The days just keep moving forward and we're already into the second month of the year. Is it just me, or did anyone else feel like January couldn't quite get its legs under and start moving? I felt like I needed more cocooning and more time to stay still so I could hear what my heart was trying to say.
I belong to an industry measured by productivity and it gets tiresome for me. I am one who has been fortunate to not have to worry about how many “deals” I'm cranking out. I'm motivated by the experience and results we're able to provide each client; who are most often repeat or referral clients to me. We try to shield the client from the craziness of the market place by preparing them well and strategizing ways to win, so it isn’t by chance or accident that we get results. Thoughtful, thorough preparation wins the day.
Our first two listings we brought on in January were weeks of market prep for phenomenal results. Yes, some of it is sheer luck and timing but we control the parts that we can.
February is always about hearts and chocolates for most. I like to think about the consistent work that goes into a relationship of any kind. This year, I've carved out time to study with my mentor, Tara Mohr, who is debuting a new course called Loving Well in February. You might want to check it out at www.taramohr.com.
Relationships are not easy. Loving is not always so easy. For some of us, being loved is not even easy. But it is the thing that enriches our lives. I found the list below in my Notes app and I unfortunately did not keep the portion that tells the source. It’s too good a read to not share. With every sentence I was furiously nodding in agreement. Love IS a muscle. You test it and it becomes stronger. I cannot believe that Mr. Fox and I are still going strong after 37-38 years or so. (I'm not the sentimental one of the pair). But the longer we are together, all these items have been proven to be 100%. I think our relationship works because we have deep respect for one another. We have very little in common as far as the things we love to do. But at our core we are simpatico on the kind of home life we want, which is stable, drama free, predictable, safe and secure. I don’t know what he would say if asked but with one of the two BIG hiccups we had along the way, I sought outside professional help. In doing so, I was asked, “Is it more important for you to be right or be married?" Because you are right but if you push this, you might not be married. So you get to decide which is more important: "Being right or being married.”. This having been decades ago, I had to think about it for a few days. I'm glad I chose to be married. (But I WAS right, darn it! Lol!).
Here is the amazing list—with apologies to the author.
1. Tell your partner you love them every night before falling asleep.
Someday you’ll find the other side of the bed empty and wish you could.
2. Never keep score in love.
Scoreboards are for sports games, not marriages.
3. Laugh until you cry.
Laughing together goes a long way to smooth the inevitable bumps in the road.
4. Never stop dating.
I'm 99 and still courting my wife! Marriages don't get boring, you stop trying.
5. Do one act of service for your partner every day, but never tell them about it.
Take out the trash, refill the soap dispenser, put away the toys. Tiny acts of love and respect add up over time.
6. Time doesn't heal when it comes to relationships.
Don't delay difficult conversations.
7. Don’t fear sadness, as it tends to sit right next to love.
This is part of the fundamental balance and tension of life. The joy of love comes in the same package as the pain of loss.
8. No one has ever argued their way to a happy marriage.
When facing a challenge, face it together.
9. It can't always be 50/50.
Sometimes it will be 90/10, sometimes it will be 10/90. All that matters is that it adds up to 100.
10. Maintain interests and passions separate from your partner's.
Marriage should not be the end of individuality.
11. When in doubt, love.
We can always use more love.
12. If your relationship has a minor issue, repair it.
Minor issues become major issues over time. Furthermore, most minor issues that persist or repeat are a result of a more fundamental issue with the foundation. Address those swiftly, as they won't repair themselves.
13. Never raise your voice with your partner.
Nothing good has ever come from shouting.
14. Every relationship is a work in progress.
The mutual desire for improvement is what builds a lifelong bond.
15. You cannot take care of your partner if you aren't taking care of yourself.
Make a list of your daily needs to feel good. Make sure you and your partner are able to accomplish that list.
16. Is it more important to be right or to be married?
Stubborn pride is the downfall of relationships.
17. Always be quick to say "I'm sorry."
If you are struggling to apologize, go for a short walk, breathe, and try again. It's (almost) always worth it.
18. Don't sweat small stuff.
If there's something bothering you, ask whether it will matter in one month. If not, let it go right now.
19. Start every day with a hug or a kiss.
It's a simple reminder of your love that goes a long way.
Fun Fact: I had to edit this piece of advice from 90-year-old Carl, married for 65 years, to make it more safe for work. His original advice was: “Start every day with a kiss (and more).” Go get ‘em, Carl!
20. Take pride in building a family with strong values.
Create ripples that last.
21. Marriage should always take priority over your birth family.
Remember that when the two feel in conflict.
22. Never involve a non-professional 3rd party (parents, friends, siblings, coworkers) in disagreements.
You'll forget about it, but they won't.
23. Keep doing the little things.
A note under the pillow, a surprise bouquet, a peck on the cheek. Romance never goes out of style.
24. Love is a muscle.
Know that your love will be tested, but that each test has the potential to leave it stronger.
25. Complementarity is just as important as compatibility.
Allow each other the space to lead within different domains in your relationship.
26. Your love is yours.
Forget the approval of others. You won't be able to make everyone happy. Accept that and embrace each other.
27. It doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be wonderful.
There has never been a perfect relationship, but there have been many wonderful ones.
The Gottman Institute had this great graphic called The Small Acts of Love Jar.
Here are 100 Valentine’s Day card messages and quotes from Paperless Post.
When I was in the restaurant biz, we called Valentine’s reservations “Amateur Night”. It’s not really the best night to go to a restaurant. They will rush you in/out to turn the table and it feels so contrived. The last Valentines dinner we had at a restaurant was at the Adriactica almost 40 years ago.
Instead, I'd opt for an easy but delicious home cooked meal ANY day. Here is an easy one pot dish from one of my favorite women, Nigella Lawson. Pair it with a great salad and you are set. You can play the music you both enjoy, light some candles and have a romantic evening.
And for so many of you readers who are not in a romantic relationship at the moment, this valentine is for you. I spent many valentines not being a part of a couple. I made sure that I celebrated with my girlfriends or alone by starting my day by going to the market for fresh flowers and ending it with a deep luxurious soak to the music I wanted to play and a lovely scented candle and some bubbly. As much as I love Mr Fox, I also miss those days A LOT.
Anyone needing a dose of self love this Valentine's Day? Give yourself a Valentine gift of some coaching! Reach out to me for a chat, I'd love to hear what's on your heart and mind.