Thursday, March 30, 2006

Be part of something beyond yourself

Being part of an agenda beyond ourselves liberates us to complement each other rather than compete with each other.

Joseph Stowell

Make your marriage that agenda and find ways to complement your spouse, rather than feeling like you need to compete with them.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Living under the Time Pressure

At work I have a calendar on the computer that keeps my schedule and lets eveyone else know if I am in meetings or otherwise not available. This allows me to plan my time and also manage the expectations of others. People know I won't be at my desk if my calendar says I'm in a meeting. It also keeps people from double booking meetings. My time at work is very precious and needs to be managed accordingly.

One thing I do is schedule an hour a day for excersise. This simple act ensures that no meeting is schedule at that time. The computer even reminds me when its time to go workout.

Isn't your time with your family no less important than your time at work? Find ways to schedule your personal life the same way you schedule your work life. When all is said and done, your relationship with your sweetie is far more important than your work or career. If need be, I will put an "appointment" with my sweetheart into my calendar at work, just to make sure that nothing conflicts with that important appointment.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Love and Joy

Small things, done in great love, bring joy and peace.
Mother Teresa
(1910-1997, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Welcome Home

Vernal Halo Tree Trance
Originally uploaded by Elkhead.
After 17 years of marriage, my sweetie has left me, for a few days. She is being a chaperone for the high school band trip. Its a weird feeling not having her here. I travel about once a year to training and whatnot, but she has never been the one to go and leave me home. Its more differenter than I thought it was going to be.

So I've been Mr. Mom for a few days. No big deal. I arranged to work from home and so I can be here for the little critter when they get home from school. We've being having fun.

The point of this posting is this: I want to prepare a little surprise for my sweetheart for when she returns. I have a few ideas, most of which have been posted previously. What I need now is your ideas. What are some romantic ways to welcome home that special sweetie when you've been apart for a few days? Email or post your comments.

Get your sweetie a free iPod

I am working on getting my sweetie a free iPod. A friend of mine found this site where you can get free iPods. I told him, "Talk to me about it when I see the iPod in your hands". To make a long story short, he was able to get one for himself and one for his sweetheart. I tried it and got one for myself. Now I am working on one for my sweetie.

What's the catch? The way it works is you register at the site, then you need to "complete an offer". That means to signup for some online service from the list they give you. I signed up for Real Arcade because it was quite cheap and I could cancel it if I decided I didn't really want to keep the service.

Then, you need 5 people to register under you and do the same. That's it.

From my experience, most people are hesitant at first. But, once they understand that its not a scam, they are happy to give it a try.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Scriptures on Marriage: Matthew 5:28

I normally avoid the "thou shalt not" in favor of the "thou shalt" in all my postings. Telling someone what the wrong answer is, is not the same as giving them the right answer. Also, having a positive approach can be more encouraging and gives the blog as a whole a more uplifting attitude.

Today, I am going to break with my custom and go with a "thou shalt not". In Matthew 5:28 we read:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
This verse has been popping into my brain often over the past several months, so I am finally going to post about it.

There is a lot of salacious material (I am avoiding the "p" word) available on the Internet, in magazines and in movies. I could harp on how indulging in such material destroys self-confidence, is addicting and reduces the respect your sweetheart and children have for you. There has been a lot written on the subject, so I won't.

Instead, I will address the issue of trust and fidelity. Trust is essential to a happy and romantic marriage. Anything that compromises trust erodes the very foundation of a marriage. Contrary-wise, anything that build trust, strengths the marriage. Spend your time being faithful and 100% committed to your sweetie. Strengthen the foundation a little at a time rather than weakening it.

A last note: My sweetheart just read me a quote from a marriage counselor stating that 90% of couples in counseling are there due to lapses in fidelity.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Originally uploaded by algo.
I saw this saying:

The best way to predict the future ... is to create it.

Vision. What do you want your marriage to look like? Take a few minutes and create in your mind the "ideal marriage". Include how you treat each other, expections, and indiviual development. Some areas things to include:
* What are my interests and how do I find time to explore them?
* What are the interests of my sweetheart and how do I support my sweetie deleoping those interests and talents?
* What make me happiest? What makes my sweeite happiest?
* How do my children behave?
* How do I express my love and appreciation to my sweetie?

Picture in your mind the ideal world. Now identify those things YOU CAN CHANGE to bring your marriage closer to your ideal. Start making the changes.

Do not try and change your spouse. Instead, make the proper changes in your behavior and your sweetie will natuarally make reciprocal changes to adjust.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pot of Gold

Pot of Gold
Originally uploaded by red74015.
St. Patricks Day is upon us. For a surprise for your sweetie, get a pot and fill it with chocolate gold coins. Mix in with the gold coins some scraps of gold paper with the reasons you treasure your sweetie and your marriage.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Celebrate Pi Day

The Ridiculously Enhanced Pi Page

National Pi Day is March 14th (3.14) festivities begin at 1:59. In honor of the occasion, I would suggest a surprise pie for your sweetie.

Also, remember, in spite of what they may have taught you in math about PI*R^2, pies are really round. (Say it out loud, Gracie).

See the official Pi Day site.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mona and Julia

Antique Car
Originally uploaded by lore.
Mona and Julia are old friends. They have both been married for many years. Mona is upset because she thinks her husband doesn't find her attractive anymore. "He doesn't even seem to see me anymore," she cries.

"I'm so sorry for you. My husband says I get more beautiful every day," replies Julia. "Yes," says Mona. "But remember, your husband's an antique dealer."


Originally uploaded by andi2.
I really like the idea of this ring. It has a special mark in the inside where no-one can see it. Only the giver and the receiver will know what is hidden inside.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Just three words

Another interesting article I found floating around the Internet:
There are many things that you can do to strengthen your relationships. Often the most effective thing you can do involves saying just three words. When spoken sincerely, these statements often have the power to develop new friendships, deepen old ones and even bring healing to relationships that have soured.

The following three-word phrases can be tools to help develop every relationship.

1. Let me help

Good friends see a need and then try to fill it. When they see a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they jump in and help out.

2. I understand you.

People become closer and enjoy each other more when the other person accepts and understands them. Letting your spouse know - in so many little ways - that you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship.
And this can apply to any relationship.

3. I respect you

Respect is another way of showing love. Respect demonstrates that another person is a true equal. If you talk to your children as if they were adults you will strengthen the bonds and become closer friends. This applies to all interpersonal relationships.

4. I miss you.

Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other "I miss you." This powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved. Consider how important you would feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from your spouse in the middle of your workday, just to say "I miss you."

5. Maybe you're right.

This phrase is very effective in diffusing an argument. The implication when you say "maybe you're right" is the humility of admitting, "maybe I'm wrong." Let's face it. When you have an argument with someone, all you normally do is solidify the other person's point of view. They, or you, will not likely change their position and you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between you. Saying "maybe you're right" can open the door to explore the subject more. You may then have the opportunity to express your view in a way that is understandable to the other person.

6. Please forgive me

Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

7. I thank you.

Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don't take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude.

8. Count on me

A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship. It is the emotional glue that bonds people. Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating "you can count on me."

9. I'll be there

If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take a sick child to hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase "I'll be there." Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and us. We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.

10. Go for it

We are all unique individuals. Don't try to get your friends to conform to your ideals. Support them in pursuing their interests, no matter how far out they seem to you. God has given everyone dreams, dreams that are unique to that person only. Support and encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Tell them to "go for it."

11. I love you

Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone that you truly love them satisfies a person's deepest emotional needs. The need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your spouse, your children, your friends and you, all need to hear those three little words: "I love you." Love is a choice. You can love even when the feeling is gone.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A open love letter

Previously, I posted on love letters. I just came across a wonderful example of a love letter. Here is a small excerpt:

You once asked me if I would do it all again. In spite of everything, dear, the answer is yes; because all of it happened with YOU.

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Money can be romantic

For Love or Money
Originally uploaded by nomm de photo.
We all have heard the statistics concerning divorce and finances. Talking about money can be tricky. For some reason, people are easily offended when money is the topic.

Some ideas to make talking about money easier:
* Do not talk about money when tired.
* Write down the decisions so you don't have to remake them
* Don't wait until there is a problem.

What are some of the techniques you and your sweetheart have used to discuss and plan finances.

Dancing is good for the mind as well as the body

Dancing with your sweetie is a great activity. It is good exercise as well as being fun. Now there is evidence to show that dancing might be good for the mind. In the U.S. News and World Report we read:
Frequent dancing, for example, which demands musical concentration and knowing where to put your feet while engaging in polite conversation, showed a robust 75 percent reduction in risk. Activities like knitting, gardening, and traveling afford similar benefits.

Having a healthy mind and body is important. Find interesting and challenging things to do as a couple. Things that don't require sitting on the couch.

So here's a prescription: a few chapters of Harry Potter, the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, and some ballroom dancing to relaxing music with a partner you really like. That just may be the real secret to happy retirement.