“We have this very rare opportunity to reflect on how we work and work itself and how we define it.”
-Marie Kondo, on staying home in the pandemic
Reflecting on Your Life
A huge upset to your life always provides an opportunity to reflect on whether or not you are living your life the way you wish to. Whether it’s cancer, a near-death car accident, or living out the COVID-19 crisis, we all have an opportunity to take stock. Kondo is talking about work…but I would like to talk about relationships.
But how does one take stock? I suggest you go back to your basic values and ask yourself if you are living your life aligned with those values. I did this after I had cancer and the answer was ‘no, I was not.’ The question then becomes, “what do I need to do to bring that to a ‘yes’?”
After lots of reflection I decided that I had wasted too many of my precious days angry, upset and unhappy. Of course, one can’t just wave a magic wand and have things become happy. I tried that once and it just didn’t work! No, you have to chart a course and ask how do I get from here to there?
Because I think conceptually, I decided that my task was to make each of my own days positive – EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Notice that this is about me, not my partner. I’m responsible for making this happen. My partner will either share a similar vision and work with me, or he won’t.
Some of the things on my list of things to do to make the transition were:
Add joyful activities I could do every day or almost every day (start making music again since I missed that; ensure my relationship included joy; spend lots of time with family and friends; find opportunities to smile and laugh; practice gratitude)
Do all I needed to do on my side to contribute to a positive relationship (not by shoving things inside, but by focusing with my husband on what was REALLY important to me and letting other things go; continuing my education on what helps me and others; working with my husband to make sure my most important needs were being attended to; letting go of what wasn’t important)
Make sure I am doing meaningful work (perhaps volunteer work; helping others; continue my work with couples)
Each of these steps had many sub-steps to follow, which I did. But the concept was the right one for me. Make each day positive. With that attitude, my life was sure to get better…and it did.
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