Or Purposeful With Our Actions
He kisses the dog first!
When my husband leaves the house, he kisses the dog first. Sometimes, he’s in such a rush that he forgets to kiss me at all.
Now, I could get all bent out of shape and get my feelings hurt, or I could admit that I may partly be to blame for this. Recently, I told him about a report I heard on the radio that said that we must be expressive and intentional when saying goodbye to our pets when we leave them for the day. The point was to reduce their anxiety while we are gone.
Or . . . it might be payback.
For many, many years, I focused on the children. Mornings were always hectic. I’m sure I told myself he was an adult; he could get himself ready and out the door each day. Goodbyes were often yelled over our shoulders as an afterthought, often with a reminder (he would say it was a reprimand) not to forget an event or an appointment later that day. I certainly wasn’t thinking about reducing his anxiety while he was out in the world on his own.
And now that the kids are gone, the dog is our new “baby” . . . and he kisses her first.
Having no children in the house should have changed most of my daily routines. Yes, it’s true . . . it has been years since our kids went off to college, and they haven’t come home yet. I just have to admit that I continued my regular routines . . . and I had become a martyr! I was complaining about all I did, or thought I had to do every day, and how little those around me did.
Until one day I couldn’t.
After 50 years of navigating life in one piece, I had an accident that required surgery and left me unable to use my right arm for several months. There was no way I could do the things I used to do every day, and my husband had to pick up the slack.
And you know what? He did.
This new opportunity had presented itself; the question was, what was I going to do about it? I’m better now—I can resume my regular routines . . . but should I? Change is hard, and sometimes we change only when we are forced to, as in the case of my accident. Then, sometimes we don’t really change at all.
For years, I have led a very scheduled life—up by 7 am, lunch at noon, dinner at 6 pm. Laundry on Thursdays, grocery shopping on Mondays. I make daily and weekly “to-do” lists. The truth is, I like it! By scheduling the “must do” items, I then have time for the things I want to do. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
Reality check . . . change only works if you actually do something differently. It’s easy to slide right back into the same routines and sink back into martyrdom.
Empty Messers, I’m making a pledge and calling for a united effort! Let’s be expressive and intentional with our affection and purposeful with our actions. All we have to do is focus on our priorities.