"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)
"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)
It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).
Monday, July 2, 2007
Why I love Mornings, Marriage, Post It Notes, and Recreational Companionship!
I like mornings. I'm alone, the house is quiet, and it's my best time to think, reflect and read. After 7Am little of that seems to happen in my life. The "to do's" seem to set in heavily after that. The truth be known, I encounter Christ better in the mornings. I make better decisions in the early mornings. The tired me just can not focus well on Him, or them, after 7 Pm.
I'm pretty excited today because, again, I'm on the receiving end of some "Recreational Companionship." We are going day tripping with the sea Kayaks today. The plan evolved into doing extended day trips rather than the a full 5 days. We are paddling to a deserted sand dune island to hike the beaches for the whole day.
You know I like to "play" with my family when I can. Ben will be leaving home next year, with another son soon to follow. So time is getting more and more precious. I like to "play" with the boys when we can these days.
But you know something else? I also like to play with my wife as well. Let me explain that before your mind goes a wondering there - Hold back buddy.
Years ago we read a marriage book together that proved insightful for both of us. "His Needs- Her Needs". Many excellent things were articulated in this book. It's not the be all and end all of marriage books. However, my summary would simply be this - There are certain things a woman & a man needs (Or is it wishes for?) to be happily married. Sure one can be married without these basic needs being met. However, if the 5 basic needs of men and the 5 for women (They are different) are not acknowledged and focused on intentionally, one or the other, or both, will live in a marriage wishing for "Something" more.
Married people feel that at times. Feel like they really love their wife or husband, but there is just something , some little thing, not right? Well this book took a stab at articulating what those "somethings" might be.
Like most young newlyweds - we thought we had it all figured out, but we really did not.
These 5 basic needs of men and women were articulated so well that it changed us. We found ourselves enlightened and saying; " So that is what you were trying to say. OOOOOK I get it. I'll work on that."
So we developed a system that has worked very well here. We have the list of the top 5 needs of a man and woman on a "post it" note on the corner of our bathroom mirror.They are listed in the order of importance for each of us. The list is there to reminded us to work intentionally on these five things for each other every day. However, when either of us feels one area needs special attention, we write it down on a post it note and stick it on the mirror for "emphasis" that week. This one area receives a special effort for the whole week. One might post conversation, affection, domestic support, or admiration, whatever, for emphasis that week. We do not approach the "post it" with drudgery like; "Oh great, another "To Do" list. " No, I love my wife and it's good to have these things concretely & clearly spelled out. I will do my best with the time I have to focus on her needs, she knows that, and that is all she asks of me. I love it!
Anyway, one of the needs for a guy is called "Recreational Companionship". This is the desire for the girl he married. The one he had before kids came along. The one he had before house work, dishes, and heaping loads of laundry came in as an exhausting swell into their marriage and smothered a guy from just having fun with his girl.
Let me put it in lady language for you ladies.
"The Royal Knight wants to ride up to The Princess and fling her onto his battle horse with him, and ride off into the sunset together for some adventure together, any adventure, come what may, every now and then."
You use to be interested in him and all that he did back then. You went and did things he liked, played a game, or a sport, or were present for some hobby of his. Simply put, you tried to be involved anywhere and everywhere you could in his life. You were genuinely interested in "playing" with him. Why? Because you wanted to be in every part of his life back then. Now? Well, you answer that for yourself. Guys really miss that girl as the years go by.
Anyway, this is why I'm really excited about our Kayaking trip today. I get to play with my Princess today, and man oh man, I sure do like that!
There are 2 things I have always reminded Lynn about me.
1. "Don't treat me like I'm one of your kids". That is a real huge turn off to a guy. You will have no "Knight" if you treat him like the squire. I don't need nor want another mother. I didn't marry you to be a mom to me.
2. "Remember, I married you for companionship". I want to be with you. I do not wish to do things without you. It does not necessarily mean you have to be totally involved. Just be in view so I can smile, wink, and think about you. Some simple close proximity in activity. I realize that is not always practical nor easy. However, it's our (my) desire none the less. We guys sure appreciate it when you jump on the horse with us from time to time for a play adventure. Even it is means your just hanging on and coming along for the ride.
So today I'm pretty happy. Lynn is coming out to play, like she often does.
I really really appreciate that!