TODAY’S FORECAST: Giddy
First of all, I’d just like to take a minute to tell all of you who have recently just started following my blog how excited I am to have you here. I hope that you will continue to keep reading and that you will find posts that inspire you and keep you coming back for more. Thanks for reading! To those of you who have been faithful followers since Day 1, I continue to be humbled and amazed that you are still with me. Thank you for supporting me day in and day out, my love to you all.
Today Bob and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary, so in honor of the event, I’m going to just share a few brief lessons that I wish my “younger” self had known back in the day. If only I could have looked into a crystal ball and foreseen this moment in time, I could have probably saved myself (and Bob!) a lot of frustration and grief knowing what I know now. I think I’d like to package up this list and be able to give it as a present to myself on my wedding day. Among the stacks of wonderful presents that we received, it would still be a worthy adversary. Hopefully for those of you that are younger and are just starting a relationship with your significant other, this list will serve as a cushion for a few hard bumps along the way. For those of you who are older and have already “been there done that,” hopefully it’ll stir up a few nostalgic, maybe even laughable memories. For those of you who are exactly in my same boat, hope you’re still enjoying the ride and don’t signal the lifeboats just yet!
- Pick your battles, Rocky. I’m learning this quickly with our kids, but I’ve also learned that it applies for spouses/significant others as well. Which battle would you rather win? The one where he consults you about how to spend your money or where he’ll dispose of his toenail clippings? The one where she squeezes the toothpaste from the middle or where she says “I’m fine,” even when she’s clearly not? I know this for sure, you won’t win them all. Figure out which ones you’re willing to lose and take the Rocky gloves off. “I will break you,” is not a mantra for successful relationships.
- Model yourself after Dory from Finding Nemo. You all remember Dory don’t you? The little blue fish who accompanies Marlin (Nemo’s dad) on his journey to find his son? Dory is a great model for all of us. She has short-term amnesia so she forgets everything that’s not important. She never dwells on her companion’s faults and she constantly encourages, “Keep swimming, just keep swimming.” In turn, when it counts, she remembers. There’s a lot to be said about doing the same as a spouse or as a significant other. A lot.
- Sorry Charlie. Some of you will remember the old Star-Kist tuna commercials featuring Charlie the Tuna that made a national catch phrase of “Sorry Charlie.” For those of you who are stumped, I’ve included the YouTube link for your viewing pleasure. http://youtu.be/AooImsHwFDs One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned in the last 14 years is how important it is to say you’re sorry when you’re wrong, and mean it. So many times I could have saved Bob and I another round of argument, if only I would have just admitted I was wrong and said I was sorry. Those of you out there that are stubborn like me, take note, you will have a harder time with this rule than any other. Keep working at it. I am.
- Baby, What a Big Surprise! So well said, Peter Cetera and Chicago! One of the things Bob and that I have found to be vital in our marriage is keeping the surprises coming, not just at milestone birthdays either. Guys surprise your lady with flowers, a cup of coffee, a love note on her pillow. Girls, tell your guy to go ahead and meet his friends for a drink after work, dust off the lawnmower or buy his favorite snack. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, just a little something to keep everyone on their toes. Recently Bob celebrated his 40th birthday. One of his presents was a “big surprise.” Bob loves Normal Rockwell prints. I think they’re… well… kinda creepy. (No offense to you Rockwell lovers out there.) For years since we’ve been married, Bob has been asking me when his Rockwell prints will make it outside the basement. When we moved into the new house I decided those paintings were going to find a place in our living room. I had them re-framed and matted for his 40th. A couple of nights ago, we hung them in our living room. Let’s just say he’s still smiling from that surprise. 🙂
- Commit to “Living on a Prayer.” I’m not sure how Bob and I would have come out of the other side of these 14 years still married had it not been for the power of prayer. We’ve been through enough emotional trials to break up any 20 couples and still we love each other despite it all. I think Bon Jovi said it best in their hit song, Living on a Prayer. “Ohhh, we’re half way there, ohhhh, living on a prayer. Take my hand and we’ll make it I swear, ohhhh living on a prayer.” Regardless of who you are, life will have its share of bumps and bruises and God is essential. Pray. For each other, together, separately. My Mom and Dad had their wedding rings inscribed with the phrase, “We 3 are one.” Now that is a good mantra.