It’s Touching

It’s Touching

Touching makes a difference in marriage – Get back in touch with your spouse!

We can get out of the habit of touching. Maybe you have small children who fill your arms all day (and night)? Don’t forget your spouse! Your husband or wife still needs your loving touch no matter how long you’ve been married.

your spouse needs a loving touch too

Lots of opportunities…

Sight is found in one body part – the eyes. And hearing, taste, and smell are each attached to a specific part of the body.

But the ability to feel – our sense of touch – is found on every square inch of a healthy body.

It’s Touching

A study done in 2011 at John Hopkins University showed how specialized neurons in the skin feel different movements and vibrations. It’s complex.

 “Touch is not yes or no; it’s very rich…”.

David Ginty, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins

Surprised? No, I didn’t think so. You know how rich the sense of touch is.

You’ve run your fingers through your spouse’s hair or tickled her/him or traced eyebrows with a gentle finger. You’ve wrapped your arms around your spouse and hugged till they squeaked.

Touching has many hues – just like color.

Every nerve ending in our skin has the ability to feel. In another study in 2006, the participants were able to decode emotions from a single touch on the forearm, all while blindfolded. They were able to detect anger, fear, love, gratitude and sympathy from a simple's touching - make it a habit to touch your spouse

Touch Your Spouse Today

Make it into a game. Take 10 coins and put them in one pocket. Each time you touch your spouse, transfer one coin to the other pocket till the first is empty and this way you’ll be sure you’ve touched your spouse at least ten times that day!

In what way does your spouse like to be touched? (Before you get to those intimate touches ;-)  )

Thankful to link with:

Messy Marriage and Salt & Light

Feel Free – Retire some of those hobbies.

Feel Free – Retire some of those hobbies.

Feel free. By the time you’ve reached the mid-marriage stage, you’ve tried lots of things and collected many items that match hobbies in which you’re no longer active. Now what? Here’s our experience… Click below to WATCH!

Blue Ocean Strategy Quadrants – Feel Free

feel free - do more do lessMaybe make your own list of things in four quadrants… What would you list toward making you and your spouse feel free? Just pull out a piece of paper and begin!

Do More – What will you do more of?

Do Less – What will you do less of?

Start Doing – What will you start doing?

Stop Doing – What will you stop doing?

Be liberal here. It’s just words on a piece of paper. Imagine what letting go of some of these hobbies or activities might feel like. Are they still relevant in the life you’re leading now? What about all the stuff that you’ve collected that are in boxes or containers, or leaning against the wall in the garage? Would it feel good to do some yes/no decision making?

You’re not the people you were 10 or 20 years ago…  Just sayin’. 😉 

No Guilt – Feel Free

Robert spoke of the term “sunk cost”, and how we need to look at the money we’ve already spent to purchase items associated with hobbies as a sunk cost. It’s been spent. Move on.

In economics and business decision-making, a sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs (also known as retrospective costs) are sometimes contrasted with prospective costs, which are future costs that may be incurred or changed if an action is taken. – from Wikipedia

There’s no need to feel guilt about these items if you choose to stop doing something. Perhaps you can sell some items (see this post on how to downsize) or give them away so others can make use of your items from past hobbies. You’re not doing yourself any good by hanging onto things which don’t serve you well in this season!

The nicest part of stopping doing something, and letting go of the items associated with it, is the sense of freedom that action provokes. There’s a lightness, a release, and a satisfaction to calling something “done”. 

What could you call “done” and feel free?

feel free let go

Ways to Reduce Friction and Resistance in Marriage

Ways to Reduce Friction and Resistance in Marriage

Are you dragging? Maybe it’s time to reduce the friction and resistance! 😉 

One caveat about neatness:

Make it about caring not control! Robert wrote a post from his perspective during our series on Values in Marriage.

Being neat reduces the friction and resistance in marriage.

As we mentioned in our 9th mid-marriage video, Robert is the neat one in our relationship. Me? Not so much! However, I have improved because of the two suggestions in our video.

Moving is good for one (of many) things: it forces you to look at all you own.

Each time we moved – from Canada to Texas, and from Texas to North Carolina and finally into an RV – we had to assess each item and decide if it still fit into our lives. Most times the answer was a resounding “Nope.”

friction and resistance - remove some stuff

Have you faced a move recently? How much did you choose to donate, sell and/or throw away? 

Ways to Reduce Friction and Resistance

Maybe you don’t need to wait till a move? Maybe you could begin this process now?

#1 Donate – Toss – Sell

This is exactly as it sounds. Take three bags or boxes and walk through your house, choosing things to donate, toss in the garbage or sell. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just begin.

When and what should you sell or donate? The obvious answer is to sell stuff to make some money if you’re not using it. However, it’s not always that obvious… the same is true for when and what to donate! Here are ideas from the “Get Organized Wizard”:

When you’re decluttering, only allocate something to the ‘Sell’ pile if:

1. It’s worth more than it would cost to organize the sale (list online, hold a garage sale, etc), and

2. You can be bothered to do the work to organize the sale.

The second point is crucial. If you know you’re unlikely to ever get around to doing what’s needed to sell your items, then save yourself time and guilt and don’t tell yourself you’ll sell.

Only allocate something to the ‘Donate’ pile if:

  • It’s in good condition and/or
  • It’s sell-worthy, but you can’t be bothered to sell it.

see the whole article HERE

We did sell some items but donated quite a bit when we moved out of the house. It was easier to live in 282 square feet without that friction and resistance!

how to reduce friction and resistance

#2 – the habit of tidying up each day

I found “The FlyLady” many years ago. (It might even have been before we moved to the United States. Wow – that was in 2000.) She had created a system to make it a process to keep your space tidy. I found it easier to homeschool because she was all about small steps, and daily actions. Her ideas really helped me, so I thought I’d share… these are only three of many ideas.

Shine your sink – this is your first task as a FlyBaby, and also the foundation of FlyLady. It all begins with a shiny sink!

Getting dressed to shoes – FlyLady believes that you feel and act differently when you are completely dressed with shoes on your feet, even if you’re not leaving the house. It makes you feel ready to go!

Declutter 15 minutes a day – FlyLady’s principle is that anyone can do anything for 15 minutes. Just set a timer and declutter something for 15 minutes, and then stop when the timer goes off!

a few foundational ideas at the FlyLady website

Her foundational system is through an email a day which costs nothing. If you’d prefer, there’s an app, but that has a monthly cost. Look through her site, and try the emails for a week or so. You might be surprised.

When should you reduce the friction and resistance in your life?

Again, this might seem obvious. Maybe it’s not. Think about it…

Perhaps you haven’t truly considered why you’re feeling annoyed with your space or your spouse.

You may not need a larger house. Or a different spouse! 😉

Maybe all you need is to cut out some of the drag resulting from too much stuff! (Just a thought.)

friction and resistance

Values Drive Experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh

Values Drive Experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh

When your Values drive experiences, you’re on the right track.

We are all different, aren’t we? Unique identities with diverse upbringing, all coming together. There’s every chance you’ll share life with people who, outwardly, are quite dissimilar compared to you – and it might even be in your own marriage! 😉

So how do you find things to do together that you’ll both enjoy – even if you’re so different?

Choose to do things which you both value and let your Values drive experiences.

Mapping your experiences to your Values

If you know what you value as a couple, you can come together so both will enjoy (most) any activity. It’s all in how you frame the experience.

How does that happen?

It’s not about both of you needing to love a specific activity – like running, or opera or learning a new language or enjoying restaurants, fishing, or renovating your home… it’s what the activity represents to you. What do you value about the activity?

Consider these Values:

  • responsibiity
  • communication
  • sociability
  • mastery
  • innovation

Each of these Values (and many more – I just chose five) could be found in all five of activities above. It’s not about the activity. It’s about the Values that show up in the activity! When your Values drive experiences it’ll show up.

Husbands and wives who look deeply into their likes and dislikes – what they value and what they don’t value – can come to enjoy (almost) any acitivity together. Really! They just need to understand their own, differentiating Values!

How it works for us when Values drive experiences…

Rob and Lori at Seaons52 in Raleigh - Values Drive ExperiencesWhen we were invited to a new restaurant in Raleigh for a complimentary meal, we didn’t know what to expect. Their website says 

Seasons 52 is a celebration of what’s good now. Seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients at their peak of freshness.”

Rob and I talked a bit about the opportunity, and we had a sense that it might map to our own differentiating Values as couple. We love to discover new things, so having a new menu every season seemed like it would fit our 3rd Differentiating Value of Discovery. Values drive experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh!

So we went – it was a Tuesday at lunch.

This Seasons52 just opened at the beginning of April 2017 at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh NC, so this restaurant is new to everyone, including the servers!

There are over forty Seasons52 throughtout the USA, and are a division of Darden which also owns Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, etc. The General Manager has worked with Seasons52 for more than seven years, and has opened locations around the country.

He talked of how the company is invested in providing learning opportunities. His recent learning experience is as a sommelier (wine expert).This is especially useful at Seasons52 because of their desire to present all the favorite varieties of wines, that includes 6 new options which may be famous someday! (See? Discovery!)

What makes Seasons52 unique?

When we asked for one word to describe the restaurant, the sales manager. Cam, said, “Fresh”. It was fun to find out later that their Values as a restaurant are mapped to the acronym “FRESHNESS”

Values in Action

Seasons52 Raleigh lobbyRob and I delight to find companies where people are living the Values the company states.  (Not just as a static plaque on the wall.) This was true in our experience at Seasons52 in Raleigh at Crabtree Valley Mall where the team lets their values drive experiences.

So… what happened? (Yeah – you’re wondering, right?)

Friendly & Responsive: We were warmly greeted at the front of the restaurant, and seated immediately. I’m a larger person, (I like to say that I’m a “person of size” 😉 ) so seating can be a challenge in some restaurants. Where they seated us was perfect for me! We were at a half booth – Rob had a chair, which he prefers, and I sat on the bench. The table shifted to make me comfortable!

Rob at Seasons52 in Raleigh

Effortless Service and Hospitality: I can image that someone with a disability would be right at home with many choices of where and how to sit. There weren’t any stairs and the doorways and ailses were wide. Even the bathrooms included a “family” bathroom along with a Mens and Ladies option with easy access for everyone. The manager explained that this new restaurant has a unique decor with different seating options in comparison to other Seasons52 which have mostly standalone tables and chairs. It felt intimate and comfortable, yet upscale.

Lori at Seasons52 Raleigh

To the right side of the restaurant was the bar and booths. Seasons52 carries a plethora of wine from which to choose, and more than 30 local spirits and a great variety of craft beer options. To the left (where we sat) were tables, and chairs, booths and half booths, along with two private dining rooms/areas.

seasons52 decor

Yes. There’s the option of two private rooms available for groups which can be configured as needed. One of them has AV equipment hidden in the cabinets if needed for meetings. I’m going to be thrilled to recommend Seasons52 in Raleigh for anyone needing a board meeting venue, or wedding shower, anniversary or special birthday!

But, it wasn’t just the ambience and comfort that impressed us – it was the food also…

Because the food was ah-mazing!

Fresh. Unique. New each season. The food was served and displayed with care. When we sat down, our server was so helpful. She explained the menu and options in detail, and answered any questions we had.

Rob and I had decided ahead of time – after looking at their online menu – that we would let our server decide what we should eat. Oh, my. That was the best choice! 

We started our adventure as Executive Chef Bryan Florence came to our table with a little amuse-bouche (single serving appetizer) of lobster with a bed of handmade guacamole, and other delectable ingredients. So pretty! (I must admit we weren’t sure we if we should eat it off the spoon… or use our fork… or…  now there’s something to research). There was even a tiny little triangle wedge of lime. (Another Value: Detailed)

seasons52 raleigh little amuse bouche

Next, Haley, our server, brought us one of Seasons52 Flatbread options: All Natural Pepperoni with roasted Roma tomatoes, mozerella and basil pesto.  This is one of Rob’s favorite combination of flavors. She couldn’t have chosen better. (Thanks Haley!)

It was huge!  Rob and I started imagining that it would be a hoot to get together with a group of couples and order all the choices and share! Hmmmm… anyone game?

(Having couple-friends in the middle of marriage is important – we talked about that in our first mid-marriage video . If you don’t have any/many couple friends, we have some suggestions for you in that post.)

Then came the appetizer: six Lump Crab, Roasted Shrimp, and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms


What a special combination of flavors – we were quickly realizing that one gift from the menu at Seasons52 in Raleigh is the pairing of flavors to make something new!

Combining ingredients to create something new.

What happened next was extraordinary. It was a gift from Haley and Chef Bryan. Three servers came with plates and plates of food for us to try, including an asparagus soup that Rob had his eye on…

seasons52 raleigh servers

Carmelized Sea Scallops on a bed of lemon rissoto, english peas & roasted asparagus.

sea scallops Seasons 52 Raleigh

aged cheddar, pickled red onion, horseradish crema, au jus dip

This handheld sandwich that you dip into the au jus (broth) surprised Rob greatly – he admitted that he would never order this by himself. (mostly becuase he thinks/thought he didn’t like horseradish). Yet this was one of his favorite of all the food we ate!


At Seasons52 in Raleigh you can trust the combinations of flavors to be so special that you’ll love what you didn’t believe you could…

seasons52 raleigh handheld sandwich - Values drive experiences

sauté of vegetables, Yukon mash, balsamic demi-glace

Lamb at Seasons52 Raleigh - Values Drive Experiences

pico de gallo, salsa verde, cilantro sour cream

seasons52 raleigh mahi mahi Tacos - Values Drive Experiences

And Dessert!

These are the Mini Indulgences – Haley, our server said, “No meal is complete without one of these.” We chose the Mocha Macciato.

mini indulgence dessert at Seasons52 in Raleigh Values Drive Experiences

And you could have rolled us out of the restaurant! WOW!

We didn’t eat the rest of the day. What an experience!

Make Seasons52 work for you…

You might think you don’t like seafood (or some other food) – our experience at this restaurant has demonstrated we need to encourage you to TRY it! Try seafood or your “I don’t like..” in a combination with something else – the Chef and his helpers are experts at making the sum of the grouping of ingredients into a special experience. Trust them. Being in the middle of marriage you can get stuck… try something new and fresh!

You might think this kind of meal is beyond your budget. Lunchtime is a good option. Or try Happy Hour from 4-6:30 Mondays to Thursday. The selection of small plates for $5 each will be a delight you can afford. Fast food does not need to be your only choice on a budget! The middle of marriage has lots of costs – your kids are growing up, you want to do things for them – but you and your spouse are important too! Make time for each other, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Celebrate the good stuff in your life. Here’s a place to celebrate.

You might think you’ll feel out of place in this environment. The team at Seasons52 in Raleigh are kind people and they’re going to welcome you. They’ll make your dining adventure something to talk about for a long, long time! Take photos. It’s important to have good memories to talk about and this will be one.

Can you relate with any of Seasons52’s Values?

FRESHNESS: Friendly – Responsive – Effortless – Service – Hospitality – New – Every – Single – Shift!

What would you try that you’ve never had before… Check their menu HERE and leave a comment! 🙂

Full Disclosure – we were given this complimentary experience with the understanding that I’d share our experience with you.


Recharge – Make time!

Recharge – Make time!

Have you made time to “recharge” – gather energy – lately? What about supporting your spouse if they need to recharge? We talk about how introverts need to recharge in the 7th mid-marriage encouragement video…

Time to Recharge

Susan Cain – who we referenced in this 7th mid-marriage video – has a website called the Quiet Revolution, corresponding to her book, “Quiet“.

You can find her TED-talk video on her website. And she also has a quiz/assessment to give you insight into whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert.

It might be fun to find out – share your results in the comments!

She defines introverts as:introverts have a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating environment.” and extroverts as “energized by social situations and tend to be assertive multi-taskers who think out loud and on their feet.”

time to recharge pin