Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Exercise in praise...

I got an email today that set me to thinking......

Now you all know that can be dangerous.... but this is good....really good.

The challenge?   Make a list of praise for your husband.  I will give you my reactions to the email and all that stuff later.  I think today... that the PRAISE should come first:

My husband's exceptional qualities:

My husband is brilliant.  Not smart... brilliant.  He's the mathematical brain that thinks slide rules are fun.  (Man, I can't seem to help my smarty-pants side!  I need to work harder - and, if you don't know what a slide rule is - then do a search.... it was before computers)  If you have a mechanical issue - this is the person you want looking at it.  He can diagnose the problem and invent the part.  No kidding, I've seen him do it with old cars and heating systems.  And I've watched him grab books and manuals and LEARN a whole other discipline in order to find solutions.  When he grasps a problem, he can't stop until he fixes it.

So we add determination and persistence to that brilliance.  And laser-sharp focus.  It doesn't matter WHAT is going on around him.  When his mind is engaged, that is all that is happening in the universe.

He is unassuming.  Think Clark Kent... mild-mannered reporter :-)  You couldn't pick him out in a crowd unless you are looking closely.  But he is the one you can count on to be there for you.  I really like this about him.

And brave..... he is very brave.  When he makes a decision to do something, he has weighed all the pros and cons and decided the risk is one worth taking.  (Like marrying a woman with 3 (THREE) pre-teen daughters.)  He just stepped in and immediately became a successful husband and dad.  And once he makes a decision, he never looks back.  Ever.  I think that is very, very brave and praiseworthy.

This also makes him loyal.  He is exceptionally, unconditionally loyal.  And he has the scars to prove it.

He is kind.  He treats all creatures with respect.  He listens as carefully to a two-year-old as he does to a ninety-two-year old.  He is willing to do whatever is needed by anyone.  He will read stories and play trains and dolls or wash dishes and vacuum or drop everything and drive 200 miles to fix a flat tire. And think nothing of it.  It's what is needed.... so he does it.

He never belittles.  He has no need to make anyone else small.  I love this about him.

Did I mention that he does dishes and vacuums?

He doesn't meddle.  If it isn't his affair, it isn't his affair.  He doesn't waste brain space on things that other people do or don't do.  He isn't nosy in the least.  Where that extends to me is that he doesn't second-guess me.  He doesn't look at decisions I have made (even those that affect him) and tell me I should have done it differently.  I really (REALLY) appreciate this!


Okay, wow.... that was both harder and better than I thought!  What I found in doing this exercise was the BUTS.  the BUTS?  Yes, - when you live with someone and know their traits, you know the good and the bad side of things.  I found, as I tried to lay out my beloved's good points, that I automatically began to think of why these GOOD traits didn't serve me.   He is THIS.... BUT....   This is not praise.  This is just a nicer(?) way to tell someone their faults - handing a compliment over with a criticism.

Today I have been reminded that those GOOD traits DO serve me.... every day.  Most especially when I remember them :-)  And this is exactly the man that I love and want to spend my life with :-)

Like many people, sometimes I flounder in my marriage.  I mean, I've been married a LONG time.  The kids are grown and I'm kind of itchy... stretching and growing along with my young adult kids trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  It's not a comfortable space because I am a DOer.  I think and I plan - but on the run!  I am a body in motion, even at rest :-)  I need a direction to move in - or I tread water and get nowhere - which frustrates me to no end!  But this is me - this is MY issue :-) 

My beloved is steady as a rock... and we are polar opposites in many ways.  In the beginning it is really attractive.... and it DOES provide for growth as people... but in day-to-day operations... it's TOUGH!  But that is exactly what makes it good...... perfect, really.  It makes it home.... and we get USED TO "home".  We take advantage of things we are accustomed to.

So like many... I grumble.

And this morning, the challenge arrived in my inbox......  Make a list of praises for your husband.  (Okay, I admit it... my knee-JERK (emphasis on JERK) first response was "why not praise for your WIFE?")  But that is mean-spirited and selfish and does not serve me at all!  (makes you wonder why we do it, doesn't it?)

But anyway - I can go about my day with a lighter step now.... and reflect on the wonderful man I share my life with.  (Not to mention he might vacuum or do the dishes :-)

I challenge YOU...... make a list of praise for your spouse.. and see how much better that feels than the usual grumble..

PS.. the email came from

I am technically challenged and can't figure out how to add their button or give them credit another way!  (YET!)

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