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?

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.

Public admission of PLAYING!

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I experienced an earth shattering, universe moving, unlike nothing else EVER this morning.  In my endeavor to shift my paradigm, I am not only trying to shift it, BUTalso not to be ashamed, embarrassed or apologetic about it.  Very much a challenge for me; after all I pride myself in all that I can do, will do, am planning to do, etc.

Two of my focuses came together today.  One, is my desire to connect more–face to face AND honestly.  Two, my desire to play more and do it without remorse.

This morning I had the great honor once again of attending a Ladies Who Launch event in Atlanta.  I say” honor” because these women are fantastic, bright and just beautiful inside and out.  They are movers and shakers and they inspire me every time I go.  BUT I do not go and connect with these ladies enough.  In my “new world” I have committed to do this more often and this morning I did. So kudos to me for making this a priority today and I benefited GREATLY from it.

During the meeting, I surprised myself when I announced to a room full of these movers and shakers and people that I greatly respect that I, have yes, bought a Wii and have been PLAYING with it every day in the last couple of weeks AND loving it! :).  What a shock to me to hear this come out of my mouth!  I was not talking about being overloaded, pulled in 1000 directions, etc., but was talking about playing.  AND you know what?  THEY CLAPPED and CHEERED!  What a great moment for me!  What a realization! No one judges me harshly for playing and for admitting it.  No one came up to me afterwards and said “oh my you aren’t working enough” or “how can you possibly do THAT”.  I am the only one that says that to me and I must stop.  I mean if these intelligent, productive, smart, successful women thought it was ok then maybe, just maybe it is. 🙂

Connecting, play and honest communication.  I am loving the shift.

Connecting with people; REALLY connecting

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I don’t know about you, but I have come to rely way too much on email, Facebook, texting, etc to connect with people.  Goal #3 is “relationships, relationships, relationships” and in 2011 I do NOT want that to mean the old way of connecting.  I need a paradigm shakeup on this piece of my life too!  This week I went to lunch with 2 dear friends that I NEVER sat down to eat with in all of 2010!  I am ashamed to admit that but the truth is they are not the only ones that I have not really connected with or have not connected with enough.  I have vowed to these 2 friends that in February we would do this again and I would commit to coordinating it.  Today I am lunching with another good friend that I too often let time pass and then send a quick email or message to.  I am looking forward to seeing her beautiful face today and connecting.

Another “tool” I seem to forget about is the telephone.  The what??? The telephone??? Oh yeah, the thing I use to text and email with …. Today at 3 I am CALLING a friend and TALKING to her rather than exchanging hellos via cyperspace.

This goal ties into one of my commandments of “listen”.  For me to really listen I need to HEAR your voice and it is such a bonus to SEE your face also.  Text can get misconstrued.  Yesterday while IM’ing my husband I realized a comment I made sounded “ugly.”  It wasn’t meant to and my tone in my head did not sound that way, but when I read it I thought “wow you sounded nasty there!”.

For me in 2011, relationships and listening go hand in hand.  So if you haven’t heard my voice in a while, watch out because your phone may just be ringing!