Today we want to share with you a post we think will help us as married couples, make the most of each day in 2011. Please take time to read it all the way through. Lori Lowe , who hosts the Marriage Gems website, has granted us permission to repost her excellent article below. After you’ve read it, take some time to consider how implementing this mindset might effect your marriage on a daily basis. We are VERY excited to see what comes as a result of purposing to celebrate each day!
Happy New Year! Although I frequently avoid New Year’s resolutions, I’m resolving in 2011 to savor small pleasures of life and to create more small moments of celebration. I’ll admit I’m not one for large parties, and even our New Year’s celebration is low key. But I read a book called Love by the Glass, which has inspired me to be more intentional and romantic in small, yet meaningful ways.
Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher co-wrote the book—part memoir, part wine tutorial—which is about celebrating and creating romance in everyday life. What struck me most is not how much they know about wine (they know a lot), but how they created rituals, such as a special toast they always did, or the moments they created after work, or when the sun was setting on vacation, or after their kids were in bed, that just happened to be around wine.
While I don’t intend to significantly increase my wine consumption this year, it made me realize that savoring good food and drink, buying flowers or lighting a relaxing candle, or indulging in a favorite dessert are all ways I can create moments of celebration, especially with my sweetheart. Whether your ritual is great coffee or great wine, creating fun rituals that surround what you enjoy can be uplifting. I’ve had to fight my rather practical nature in this regard, as these items are “unnecessary” in our daily lives. However, upon reflection, I think special gestures and things that stimulate the senses are indeed necessary for inspiring an extraordinary life.
Last week, I shopped for new candles, bought dark chocolate covered tart cherries, flowers, and wine and incorporated these items into our regular day along with good music. Basically, I created an atmosphere that appealed more to my senses. I read some good books to stimulate my mind and allowed time for relaxation. I believe the positive energy was good for the entire family, and it helped me think more clearly.
Part of creating moments of celebration is also realizing how much we have to celebrate—a clean bill of health after your checkup, another year of gainful employment, a loving spouse by your side, a bonus or raise, a robust child. As Gaiter and Brecher share in their book, “Great wine experiences don’t compare with great life experiences. Relax and enjoy it.”
One of their WSJ columns (Tastings) was themed “Open That Bottle Night.” It was centered on the idea that we often save special items for a future special time, and that time never comes. Many wine lovers have a special bottle they are waiting for the right moment to enjoy. Others save lingerie for a special night, or never light the candles because they are saving them for who-knows-what. Gaiter and Bucher proposed planning that night right now, creating a special menu and evening, then opening the bottle and savoring it with those you love. They received an outpouring of letters from readers who did just that and shared their stories. Is there something you are waiting for? Memories in 2012 will be what we create this year; hopefully we will be intentional about them. Use the china. Eat in the dining room. Wear the nice dress or the good underwear. Buy her favorite flowers.
What I enjoyed most about the book was the life story, how the co-authors, a white Jewish man and an outgoing southern African-American women with an afro, fell in love at first sight in the newsroom on their first day of work. I enjoyed following their travels, particularly the train trips when they just stared out the window watching the world go by while drinking champagne and eating meals in bed. I was touched by their struggle with infertility and their eventual success at having two young girls, only to be told that “Dottie” had a terminal illness and would live only four months. They doctors were wrong about the diagnosis, but they lived those four months believing they would be her last. I’m not sure if that’s a gift or a curse, but I think it’s one of the reasons they became even more intentional about celebrating every moment of life.
What is something you can celebrate today, or next month? What is a small element you can add to your home or bedroom that would stimulate your senses? How about planning a favorite meal of your spouse, or making dinner reservations if you don’t like to cook? How about coming up with a thoughtful toast, or a ritual toast that is just between you two? Consider placing a weekly or monthly reminder on your calendar to remind yourself to create and find special moments in which to celebrate. Small gestures are fine, or go big and plan a weekend away or renewal of your wedding vows. Best wishes in the New Year for opportunities to savor life to its fullest.
Tell us, how will you make the most of those everyday moments worth celebrating?
As newlyweds, well my wife are getting to know each other quite a bit. However, I know that the honeymoon phase don’t last forever. Right now everything is so new to us. We’re learning each other’s bad habits and good habits, how we want things done around the home, and accepting each other for who we are. It’s all a learning curve and a lot forgiveness thrown around, but in the end of the day we are so glad to spend time with each other in bed. We talk about everything, how are day was, what we had for lunch, and annoying quirks our coworkers have… we giggle a lot…about everything. The little things are important and they mean a lot, such as these small talks in the evening. I think that’s one secret for keeping the romance alive in marriage.
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I love this idea. Thank you for sharing it. Because of your inspiration, I have been doing a daily “Joys Journal” and sharing it with my husband during his work day. He loves getting those emails from me and I plan to continue creating it throughout the year. Now I am thinking that a special family celebration meal once a month would be a good way to bring a month’s worth of joys into focus.
So I will crack the bottle of Chardonnay that he likes so much and pour it into our wedding crystal, put on some new underwear and a new outfit and make a special dinner with dessert for my family once a month.
Thank you for enriching our lives with these fabulous ideas!
Barbara, I love the Joy Journal! Thanks for sharing, your motivation is inspiring!
Debi, your inspiration is motivating 😉 Not just being cute here. Your site has been instrumental in helping me work towards the marriage I have always wanted.
We have been married for over 20 years and a couple of weeks ago my husband sent me an email that included the phrase “What a wonderful marriage you have created for us” He wouldn’t have said that a year ago
You and your blog, your date ideas, favorite things week, the joys in December. So many of the ideas I have put into action for him have come from or been based on and motivated by what you and your Tom have shared here. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! May God continue to bless you and may you continue to bless all the other wives and husbands out there who are hoping to help create a “wonderful marriage” too.