“It’ll be Fun!” My husband knows me well – he’ll often entice me to an activity or task all wrapped up in a coating of fun. Yes. After 32 years of marriage, Robert knows what’ll motivate me. And I’ve learned to identify my barriers to a task, and he fills in to negate them. So “it” will be fun!
activities that are enjoyable or amusing; playfulness; or therapeutic refreshment.
I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you if I share that there isn’t much fun in some work. Taxes. Cleaning out the garage. Some work is just that. Work. However, as a husband and wife who want to embrace the value of fun in their work and marriage, then attitude is the muscle that needs to be exercised. Marriage is a lot of work. Why shouldn’t it be fun work?
(Note: I was going to make a list of all the things in marriage that are work and put it here – but I decided that wouldn’t be much fun… 😉 I’m guessing you can think up your own list if you need to.)
Can you be playful with your spouse as you work? Can you feel refreshed as the work gets done? Sometimes our attitude is the barrier…
Stuff needs to get done – even in a meaningful life as husband and wife. However, if you get the mundane work done with an attitude of playfulness and build in refreshment, then you can keep fun in the work!
5 Ways to Be Playful Even if the Work Needs to be Done
Play energetic music. The most mundane work can be fun with the right music playing! Wear headphones if it’s not appropriate for the environment you’re working in – just start the music at the same time as your spouse, and you’ll be movin’ and boppin’ on the same beat!
Dress the part. Yes – I’m serious! Cleaning is much more fun if you put a bandana around your head, roll up your shirt sleeves and play the part. Dance with the broom as you sweep… (You get the idea, right?)
Use a board game as a marker of getting things done. Think of Snakes and Ladders – every time you get part of the work done (you’ve already determined the way-points), then you get a chance to roll the dice and move your piece. If the game isn’t done before the work is done, then you get to finish the game as part of the fun!
Listen to comedians. (Or tell your own jokes.) SiriusXM Satellite Radio has comedy channel options. Try the library to see which CDs they have of your favorite comedians. (Sometimes you can request that the library purchase some, if they don’t have what you’re looking for.) Or invest in some of your own CDs – or digital downloads. There are lots available in whatever fashion you and your spouse find funny. (Rob and I like Bill Engval.)
Drink! (No – not that kind of drinking… or maybe. 😉 ) Staying hydrated keeps your head in the game and feeling refreshed. Be fun and make different flavors of iced tea, or mix up a smoothy… or enjoy popsicles…
Kiss! Oh, come on – what’s not refreshing about a nice kiss, part way through the work?
Here’s an illustration – it’s pretty simple, and kind of silly, but it’s real. Maybe you wouldn’t find this a problem… Think of something you’re avoiding doing, if it helps.
Robert’s shirt needs a button sewn on. This usually isn’t much fun as a task by itself… and I’ve been procrastinating. Rob would really like to wear his shirt. (And yes, he does know how to sew on his own button, but I offered and I’d like to do something nice for him.)
Yes – I know how to sew on a button, so lack of knowledge isn’t the procrastination problem. Maybe I’ve been been hoarding my energy for something else? (Otherwise known as laziness.) But, after consideration, the real procrastination problem is that I don’t have the button – the washing machine ate it.
Rob removed the barrier for me by suggesting I use the button at the top collar, which he never buttons up. And then he suggested we watch a movie together and I can do it while I’m enjoying the movie.
See? No more procrastination and Fun Work.
Move past procrastination, and add in some fun.
If you’re stuck, or avoiding the work you need to get done – first decide why you’re avoiding it, then add in some fun. Anything is possible if you work together.
As a husband and wife you’re a team… Encourage each other!
When Rob and I talk about how we live in 282 square feet (our RV) and work together all day, every day (or almost), many people respond with, “Oh, I could never do that!” For some reason, some people can’t imagine working with their spouse. What’s the barrier?
Is it an ego problem?
On February 3, 2016, I participated in a twitter chat about collaboration. The topic of ego showed up numerous times. This was a business twitter chat (BufferChat), however, like most things, it can be a indicator for relationships and marriage also.
A number of the tweets mentioned not letting ego be a part of the collaboration… these are two:
A7) TRUE Collaboration happens when you can put aside your ego for the purpose of the project. #BufferChat
As a resource, we recommend the new book, Lead Like Jesus Revisited. On page 63 there’s a chart which details the signs and consequences of Edging God Out (the bad ego). And on page 82 there’s a chart with the details of what it looks like if you Exhalt God Only (the good ego).
Reach out to us – Robert . Lori @ LeadershipCouples.com – we’d love to to come and do a Lead LIke Jesus Encounter with you and your friends/family/church group, with Robert as your facilitator. As you might realize, our sweet spot is working with husbands and wives… imagine what a weekend retreat would feel like if you were together with your couple friends – learning, growing, and enriching your marriages!
Soon we will be wishing women a “happy mother’s day” – In North America it’s the traditional 2nd Sunday in May to do this. For all those who celebrate, there are others who can’t wait for the day to be over – it’s a difficult mother’s day.
For some, this is a day filled with anguish and grief.
Why is that? The term “mother” can’t be pinned only on those women who gave birth, and who will get a card or gift acknowledging their role.
There are also people we sometimes forget – or perhaps we don’t know how much they love children with a mother’s love.
With these flowers … #honorallmoms
I’m thinking of you…
The first group of women who might have a difficult Mother’s Day, could have given birth, but those babies aren’t here – they’re in heaven.
Maybe those babies didn’t breathe even one breath and only the mom and dad knew there was a life growing. These flowers are for you.
Maybe those babies’ lives were ended before they left your womb, and only you, the mom, think of them today with a deep love. These flowers are for you.
Maybe those babies lived for a while, and even grew into adulthood, but they aren’t here today – they’ve preceded you, their mother, into eternity. These flowers are for you.
We acknowledge your love and sorrow. Your Heavenly Father loves you. These flowers are for you.
The second group who might find Mother’s Day difficult, are those who love a child, but these women can’t wear the name “mother”.
Some of these women love children with a mother’s love, because they married, and their husband brought the children into their lives. Maybe no-one else sees and knows how fiercely you love these children. Maybe you aren’t allowed to wear the name “mother”. These flowers are for you.
Maybe you gave birth to a child, but everyone else has forgotten. You gave that child to another couple to raise – yet your heart aches today with a mother’s love. These flowers are for you.
Perhaps you are longing to give birth. You love this child to be – this child you can imagine holding in your arms…
We acknowledge your love and sacrifice. Your Heavenly Father loves you. These flowers are for you.
The third group of women and men who might find Mother’s Day difficult are those who love a child – but that child is not with you, nor might anyone else call you a “mother”. Yet – you love that child with a motherly love.
Perhaps you’re an aunt or uncle or grandparent, who nurtured a child with a mother’s care and love. These flowers are for you.
Perhaps you love a child, and wanted to give that child a forever home, but circumstances ended that option. You think of that child today – where ever he or she is — and love her or him with a mother’s love. These flowers are for you.
Perhaps there is a child – or children – you have adopted within your heart. There are no legal ties, and maybe that child doesn’t even know. But you love the child with a mother’s love. These flowers are for you.
We acknowledge you. Your Heavenly Father loves you. These flowers are for you.
These flowers stand as a small banner to a mother’s love.
A mother’s love has no barrier – not earth or eternity, not time or distance, not fear or hate.
In North America we celebrate “Mother’s Day” on the second Sunday in May.
For many deeply distressing reasons, Mother’s Day is not always a day all women can embrace. Perhaps infertility is a constant wound. Perhaps they’re grieving over a baby who never took a breath, or a child who died or was killed… perhaps they’re in anguish over a child who won’t or can’t call them “mom”, yet their hearts love with a motherly love. Perhaps it’s an adoption that didn’t happen, yet they continue to love that child, wherever he or she may be…
For other women it’s another celebratory day in the year: birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving… it doesn’t matter what the day celebrates – it’s what that day represents to your wife. And it’s hard.
As a man, you might understand how your wife feels about that dreaded day. Or you might not. At least not fully.
But you still care about your wife. You still want to encourage her – you want to provide that bit of extra care which transcends her hurting/anger/guilt/sorrow/distress/anguish…
Where do you start with encouraging words for your wife?
Maybe you startwithout words?
extra long hugs – many hugs – hugs that are gentle and silent
an arm around her shoulder as you sit together, or walk into church
holding her hand – clasping it securely, with a loving grip
encouraging her to put her feet up on your lap as you sit together – and give her a foot massage
a passing caress – she might be concentrating, but a touch to let her know you care won’t be amiss
a gentle kiss on her cheek – or her forehead
a loving, warm and patient smile as she struggles.
Maybe you start by praying for her – even as the day she finds so difficult approaches.
ask God to bless her with peace – His peace.
pray that she will feel God’s perfect love, first and foremost.
ask her (and your) Heavenly Father to help her see your love.
ask that you have a patient and wise heart, as she battles her own emotions
pray that God will bring into her life those she needs to surround her to lessen her distress
ask for help in finding the right words, at the right time, with the right tone
Are there encouraging words for your wife on a difficult day?
I’m not sure I can give you those encouraging words – here on this blog. I don’t even know if any words will work to encourage your wife… however you can try these:
“I love you.”
Remind her of your love. Your unconditional, steadfast, and loyal love. Your over-the-top, without prerequisite love. Be selfless in your love. Serve your wife in love. Love heals.
“I’m here with you. I’m here for you.”
Remind her that she is not alone in her distress. Her grief and anguish is seen and heard. She’s not battling her feelings in a void – anger, hurt, resentment, misery, ache and depression – you are with her. Demonstrate your strength by being gentle.
Have Courage. Encourage.
Encouragement is made up of five ingredients; hope, faith, love, prayer and action.
give your wife hope for the future – consider what you two can look forward to… Our God is a God of HOPE!
use your faith in God to encourage your wife – fortify her with your faith.
love her with a Christ-like, selfless love.
pray for her – pray over her – pray silently, pray together. Ask God to encourage your wife.
take over-the-top, without restraint action to encourage in the ways your wife responds to – use her Love Language.
This day won’t stop being difficult.
This day won’t stop being difficult, even after it passes. Chances are, it’ll still be hard again next year. I’m imagining you’d love to change circumstances, but it’s not within your power. I’m sorry.
But Robert and I are here to encourage you – the husband!
Don’t give up! Continue. Be steadfast. Be loyal.
Be together – united – with your wife, even if this day is hard.
You can. It’s possible. What you will do matters… all you need is to do it!
I’ve been researching time management and procrastination.And yes, I’ll say it before you can think it: All the research might count as procrastination. 😉 I’ve ingested the poison of procrastination often…
Here’s my confession: We have a small issue with doing things at the last moment. Sometimes it’s a time management issue – sometimes it’s a procrastination poison. And when I say “we”, I mean me. And Robert. And our adult kids.
Are you seeing a trend? We have a new grandboy, and I really don’t want to pass this trend on to the next generation… Our family’s inside joke is to use the hashtag #fergusontime — usually in a text to each other when we’re running late.
Being Aware of Procrastination
As soon as I find myself procrastinating, I realized I need to be self-aware and determine exactly why I’m procrastinating…
Exactly. In detail. What am I afraid of? By being brutally honest with myself over the reason I’m procrastinating, I can address the fear (and it’s usually a stupid fear), to develop a solution, work-around, or strategy to begin – or more often, finish -whatever I’m avoiding. Yeah. I’m a great starter, but haven’t been as successful at finishing. Yet.
Here are 9 reasons we all procrastinate:
fear of the outcome (good or bad)
helplessness over a lack of knowledge
boredom – a lack of interest
perfectionism – if you can’t be perfect, what’s the point?
saving energy for something else (otherwise known as laziness)
fatigue – being just too tired, physically and mentally
rebellion/resentment over the task
no motivation – holding the belief that taking action won’t get you anything
distraction – too many other things taking precedence
Have you ever encountered any of these issues?
I’m going to guess that you can relate with one or more of these nine reasons to procrastinate. I’m going to suggest that you’ve encountered them in many areas of your life; in your job, in your household work, in your health, in your fitness, in your undeclared goals (like writing a book, running a marathon, starting a business etc.), in parenting, and in relationships.
Do you ever procrastinate when it comes to your marriage?
Do you put off spending time with your spouse because you really don’t want to talk about a certain issue?
Do you let the busy-ness of life supersede your relationship?
Are you fed-up with not having the marriage you’d hoped to have, so you avoid your spouse?
Where has procrastination crept into your relationship with your husband or wife?
I’m guessing you’ve used all these nine reasons to procrastinate in your marriage relationship at various times, for varying reasons… I just need to say:
Procrastination is an enemy of encouragement.
Yes. Just like procrastination is an enemy of achieving anything in life – succumbing to procrastination ensures you’ll never encourage your husband or wife. And… next I’ll have the audacity to take it further:
In the book I detail all nine reasons why we procrastinate in our marriage, and provide work-arounds, solutions, and suggestions to move past those procrastination poisons.
The book is available this weekend – Friday, April 29, 2016 till Monday May 2, 2016 – for FREE!The digital version will be free to download to your ereader (Kindle) or Kindle app on your smartphone, tablet or computer.