when was the last time you said thank you in a way your partner accepts appreciation? And how does your partner like to be acknowledged?

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My Favorite Quote(s) I Carry With Me Every Day…

21 Jul

I actually have three! I can’t choose one over the other as together they pretty much form my everyday “mantra”.

“Know Thyself” & “Nothing in Excess” are ancient Greek aphorisms that are written in the temple of Apollo in Delphi. I first learned of these in university while studying Greek Mythology and have never been able to forget them!

The third but most important isn’t really a quote, just my own personal proverb to “Seek Thy God”.

All three of these have been ingrained in my life and all of my actions are based on these. To seek thy God truly leads to knowing thyself. Living a life of humility and gratefulness always prompts me to give and bless wholeheartedly to those around me.

God has always been first in our marriage, and by continually seeking him everyday, as husband and wife we have learned so much about each other and the delicate yet reinforcing bond of our marriage. Together we have found true happiness by giving and blessing our friends and family with everything that we have.

It’s been a ride – a life-changing journey… Although these are written in my heart I’m actually considering getting tattoos of these as they’ve been so prevalent in my life. And I really don’t think that these will ever change for me either…

What principles/ideals/quotes do you apply to your marriage?

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When I get home, I take my hair down, put on fewer clothes and grab a glass of wine…

20 Jul

By wardrobe I’m going to refer to the many “roles” I’ve assumed as a maturing woman just to shake things up…

During morning hours I’m a sleepy princess – watch out; then from 7am to 5pm on weekdays I’m a working design technologist.

Early evenings (my favourite time of the day) I slip back into my “wifey” outfit and focus on winding down to relax with my husband. By late evenings, I return to “house management”, nesting, and catching up with family who live so far away.

Weekends – and do I love weekends! – are specifically for hobbies/interests such as baking, laundry and campfires! And of course socializing with my ladies :)

I think I’d like to try a few more wardrobes such as artist, writer, and one day mom. But I do get to play mom with Chuck Norris and Billy Graham so I’m pretty satisfied for now…

How many outfits do you wear?

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What would you give up to see your dreams come true?

14 Jul

I recently read a very revealing article shared by someone who grieved over a significant personal loss that was chosen to support an even bigger purpose

The author exposed her pain only to discover the happiness and personal fulfillment that specific loss enabled in her life. A sacrifice; for the better. Through the experience she realized that to reach your biggest dreams you may have to sacrifice smaller treasures. She even argued that ANY dream is possible as long as you are willing to give up something else to further your chances of realizing your dreams.

But what kind of small treasures could we sacrifice in marriage to see our shared dreams come true? This question can be really broad and tough to answer without a little digging…

It uniquely poses two challenges in one; both completely dependent on the other… The first challenge being — understanding what your true dreams/needs are; the second —  identifying what you can give in order to fulfill the first challenge.

Let’s look at the first challenge…

Challenge #1

As we search for a suitable partner in life we tend to aim to fulfill many voids such as personal needs, dreams/desires, and even weaknesses. In marriage, these root elements essentially contribute to form an elastic and fluid relationship between the husband and wife.

I don’t know of any couple that has entered marriage without these great and righteous dreams – both individual and shared. This of course is completely natural and creates a very healthy desire and approach to cohabitation when said choice is actually made. 

Over time, it becomes easier to place these goals and dreams within marriage on the back shelf as the relationship inevitably evolves. Careers, children, and family equally work their way to the forefront of our busy lives filling many voids and sometimes leaving others gaping open. For some reason, particularly with our dreams, our softened memories slowly become our comfort in the daily chaos.

This happens to a lot of us – to what degree remains unique in each marriage; but unfortunately no marriage stands immune to passing time.

So which dreams are we letting slip away? Identifying these could take a while or may luckily still be fresh if you are in the first years of marriage. The very reasons we choose our partners in life usually holds a good source of insight. Our instinctive needs are always represented through our dreams in various forms. So understanding these shared and individual needs/dreams is really the first challenge.

But why are we forgetting our dreams? As children we have unlimited imaginations fuelling the wildest dreams, yet as we age, our maturity instinctively places these dreams into a little closet in the back corner so that our fragile egos aren’t shattered with the reminder of how impossible they would be to actually achieve.

Personally, I would argue that finances are the primary deterrent from achieving our dreams, and for many of us, this little reality isn’t something we choose to reflect on every day.

So in favour of keeping positive spirits, we pack our neat little box of dreams into storage and passively hope that one day they will come true. But in reality, we are making the choice to remain ignorant. Choosing to do nothing is actually worse than making the wrong decision in effort to realize your goals.

Failing to plan together is the same as planning to fail together.
David Bach

In marriage, we need to religiously fuel our dreams as much as we fervently feed our love. Marriages that share dreams share purpose – a vital component in every marriage. When we lose sight of our purpose, we become slaves and drones to the daily grind of work, bills, chores, etc…

So now is the time to refocus your attention on the purpose in your marriage. Take some time to write down your dreams together; visualize them and think hard of what it would take to accomplish them. We recently read and reviewed the book Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach which seeded this challenge in our marriage just this year.

Bach offers a simplistic approach to identifying your shared values and building your dream basket – you can read it here. One of the proposed ideas was to create a shared “vision board”, personalized to our marriage alone. It was really tough to sit down and write down our dreams and but we did; and we’ve never been more excited to go to work, to pay that next bill, or to even stretch another dollar.

We’ve even posted our vision board in our living room offices for all to see! Every day, we see our dreams on a big board and it renews our daily efforts. It creates great conversation and keeps our minds sharp to any open opportunities to further our momentum. Most of our dreams aren’t even realistic! We even jokingly tallied up the costs to accomplish every dream we came up with, and wow – I think we’d have to rob a bank!

But since posting that board five months ago, we’ve successfully accomplished our first goal of being bad-debt free! We made this goal when we were first married, but it was placed on the back shelf for too many reasons, but with the goal in front of us daily, we were able to focus and double-up our efforts to strike this off the list. What can I say? We’re so very proud — and eager to get started on our next goal!

So while every marriage’s purpose is uniquely defined by the dreams each partner brings, a shared vision will keep your true desires where they should be – at the forefront of your marriage. Once we realize our dreams, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the scale of effort and finances required to see it through. But be of good cheer! Your dreams ARE possible. Yes, they may demand a significant investment of patience AND time AND money, but they CAN be accomplished.

Sometimes, it just takes a little sacrifice to get the momentum rolling…

Have you and your spouse shared any dreams and realized them together? What sacrifices have you made for the bigger picture in your marriage? I would love to hear about your experiences!

the Mrs.

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Challenge #2 – Identifying what you can give in order to fulfill Challenge #1 – Next!

Over and underwhelmed…

11 Jul

Having a tough time gathering my thoughts…

I have all these titles and short subjects running through my head but when it comes to explaining them, I’m only left with more questions and incomplete drafts. Can’t find any written material that will help me through these – so where to next?

I’m reading and seeking but nothing is compelling me.

I’m feeling overwhelmed with how my marriage-life is consuming my everyday thoughts…

I’m feeling underwhelmed with how ambiguous and evolved my writing has become…

It’s interesting because while this sounds somber, I’ve never been happier. Right now, everything is perfectly placed – I want to walk away from the world and drown in my beautiful marriage. I don’t have an answer for anything either – just content to BE. Being married is the best part of my life right now. Maybe that’s why everything else seems so shallow and lifeless. Is this what one call’s “writer’s block”?

I need more from this small world. More substance, inspiration, and direction – but I can’t find any.

Excuse me while I regather my purpose with writing, right now I must continue to listen…

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