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Newsletter Vol. # 33 That's how I see it!

Newsletter Vol. # 33 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter. Were a bit late in getting the New Year started but thanks to a bout of bronchitis and a computer breakdown my motivation "to give a damn" was at an all-time low. So a belated Happy New Year and lets get the first edition (#33) of 2016 up and at you.

What you'll find in this weeks newsletter: Some Thoughts For Maintaining A Long-Term Relationship; we know how to work, but do we know how to play-Leisure Time; the importance of having A Sense Of Purpose after retirement; what causes snoring; Murphy The Painter-got to love the Irish; what is Emotional Intelligence; and Reader Response.

Some Thoughts For Maintaining A Long-Term Relationship.

Staying together in a positive relationship is hard work! We have to consciously think about a number of things if over the long haul our partner will want to stay with us. Studies in perception of a relationship have found that only when a partner feels like they are receiving four positive strokes/comments to every one negative is the relationship perceived to be a positive one. In many cases an attitude that says, "It must be such a privilege for you - my partner - to put up with my dirty socks, my poor cooking abilities, my... you name it", must be changed to "How can I support you in getting what you need to have a fulfilling life with me." A Golden Rule for couples: What can I do today for you that will make your life better?

Partners must learn how to communicate better if their relationship is to survive. They must learn to really listen (Active listening) to each other, even if they disagree with what is said. A favourite saying of mine is: "You don't have to agree with what your partner is saying but you do have to 'respectively listen' to him/her". There needs to be a real consciousness about how we speak. Not just the words we choose but how they are delivered - the tone, inflection and body posture. We need to learn to say what we are thinking, feeling, valuing and believing without judgement, sarcasm, and that unsaid but definitely implied "stupid" at the end of a question. "Why did you do that (stupid)?

Individuals must give up the belief that they have the correct way of seeing the world. Nobody can claim his or her truth as being universally true for everyone. Partners need to learn how to state how they see things clearly and passionately but they also need to understand that their partner will probably see things differently and that is ok. You don't have to see the world the same as I do to be OK, but we both need to listen respectfully to each other.

Arguments and fights generally erupt as the result of one or both trying to be heard and the other not listening or that someone is trying to "win" - to make the other person see their perspective and agree that how they see it is the "correct way". Some very hurtful language is used to win. If there is one person you don't want to win with, it is your partner - If there is a winner then there will be a loser and shortly there will be two losers as the loser eventually will get even. Unfortunately it is in this "loving" relationship that one is exposed most often to the most extreme methods to win the point.
It is proper communication to express your thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs but not in a way that says - and this certainly invites a negatives reaction - "My way is the correct way of seeing this issue and if you don't agree with me it is my duty to straighten you out. In fact I have the right to get angry, call you names, use sarcasm, bully you, threaten you, perhaps even be physical to get you to see the light, the correct perception-my perception." The person needs to win to feel ok about him/herself and then afterwards they don't feel better because of the hurt feelings.

Some other thoughtsas to what contributes to a long-term relationship.

     - A relationship needs to be made up of two strong people - two strong "I's" make up a strong "We".
     - Partners need to consciously work at being a team. Just because they are different doesn't mean they can't work together. They need to make it ok,  to accept their different viewpoints and when they can't talk it out, they need to learn how to negotiate/compromise.
     - Change needs to be embraced. With each new era of the life of the relationship the rules change. You can't keep playing hockey three times a week now that you have a child. These changes in lifestyle need to be discussed and negotiated on. Maybe three times a week is too much, so once a week for the hockey and once a week for the partner to do her thing. Supporting each other to do those activities and to meet with people that "fulfill" the individual is very important in the success of a long-term relationship.
     - Finding time to play and relax isn't nice - it is imperative to ones spirit (mental health).
     - If your going to have some energy for your home life, you can't give it all to your job. You must establish "boundaries" - know when you start and stop your work. Be prepared to establish a Plan to stay healthy and in balance. Remember some of the changing eras - starting a new career, marriage, babies/teenagers - all demand a great deal of time and energy and so there is less for self and the relationship - that's why you need a Plan. If you don't have a guide/Plan, life and it's million details just takes over and yourself and your partner get forgotten.
                                             If you don't know where you're going,
                                                how will you know if you got there?

Males, repeat after me: "I will stop fixing (problem-solving) things in my partner's life. Instead I will work on showing her more understanding and compassion.

Leisure Time

Children know how to play. Adults do as well but with less spontaneity. Adults tend to "scheduled in" fun activities; they work it in to their schedule. For kids play is their priority.

                       During the 50s and 60s we had lots of time to enjoy life, but no money.
                                   Today we have money but no time to enjoy life.

Leisure time has been drastically reduced down to about 16.5 hours per week (Harvard Health Letter). The futuristic writers of the 50s and 60s predicted that the 80s and 90s were going to be the "era of recreation." Technology was going to make life easier with more time for play. Instead, we have a statistic that states that today's employees are working 25 to 30% harder then their counterparts of post-war (1946-1950) Canada.

The lack of leisure-time/physical activity has become a serious health threat in North America, according to the US Surgeon Generals recent report. Statistically, about one in four adults reports having no leisure-time/physical activity.

A University of Michigan study found that "real" free time among children ages 12 and under decline from 40% of the child's day to 25% in the last decade.

Interestingly when children between the ages of 6 and 17 were asked about their leisure time, they expressed real concern about their lack of free time.

Teenagers who use computers and I-Phones only a few hours per week demonstrated increased signs of social isolation-- this according to a Carnegie Mallon University study.

There are so many new electronic gadgets: recorders, I-Pods, cell phones (that not only act as a telephone but also take pictures, text, and act as a calendar). I don't have any of these gadgets but feel that I should have. So, I've taken to wearing my garage door opener around my waist (at least I can look cool even if I'm not).

A Sense of Purpose

I ran into a friendly person while walking through the mall recently. She asked if I knew of any groups that dealt with retirement? I wasn't aware of any and she didn't want one to one counselling. I agreed with her that the issue of having "purpose in life" and a "sense of fulfillment" was something that many of the retirees I talked with felt was missing from their lives. Everybody needs a purpose in their lives to give them the motivation to get up in the morning and move their lives forward.

I think the more you liked your job the harder it is to retire from it. As well, the more addicted to work you are the harder it is to give up the job. When we are still on the job, we fantasize about how great it will be when we no longer have to pay attention to the structure of full-time work. However, after we retire some of us are lost without the structure that full-time work provides.

In a poll conducted by Harris/Decima (Postmedia News) of 2031 Canadians over the age of 18 between Oct. 28 and Nov. 9 of this year, results showed that most Canadians plan on doing some kind of work in retirement. The reasons for continuing to work have to do with staying mentally healthy and socially active and 40% stated financial necessity.

         "Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!"
         "The grass always looks greener on the other side."
     Got any other sayings that fit here - send them on to me.

Did you know...

Ever wonder what causes snoring? Well apparently when you fall asleep, all the muscles in your body relax, including the throat muscles that normally prop open your airway. Consequently, your body has to work harder to suck enough air through the now narrower tube, causing the pressure inside to drop, which pulls the floppy walls inward and it makes them vibrate-creating the distinctive snoring sounds.

Murphy, the Painter

A painter by the name of Murphy, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist.

Over a short number of years, his fame grew and soon people from all over Ireland were coming to the town of Doolin in County Clare, to get him to paint their likenesses.
One day, a beautiful young English woman arrived at his house in a stretch limo and asked if he would paint her in the nude.
This being the first time anyone had made such a request he was a bit perturbed, particularly when the woman told him that money was no object; in fact, and she was willing to pay up to £10,000.
Not wanting to get into any marital strife, he asked her to wait while he went into the house to confer with Mary, his wife.
In a few minutes he returned. "It would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus, "he said, "The wife says it's okay. "I'll paint you in the nude all right; but I have to at least leave me socks on, so I have a place to wipe me brushes."

Daniel Golman, Emotional Intelligence, defines emotional intelligence as "being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and to delay gratification; to regulate one's moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think..."

Reader Response

Your last blog was very potent for me and I cried. Thank you for writing that and thank you for all of us who needed to read it. I looked up the person in the article and she does counselling with the "work wounded" who gave their souls to the company and got the golden boot award for it. 

May this year---2016--- be as productive and fulfilling, as you believe you deserve!