Home and Family (part 2)

The thing is, family isn’t necessarily about the people you’re related to.

Hello dear reader.

I left you hanging with part 1, and I apologise for that. Life sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions. But here we are, better late than never.

In part 1 I talked about moving across the country and being stuck somewhere I didn’t belong for almost 30 years. I finally found my home in the Rocky mountains of Colorado. Now let’s finish the story.

As I said, I didn’t know anyone when I moved here. I got a job in the General Store/Post Office in the village of Twin Lakes, which has a year-round population of about 25. There are a lot of people who have summer homes there and tons of tourists in the summer. But winter is very quiet. It’s like living in a big family. So obviously I became close to my fellow villagers. I was married when I moved there and had my two youngest children with me.

During the summer I worked in front of a big picture window with an incredible view and met people from all over the world. It was paradise!

Things weren’t going well at all with my marriage. We decided to find a church to start going to, hoping that would help. So Sunday morning we headed to town, found the steeple and went in. We quickly discovered it wasn’t the church we had intended to go to, but it was a wonderful mistake. Coming to St. George’s was like coming to the mountains. It was where I belonged. My husband didn’t like it and stopped going, but I’ve been a part of it ever since the first time I walked through the door. Within two years of moving to Colorado, the marriage ended and he moved away. By that time I had a family in the village and a family in St. George’s. I wasn’t going anywhere.

The thing is, family isn’t necessarily about the people you’re related to. Family is about the people in your life that are there for you, the people you can count on. Family, in my opinion, are people who really know you and accept your for who you are. They’re the ones who take the time to look past the “I’m fine,” and see what’s really going on with you. Family is the people you know will love you no matter what, even if they don’t agree with you.

This is one of my sisters that I’m not related to at all making a toast at my wedding:

She has been with me through thick and thin. I’ve tried hard to always be there for her as well. We tell each other the truth even when it’s hard. I love her so much!

Family is something you choose, as well as something you’re born into, and home is where family is.

What does family mean to you?

Until next time…

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Strength

I don’t have a choice about what I have to deal with, but my husband does.

Hello dear reader

The following link is to a post I wrote exactly two years ago. I don’t normally “recycle” old posts, but this one is worth putting out there again. It came straight from my heart when I wrote it originally, and I believe it even more today.

I hope it makes you think.

Until next time…

http://lynnetteok.com/2016/03/17/strength/

Morning coffee

Good morning dear reader.

Every morning Tim & I sit in bed and drink coffee together.  We’ve done it ever since the first night we spent together.  Now that he leaves at 6:00 every morning, we get up at 4:00 so we have time to do it.  It’s a wonderful practice.  It gives us a chance to connect before the busyness of the day pulls us in different directions.  Even the dogs get in on it, climbing onto the bed with us. 

We’re doing pre-marital counseling (only 3 more weeks until the wedding!) and learning tools to have a stronger, happier marriage.  It’s actually a lot of fun.  What has struck me the most about it is how many of the things they recommend that we already do and have been doing.  While they  don’t specifically say, “morning coffee time” it is something that fits very well into the things they do encourage couples to do.

This morning I started thinking about how many simple things we do that make our relationship stronger and happier.  I don’t know if any of them will apply to any of you, but I’m going to tell you about them anyway.

Communication

I believe this is vital.  We eat dinner at the table (away from the TV) two or three times a week.  Other times we eat in the living room watching the news.  That keeps the table dinners from becoming a chore.  It’s always a little bit special when we do it.  When we reconnect at the end of the day, we take the time to talk about how our day has gone…both of us.  I listen (and sometimes comment) as he tells me about his day, and he does the same for me.  While we’re apart during the day we touch base once or twice.  It may just be a text that says “I love you” or “Hope your day is going well.”  It’s more about letting each other know we’re thinking about them than what we say. 

What we say and how we say it

Let me start this part by making it  clear that there are always times when things are misread or misunderstood.  Here’s a perfect example:  We had a meeting scheduled with Ali for the pre-marital counseling Friday morning.  I was on the phone with someone I hadn’t talked to in years.  Tim was in the yard with his best friend trying to get Duke and his dog to get along so we could dog-sit for him.  I looked at the clock after I hung up the phone and realized we were supposed to be there in 15 minutes and I was still in my bathrobe.  I hurried down the stairs and to the yard and said, “Do you realize we’re supposed to meet Ali  in 15 minutes?”  Tim’s response was, “And you’re in your bathrobe.”  Long story short, we ended up running about 10 minutes behind which worked out perfectly because so was she.  Yesterday we were sitting on the couch together and Tim said he wanted to talk to me about something.  He said that when I did that Friday morning he felt scolded and embarrassed because he was out there with his best friend and I had been so “harsh” about him forgetting.  I had not even thought about it that way.  I wasn’t upset with him for forgetting, I was upset with myself for forgetting.  I was also feeling very rushed and a little bit stressed because of it.  I’m one of those people who are anal about being on time.  I’m normally at an appointment 10 minutes before I’m supposed to be there.  So you see what happened there?  A total misunderstanding.   Things like that happen to everyone.  Nobody reads things correctly all the time, and nobody says things the right way all the time.

That being said, everyone has a need to be loved, appreciated, admired, etc.  So saying things like “I appreciate you” or “You look nice today”…things like that, can make a relationship much happier.  Think about it.   If you hear things like, “Why in the hell did you do that?” or “You really need to do something about your hair” or “This food sucks” etc., how much are you going to look forward to communicating with that person?  Hearing positive things from someone makes you draw closer to them and want to talk with them.  Of course, nobody does everything right or always looks wonderful.  It’s a matter of choosing to focus on the positive.  Sometimes you have to look hard to find it, but when you do it should be expressed.

An important aspect of how we talk is simple courtesy.  I’ve heard many couples talk to each other in ways they wouldn’t talk to anyone else.  I remember a friend of ours who was amazed that we said “please” and “thank you” to each other.  Think about it.  This is someone you love.  Don’t they deserve at least as much courtesy as you’d give a stranger who was asking for directions? 

Wow!  I really took off with this!  I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but I think it’s probably enough for now.  Seriously, think about these things.  The difference they can make is incredible.  Or…say to yourself that Lynnette is full of crap and forget about it.   Definitely your choice.  Just because these things work for me doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for you.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.  Simply hit the comment button below and let it rip.

Until next time…