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I am often asked how have you managed to say married for so long? My answer is very simple; I let my husband be who he is.
I have been married for 20 years with one child who is now in college. Over the years we have had our bumps and hiccups and our struggles for power. One day my husband told me, you can be in charge of whatever it is you do in your office, but in this house, you are wife and mother. Yep, go ahead, catch your breath, because I know I did. My first reaction was to get up cross the room, and knock the taste out of his mouth. But I stopped and considered his words.
I took his words to heart and in year 3, I concentrated on being his wife and the mother to my child. When he walks in the door from work, I greet him with a kiss, and now that we are empty nesters, sometimes skimpy lingerie. Dinner is on the table when he walks in the door whether I have cooked it, or ordered out. There are always leftovers in the fridge, a sweet dessert or something yummy to snack on. When he is watching tv, I leave him alone and let him enjoy his show. And you know what….he does the same for me.
The mortgage is paid on time, my car is road ready anytime I need to make a trip, and if I want to shop, he will give me what I need. During dinner we have conversations about life, world events, and about each other. He nurtures my need to change the world and allows me the freedom to do just that while I support him in being my man and taking care of our family.
We often hear the phrase let a man be a man, but often misconstrue it as giving a man free reign to sow his wild oats. Letting a man be a man to me, means making sure he feels wanted and needed. Because in the end, everyone want to be needed, but a man needs to be wanted.
I know some of you will disagree, but if you have not been married longer than I have then save your comments. And just in case you are wondering, I have a masters and PhD that he paid for.
In such a volitile economy, we are having to rethink the way we live, do business, eat, dress and even spend our money. The weekend trips to Blockbuster have been replaced with an On Demand selection. Weekend pizza ordering has been reduced to the best sellers in the Wal-mart deli (with extra pepperoni and shredded cheese, purchased seperately of course) while we spend time with our families. Dinner out is a $30 dollar swing for 4 at the local Mexican joint.
Amazingly enough, before I never had enough time, now, I have plenty of time to spend with my son working on my backyard and have even considered putting in a garden. The neighbors, I used to blow my horn at on my way to somewhere else, have become a staple in our home playing board games and cards.
Our weekend getaways to the “big city” have been exchanged for exploring our own city and becoming members of local non-profit groups and giving back to community. I even joined a writers network to brain storm and share ideas with other burgeoning writers. All in all, if being lead by a “comunity organizer” is having an affect on the American public, as well as the economy, then what have you changed in your way of life?
In tough ecomomic times, butter and eggs were a source of income for many families. Butter and egg money, made from the excess milk from the family’s cows and eggs that could not be consumed, were sold to buy fabric to make children clothes. The scrap pieces of material were sewn together to make extra bedding and balnkets for the cold winter months, pinics, and extra pallets for guests.
This ecomony has impacted us all and I fear the worst is still yet to come, and although we are seeing Americans tighten their belts, and cutback on wasteful spending, women are going back to traditional homemaking. Besides, who wants to pay $4 for a cup of coffee when you can brew your own pot, and have friends over to catch up while creating something beautiful?
The time I used to spend at the spa (deep sigh, tear slowly trickles down the corner of my eye) and weekend getaways with the girls are now spent sitting in my home, and creating hand made items to beautify it.
Although, times have not gotten so tough that I need to buy a cow and purchase some egg laying hens, I do have to tighten my belt and spend wisely on the items that I need. I am starting at t-shirt quilt for my son when he goes off to college, taking his old t-shirts to make it into a quilt of all his past activities, so that he will have a daily remainder of a well spent child hood. This saves me money on fabric , new bedding for his college dorm room, as well as recycling the old t-shirts. I will be sure to share a final picture of the project once it is finished.
Now, tell me what are you doing in these tough times to make a difference in your family’s income?
• entering business card data into a database
• sending an introductory letter to new prospect leads
• sending scheduled marketing pieces to clients and prospects
• designing and printing brochures and business cards
• creating flyers, price lists, and other marketing documents
• maintaining a newsletter subscription database
• posting announcements and newsletter issues to the list
• editing or uploading new information to a website
• preparing PowerPoint slides from sketches of diagrams and charts
• monitoring periodicals and clipping articles of interest
• visiting the library to copy specific articles
• scheduling or rescheduling appointments
• tracking birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates
• sending out the appropriate cards or gifts for special events
• managing lists of necessary office supplies and ordering refills
• typing handwritten notes from a meeting or seminar
• typing letters, printing on stationery, addressing, and mailing
• proofreading, editing, and checking spelling / grammar
• laying out larger documents
Recently I added Facebook to my social networking channels to see who else I could connect with before the dreaded high school reunion.
It has been amazing the number of classmates that I lost touch with or people, who were once critical in my every day, that I had not spoken to in years, were happy to see my face. Which begs two questions, how important were they, and why did I loose touch?
We loose touch for the simple reasons that we move on, we have changes in our lives, or ‘those people” no longer fit in our plans. Do we simply close the door and move on, or do you find that many years later, “those people” still have the same view of you? if their view is still the same, then maybe what we were moving on from wasn’t “those poeple” but ourselves.
This month, I challenge you to reconnect with something you lost touch with, whether it be an old hobby, and old friend, or an old classmate. Because, in the end, what really matters is what you did when you are here, and not neccessarily what you did when you were there.
Connect today, and make a difference in your tommorrow.
Your Personal Assistant