Relationships, relationships, relationships

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We have been counting down our last days here and they are full of activity!  Packing, cleaning, more packing, etc.  Many of you have done this so you know exactly how busy it can be. I have however attempted to take time out for friends and family.  It is impossible to see everyone that you wish to see before departing.  Luckily with technology we can all still stay in touch, but I find myself desperate to see people right now.  It makes me realize how I take for granted so often the great relationships that I have in my life.  I tend to get busy and think next week, next month, etc. But right now I don’t have next week or next month.  Sure I will be back to visit, but I won’t be living here so there is a finality to so much of this here.

I am so happy for the time I have gotten to spend with friends–the lunches, coffees. etc.  I regret however that I have not paid more attention to this area of my life.  I have “improved” since making the relationship aspect be a part of the commandments for this year, but I am seeing how wide of a gap there is between where I am and where I want to be on this one.  I am hoping that a lesson learned here is a “do not procrastinate” lesson!  I am moving– no one is dying or has died, but things do happen and change.  Every day I need to make sure that I have connected with someone that is meaningful to me and my life.  I hope to take this lesson with me and to this location/life style paradigm shift and that I will wholeheartedly embrace the people that are currently present in my life.  That means friends here, that means new friends that I am not aware of yet.

How do you make time for relationships in your life?  Do you ever feel that you hit the mark on this one???

Staying Grateful

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It can be a challenge to stay in gratitude when busyness overtakes.

I am so busy with the move right now that my life easily gets overshadowed with lists, boxes, to dos, schedules and the like.  The results of that are stress, bickering over stupid things, not eating well, worry and just a feeling of not being in synch–what should I do next with the general feeling and oh yeah, I need to do it all by myself!

Last night Mike and I dropped back and punted as they say.  We stopped in our tracks and talked about all the things were grateful for, how much we love each other and how we need to savor this move and these things we are doing right now–not get overtaken by them!  We have never bought a house together and set it up together–what a blessing that is!  The new house is perfect for us to share our life in and to share and live out our dreams in.  That is where we need to focus. AND we are not in this alone– we are a partnership in this and the other’s “go to person!”

Being grateful for everything we have to do, every box, every list, every schedule– we are 11 days away from the exit load.  We would not be experiencing this were it not for so many pieces falling into place the least of all being married to each other.

Grateful, grateful, grateful…

Play vs. Fun

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We played this weekend.  Yep, there I said it. We played.  Not “we had fun this weekend”, but “we played this weekend”.  The difference?  There is no motive for play except well play.  Nothing gets checked off a list when you play except the item that says “play.”  I can have fun doing so many things.  I can have fun cleaning my house if I am in the right mood and have some good tunes playing.  I can have fun at work.  I can have fun packing boxes for our move. AND that is so good to find fun inside the things I need to do.  I love that I can make most things fun and enjoyable.  What I have trouble doing is not doing anything “worthwhile”–that is something on a list that has an end result.  I am “play challenged” no doubt.  I think some of that is from my upbringing.  Some of that thinking is just because of the person that I am-I am a doer.  So for me to say “no work all play” this weekend is pretty monumental.

AND playing was fun too!  We hit some places we have visited before and reminisced.  We ate some great food; splurged on dessert.  We watched kids jumping in a fountain and playing for almost an hour; we just laughed and enjoyed that so much. We roamed in and out of some little shops and bought a couple things for our new house. We found some patio furniture on clearance and bought it! We wondered the city as if we were tourists and took pictures.

At first glance back, I would say we accomplished nothing this weekend since we played so much.  But that would be wrong.  We laughed, breathed, walked, slept, enjoyed the heat and the sunshine (instead of just AC), loved being together, talked alot, took great pictures to remember our weekend by, bonded, reminisced, dreamed and loved.  That my friend is quite alot accomplished in just one weekend of play!

How do you play?

Make Time for Marriage

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I think it is an odd thing that I spend so much time with people that are not family, not friends, not my spouse!  So much so that I needed to put “Make Time for Marriage and Connecting” as a personal commandment.  Why is it that those we love the most seem so often to drop to the bottom of the list or end up simmering on the back burner?

I really love spending time with my husband.  We truly have a great relationship and love to work and play together.  People will comment on that frequently.  We remodel together without fighting, we play and travel, we even have two businesses together.  BUT that is different than just being MARRIED together.

SO this weekend we are going away Friday – Monday.  We actually took 1/2 day off on Friday and all day Monday to wrap in with the weekend. My hope is that we are must married this weekend; not business partners, not parents and step parents, not employees somewhere, not home improvement gurus,etc.  JUST married!  We celebrate 6 years of marriage this weekend.  Last night my husband asked my what some highlights were for me.  It was great to think about and talk about.  We concluded that we have had incredible times together and we need to focus more on us time and work on not allowing us time to take a back seat.

So off we go tomorrow… I cannot wait to go away with my husband, be married, in love and at ease.

How do you insure that your most important relationships stay front and center?

Relationship Focused Lent

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Lots of talk on this first day of Lent, “what are you giving up?” I think for some the sacrifice of giving up something you love during Lent in order to cause you to be more introspective is good.  I think however the true meaning in Lent and in these days of reflection are to get closer to God and clearer on what it is to be in His will.  I have done many different types of things for Lent.  This year I have decided to link my Lenten journey into my other journey that I am on this year of shifting my paradigm.

The relationship aspect of this shift is one of my most challenging.  So, for Lent I have committed to reaching out to someone each day.  It cannot be on Facebook or Instant Message or in email.  It must be CONVERSATION–either a phone call or coffee or lunch or something like that.  There are so many people that I mean to call or mean to see but it seems that in my list driven world, that just gets pushed to the bottom all to often.  I have a list of people that I want to call or see during Lent and I am excited about connecting.  BUT I also know that on some days this will be a challenge.  So my “give up” for Lent will be to give up looking at “people stuff” as an interruption to my day, my task list, the current “roll” that I am on.

I am in great hopes that this will be a warm and wonderful time of connecting with folks and a time of renewed friendships and relationships.  I am also in great hope that I will continue this practice of reaching out long after Lent is over.  I am in great hopes that my heart will be changed through this journey and I will really come into synch with #3 resolution of “relationships, relationships, relationships.”

What about you?  Do you give up something for Lent? Do you do something additional in your life like volunteer or focus on something you would like to change or improve upon? I will keep you posted on my journey; can you keep me posted on yours?

Being Right is Overrated

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I used to think that being right was of the utmost importance.  That was the goal; that was the golden ring.  I spent so much energy trying to figure out how to get there, how to get you to say “you are right”, and how to be validated that my way of thinking was not only right but the only way of thinking.  What a foolish waste of time and energy.

All of us have a contribution to make, an opinion that deserves to be heard, a take on things that is uniquely ours; in this vast world I have come to realize and appreciate so much the fact that there is not one right way and one wrong way of doing things in each circumstance.  Our choices are made up of our thoughts, feelings, experiences, knowledge and so much more.  How can I always know what is best for you when I don’t even always know what is best for ME?

I am in a continual practice of learning to listen, learning to respect others and letting go of my own “rightness.”.  I have found that I learn so much more when I listen and try to learn from you, rather than figuring out how I can get you to learn from me. Many times, what I thought was right going into a situation turns out to not be so.  Opening up for another view allows me to be open to infinite possibilities.

So….do you think I am right??? 🙂

Tired!

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While focusing on relationships in order to honor one of my commandments “relationships override projects and to do lists” I am realizing that this is tiresome (although very fulfilling) work!  Emotion is not so present when looking at pen and paper and crossing off things.  That is my default, it is easy and it is for the most part without emotion.  I create the list, set the tone for how to tackle it and whatever emotion is felt, is that which I have associated with it.

When being more relationship focused it is impossible to take the human emotion thing out of it.  Whether I am focusing on myself and how I am feeling and being or whether it be someone else, it takes effort to put these emotions into their rightful place and then to respect and care for them.

I have had many occasions lately where the “to do’s” were not about me or my stuff but about others.  It has been a wonderful month of giving back, interacting and doing for others.  I did however realize yesterday that I am tired.  I also realize that being tired and acknowledging that feeling is OK; as a matter of fact it is more than OK, it is necessary!  Relationships bring up all kinds of things–good, bad, challenging, comforting, etc. and this array of feelings can be taxing on oneself especially if you are trying to be deliberate in noticing the feelings, experiencing the reaction to them and learning from them.

This weekend, will be about me, my house, my husband, my stuff.  Some list stuff will be in there as I circle the wagons on some things. But I think that the practice of being aware of what is happening emotionally and relationally these past several weeks will serve me well.  I hope to take from this weekend, not just checking off some things, but also take note of how I am feeling during the process.  I hope that I can be as aware of that and of my feelings as I have tried to do for others lately.

I think I am learning… I hope you can relate!  Enjoy your day.

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