Chasing Inspiration

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's the Little Things

  1. A working snowblower and a husband who isn't afraid to use it
  2. Great teachers who are able to challenge my beliefs - cognitive dissonance can be a powerful learning tool.
  3. The ladies at the coffee shop I sometimes visit on my way to work - thank you for the extra, extra whip cream today. It was much appreciated. :)
I was in line at the post office this week when I overheard a couple of thirty-something ladies ahead of me compare their Valentine's Day experiences. Let's just say they were complaining about what they thought was a lack of extravagence. They wanted more than flowers and cutsie gifts from the men in their lives. They expected to be dazzled and treated like royalty and their lovers had fallen short of the mark, and these women were disappointed and angry.
I wish I could say this is not the norm, that most people I bump into are able to find joy and meaning in the little things, in the day to day guestures that friends adn family use to tell us we are loved and appreciated. That we matter. When I was a therapist I worked with couples who getting married or newly married. One of the things we discussed was how we perceive we are loved. Sadly, several of these couples stated they only felt valued and loved if there partner showed them through grand guestures.
On one hand, that's very romantic. I think we want to be swept off our feet, but when we rely on grand guestures, what was grand yesterday becomes normal and the guestures need to increase in complexity or weight in order to be considered, well, grand.
No one can sustain this. And when we focus on the grand, we miss out on the simple and the honest and the authentic.
It's the little things that over time make or break a relationship. Maybe that's where we should be spending our energies, taking care of the little things, noticing the little things, being thankful for the little things.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Of Pyjamas and Tulips

  1. My husband's willingness to do the laundry when I'm feeling overwhelmed or sick or generally don't want to
  2. That Canada is doing as well as they are so far in the 2014 Olympic games
  3. Rest
  4. Bonus gratitude - the lovely tulips my husband got me for Valentine's day.
We don't generally celebrate Valentine's Day. It's not because we're objecting to rampant consumerism (if we felt this way, we would also forgo Christmas). We like to go out and enjoy various activities together, but my husband isn't fond of crowds due to a hearing issue and he has quite a bit of introversion running through is veins. So instead of going out for Valentine's Day we usually spend an evening in with pizza and a movie on Netflix.

We also don't exchange gifts on Valentine's Day, though I have been known to slip a silly card in my husband's lunch bag now and again. Or surprise him with a dinner he particularly enjoys. And he used to be in the habit of getting me flowers on a monthly basis. Which is really more impressive than remembering to get flowers for Valentine's.

I decided I was going to take Friday off of work. I've been putting in a lot of long hours and I wanted a break. Just me, the dog. Sleeping in a little. Watching my new favorite show that is no longer on the air (Leverage), and doing some reading. I was going to take myself out for breakfast but decided spending the day in my pyjamas was more tempting. I never spend all day in my PJ's anymore!

I had this nagging feeling that I should let my husband know sooner rather than later that I would be at home and not the office on Friday. And good thing, too! He ordered the tulips for me with a Thursday or Friday delivery. Had they been delivered Friday, I would have had to go in to the office to pick them up. Something I could not do in my pyjamas.

We had our pizza and watched a DVD I purchased for Christmas while snuggled on the couch, my lovely tulips on a table near the TV, and the dog curled up into a ball on his pillow. The perfect Valentine's Day.