Today was a gorgeous spring day here in Central Oregon. I was able to get out in the sunshine for a while and take the dog to the dog park! Which means she was a smiling-panting-ball-of-pent-up-energy when we got there. She loves being able to run free and smell all the smells and ‘meet’ all the other dogs and people there. Of course, when we got back, we both took long naps! ha. Just had too much excitement I guess.
The advice today comes from my dear friend Viktorija in North Carolina. We met years ago through a pen-pal exchange set up by a magazine we both received (does anyone remember the Brio mag from Focus on the Family?) and through the years we have grown to be close, even visiting each other on opposite coasts! Viktorija is a photographer, piano teacher, babysitter, etc… go getter! She has been helping put her husband through college for several years. She looks at life as an adventure and I’ve always been slightly jealous of that fact! ( now you know, i guess Viktorija…) Enjoy her pieces of advice, I certainly did.
“This piece of advice is thrown around a lot, but it’s seriously a good one: don’t go to bed angry (duh, i know). As difficult as it sometimes is, make up before the lights go out. Don’t start a brand new day with yesterdays’ fight clouding the air. I’ve done it and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Remember to put each other first. Not in a selfish way, but in a hey-we’re-married-and-should-discuss-things-with-each-other-first. If you air your problems to your mom or sister all the time, and he’s constantly dishing to a friend, it’s easy to come to the table with a self righteous, see-I’m-definitely-right sort of attitude. Rely on each other. Turn to your other half when you need a shoulder to cry on. Talk to each other.
Take photos – LOTS of them. Marriage is an adventure between you and your very best friend: document it. The good, the bad, and the fugly all deserve a place in the photo albums. Yes, I’m talking about the startling baby blue eye shadow I wore every single day eight years ago, convinced it looked amazing (it didn’t). Drew kindly waited until years later to tell me how bad it was. Or the Cheeto red, washable hair dye, applied so I’d be properly turned out for my friend’s graduation from marine boot camp (his platoon’s color was…you guessed it…red). A photo of me, my honey, and my obnoxiously red hair now sits next to my computer desk, reminding me of our early days together. There’s nothing better than looking back at memories you’ve made as a couple.
Stop and listen (or open up and talk, if you’re the introvert of the twosome). I’m good at talking. Drew’s good at listening. Sometimes I forget to listen and he doesn’t talk enough. So we pause, remind ourselves that a good relationship doesn’t work unless you do a little of both.
Give. Everybody’s heard the line ‘give and take’ when it comes to marriage. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to drop the ‘take’ and just think about giving. Two people who truly love each other are going to want to give ; to make the other person’s life happier and better . If that’s the case, you’ll never find yourself alone: giving and giving and giving and receiving nothing. By dropping the ‘take’ and just focusing on ‘give’ , you’ll be a truly selfless (and oh so happy!) person.
Wake up with a kiss. Come home + kiss. And don’t forget a kiss before you go to sleep 😉