In my counseling work, I hear many sad stories of conflict and infidelity. I see an inability to connect on several levels. Lots of people are in this “boat.” Most of the couples have good jobs; wonderful, talented, and healthy children; and the financial ability to provide for their families. When I listen to each person, I do see that there is good in that person’s life. The only trouble is, that person can’t see it.
Why is it that so many of us get so caught up in what we do not have?
Most people decide to do something new for the New Year. But for 2014, I encourage you to look back at 2013 at what you already have. Instead of making resolutions to do something new, look around you at the things you have been doing and see if there is a way to improve them. Yes, for the sake of “Auld Lang Syne,” make it better!
For example, many couples have a spouse that works from home. This might seem ideal in some respects, but not in others. While it might be easy to spend time together, it often can become easier to work more. Take Dwayne, who works from home in real estate. His wife, Keisha, is also at home, looking after their toddler. Often Dwayne is out showing a property. But when he’s not out, he’s in his office at home on the computer. In the last year, he’s let work slide into dinnertime. But in 2014, Dwayne has decided to emerge from his office at 5:30 each evening, to be with his family.
Let’s look at Bob and Sally, who are retired. She likes to watch TV soap operas in the afternoons, and he gets sleepy by 7:30. So while they may seem to be together a lot, they have different circadian rhythms. Sally has decided during 2014 to set her soaps to record so she can watch them after Bob goes to bed. That way, in the afternoons, they can spend time with each other, taking walks or going to car swaps.
What’s happening at your house, that you could make better in the new year? Here are some ideas for 2014.
- Are there chores that seem to be dependent on one person more than the other and when not done, create an argument? How about pitching in, even if it is not on your chore list? Taking out the garbage or walking the dog can seem to be a thankless job, but these are things your spouse will appreciate.
- Is there someone trying to talk to you while you are enmeshed with technology? For at least fifteen minutes, put down the cell phone, the TV remote, and close the lid of the laptop. There’s time to send a text later. For now, right now, give a live person in front of you all your attention, with full eye contact.
- You might rely on someone a lot to make your daily tasks easier, but you haven’t had time lately to acknowledge this. Taking time to let them know how grateful you are can go a long way.
Your 2014 list might look different for each of you. What matters is that you strive to make it better.
Also don’t forget to look around you and see the positive forces in your life, and then say some “Thank You’s.”
Thank you for visiting my blog and Happy New Year.