Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
I hope you had a great weekend and are fully charged for the week ahead. Mine will be full starting with today’s highlight when I introduce friends who are specialists in senior travel, to the Executive Director of Central Indiana’s premier senior serving organization. If all goes well the result will be an offering of affordable and friend making trips of one day or longer to my generations Central Indiana citizens. I have been on a few of their trips and found that they were a great way to fight the loneliness and isolation that burdens so many as they grow older. Another highlight on my calendar this week is a TV appearance on a local station promoting volunteerism and the personal benefits that volunteer’s gets from doing something for others. I’ll also spend six hours on Friday answering phones for an on-the-radio Salvation Army fundraiser.
Oh and by the way while I am thinking about it I am again being sent away this coming weekend on special assignment and so we will be shutting down the presses here at Ray’s Daily publication headquarters for a week or so. If we are connected telepathically I will send you mental messages, if we are not you will just have to hold on until about December 14th. I would appreciate it if you would think good thoughts, do well at everything and smile often while I am gone.
In my country the period after our Thanksgiving holiday is one of hectic gift buying in anticipation of our Christmas Celebration. I think too many of us focus so much on buying things to give to others that we lose sight of the fact that we have within us the greatest gift of all and that is our love. Some time ago I copied an article by Dr. Richard Nicastro on how we can keep love alive. In that spirit I’m sharing an edited copy with you today as my gift; I hope it helps you to brighten your life and the lives of those close to you.
A Simple Formula to Keep Love and Intimacy Alive
I bet if I asked you what you had for breakfast this morning, you’d have a concrete answer. (Even if the answer is “Black coffee” or “Didn’t have time.”) But how about if I ask you to recall something arguably more important than a single morning meal? Let’s see how you fare:
In what specific way did you make your partner feel important today? Hmmm?
You didn’t think of it? Okay, one missed opportunity might not be a big deal. How did you make your significant other feel special yesterday? What’s that? You were too busy. Gotcha. So reach back into the recesses of your memory. What did you do to openly communicate how important your partner or spouse is to you last week? Last month? I’m sure you get my point. But it’s a point that needs stating anyway, since it applies to each and every one of us:
Your marriage or relationship needs continual nurturing in order to remain healthy. One of the most effective ways to keep love alive and deepen intimacy is to find ways to make your spouse or partner feel cared for and important. Here’s the best part: you can make your partner feel important in as little time as it takes to comb your hair.
Typically, when we talk to our mates, we tend to focus on the things that have to be done. (“Are you picking Tobey up from karate, or am I?” “Did you mail the mortgage payment?”) And in general, we also naturally tend to point out things that need fixing. But how often do we take the tiny amount of time to regularly articulate the things that work?
All too often, when things are running smoothly, we begin to neglect what works in our marriages or relationships. The cost of this neglect: you and your partner begin to feel unappreciated and emotional intimacy between you dwindles. People often rationalize that it isn’t so bad living in a chronic state of disconnection from their loved one (after all, most of the couples you know don’t seem happy either). Some look to people outside of the relationship to make them feel special and appreciated. It shouldn’t be this way. And it doesn’t have to.
Change patterns of love-neglect
Keep this simple. In fact, the simpler the better. The goal is to be consistent and make it last. (And most people, no matter how busy, can wedge simple, easy tasks into their routines.) Start with small, loving, and supportive statements. Here are few areas to focus on in your marriage or relationship:
Messages of appreciation:
Any sentiment that communicates thanks and gratitude fall into this category. Make it a habit to say “Thank you” more often, even when you partner or spouse does the little things that s/he has done a million times before (poured you the first cup of morning coffee, fed the dog, took out the trash…even if you had to ask). Make sure your partner hears your thanks. (In other words, don’t mutter it or say it under your breath. Be generous with your verbalized gratitude.)
Beyond “Thank you,” try to add statements like:
“You’re such a giving person.”
“That was so thoughtful of you.”
“That really helped me.”
“I appreciate what you did for me.”
“You’re such a hard worker.”
“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”
“That was kind of you.”
As you grow more accustomed to pointing out the positive things, you’ll naturally see places where these types of statements will fit. And of course your partner will be more motivated to continue to do whatever it was that earned your warm appreciation. So you shape a wonderfully reciprocal situation when you tell him/her you appreciate something.
Actions often speak louder than words. So in addition to regularly sending your partner verbal messages of appreciation to make him/her feel special, take the necessary action steps to make this happen in other ways. And remember, big gestures aren’t necessary. A relationship benefits from regular, consistent, smaller gestures, not large-but-rare ones.
A kiss; a hug; holding hands; touching one another; a smile; a loving glance; a wink; a wave; a thumbs-up; a high-five; making him laugh or smile; making her coffee; bringing home his favorite food; a loving note, e-mail, text message, or voice message; a gift; a pleasant surprise; helping out more; being present; being playful; planning for fun…
I know this piece is longer than my usual fare but it is so important I wanted to send it to you. As each day goes by I realize more and more how those things we take for granted are the best things in our lives and they do deserve our appreciation.
Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.
Jean Paul Richter
Four retired guys are walking down a street in Atlanta. Then they turn a corner and see a sign that says “Old Timer’s Bar ” ” ALL DRINKS 10 CENTS !”.
They look at each other, then go in. The old bartender says in a voice that carries across the room, “Come on in and let me pour one for you, what’ll it be, Gentlemen?”
There seems to be a fully stocked bar, so the men all ask for a martini. In short order, the bartender serves up 4 iced martinis — and says, “That’ll be 10 cents each, please.”
They can’t believe their good luck. They pay the 40 cents, finish their martinis, and order another round. Again, four excellent martinis are produced with the bartender again saying, “That’s 40 more cents, please.” They pay the 40 cents, but their curiosity is more than they can stand. They’ve each had two martinis and so far they’ve spent less than a dollar.
Finally one of the men couldn’t stand it any longer and asks the bartender “How can you afford to serve martinis as good as these for a dime a piece?”
“Here’s my story. I’m a retired tailor from Greenville , and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the lottery for $25 million and decided to open this place. Every drink costs a dime, wine, liquor, beer, all the same.”
“Wow. That’s quite a story” says one of the men. The four of them sipped at their martinis and couldn’t help but notice three other guys at the end of the bar who didn’t have a drink in front of them, and hadn’t ordered anything the whole time they were there.
One man gestures at the three at the end of the bar without drinks and asks the bartender, “What’s with them?”
The bartender says, “They’re seniors from Florida, they’re waiting for “HAPPY HOUR”
The easiest way to make your old car run better is to check the prices of a new car.
A Woman went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.
“What Denomination?” Asked the clerk.
“Oh, good heavens! Have we come to this?” said the woman.
“Well give me 50 Baptist and 50 Catholic.”
The darkest hour is only 60 minutes.
A young man visiting a dude ranch wanted to be macho, so he went out walking with one of the hired hands. As they were walking through the barnyard, the visitor tried to begin a conversation, “Say, look at that big bunch of cows.”
The hired hand replied, “Not ‘bunch,’ but ‘herd.'”
“Herd of cows.”
“Sure, I’ve heard of cows… there’s a big bunch of ’em right over there.”
There is abundant testimony that if we choose love rather than self, we gain immeasurably.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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