November is a great month to be intentional about expressing your appreciation for the dearest person in your life. We say ‘thank-you’ to our spouses throughout the year for specific actions and do little nice things on occasion “just because.” As we should! But how often in between those moments are we taking them for granted? Are we doing a good job of letting them know how special they are to us – how much we value them? Let’s take November and make that happen. Let’s make Thanksgiving be more than a prayer and a 10 course meal with great leftovers. Let’s make it be more than a day.
Pick one of the suggestions, some of the suggestions, mix and match the options, or come up with your own way to honor your spouse for 30 consecutive days. Be specific about what you plan to do – and commit to your plan. Be intentional about being grateful. The benefits for both you and your spouse will last much longer than the 30 days. Just one more thing to be thankful for!
Thanks for stopping by to help me celebrate my first anniversary! It’s been quite a year. My husband and I lost precious loved ones, dealt with (and beat) cancer, dealt with other health issues and life challenges during this past year – as so many of you are doing. And through it all we continued to try to prioritize and celebrate our marriage – as so many of you are trying to do, too. It was a good year.
I’d like to thank each of you friends and visitors that contributed to that first year. I appreciate the support so many showed me as I started this venture a year ago as well as those who have found me over the past year and stuck with me. I appreciate that you have shared my posts on your social media outlets (it makes a huge difference) and I absolutely love reading your comments and believe they have made this site way more interesting than it otherwise would be.
I received a report from wordpress.com summing up my first blog year and telling me what a great one it was. It stated that the most read post was Calling All Spouses – The 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. The report said:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
That impressed me because that means there’s a lot of spouses out there that are interested in showing appreciation for their mates. I figure if only 10% actually took the challenge, that is still a lot of grateful spouses!
While that fun post got the most attention, I thought on this anniversary date I would highlight some of my other favorites from the past year that you may not have seen and tell you why they are special to me.
1. Shrew-B-Gone – The Product that Can Change Your Marriage. I love being the inventor of this product – I think I have the potential to make millions with it. There are just a few kinks that need to be worked out before it will be ready for mass distribution.
2. Introverted But Not Shy – Does Your Mate Need Space? I wrote this because I had my own “Aha” moment when I learned the real meanings of the words ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert.’ It helped me see things from a new perspective. Judging by the conversation it generated, I was certainly not alone.
3. When to Dump the Date – 6 Red Flags. This is a favorite of mine because I got to address a pet peeve. Well, actually a couple of them. I believe there is great info in this post for anybody dating or who has a child/parent/relative/friend/roommate/pet who is dating. If we date smarter, we marry smarter.
4. 5 Ways to Make Your Mate Feel Great. There are three reasons this is a favorite. First, I got to share my feelings about raisins. Second, the suggestions are soooooo doable. Third, it’s just plain fun. Go ahead – I dare you: just try to read it all the way through without smiling at least once!
5. 10 Ways to Get to Divorce Court Without Beating Your Wife or Having an Affair – This is the post that started it all! It took first place in the OWFI (Oklahoma Writing Federation, Inc) writing contest and does a nice job of capturing my attitude about what I really think of some of the stuff that goes on in marriage. Sure the title is a little in-your-face, but so is divorce!
6. 10 Ways To Impress Your Family Law Judge. I think this is a fun read. And when else will I ever have another opportunity to use that interesting picture again??
Thank you again, all, for your support, readership and friendship. If there are any topics you would like to read about or chat about in the upcoming year, I’d love to hear them!
Those of you participating in the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge have either passed the half-way point or are very close to it, depending on when you started. (If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late – there’s no bad time to get started!) We surpassed our goal of 100 people making a firm commitment to take it on, and the unofficial count (includes Facebook comments) is around 200. That’s a lot of appreciative spouses!
It would be great to get your feedback on how things are going!
Have you been able to remember to make an entry every day?
What suggestion do you have for others who are having trouble remembering?
Has it been difficult coming up with entries?
Has it made any difference in how you go through your day?
Has it affected how you view your spouse?
What is the upside to taking this challenge?
Has there been a downside to taking this challenge?
At this point, would you recommend others take the challenge?
Inquiring minds want to know! Please let us know how it’s going for you in the comment section below or email me at email@example.com if you don’t want your name included. I look forward to hearing from you!
Remember the ‘Gratitude Journal?’ It made it’s debut 10-15 years ago on a popular talk show. It was a simple concept: each day write down things you are grateful for. I didn’t buy the official Gratitude Journal and I don’t remember if there were official rules, but my take was to write down five things every day (in an unofficial notebook).
It was easy at first: health, friends, spouse, home, food. Soon I had to go a little deeper to come up with my five. Things like electricity, running water, pillows, refrigerators, cars and other things I routinely took for granted started showing up. Then nice things that happened during the day: an unexpected call from a friend, a beautiful sunset. As time went on, I mentally reviewed each day pulling out things or moments to be grateful for. I’m not sure when the transition happened, but I realized that I had become hyper-sensitive to the blessings in the day – making note of a compliment from a stranger or a sunlit field of hayrolls to write down later. In spite of war, natural disasters, and losing loved ones, there was much to be grateful for.
And so it is with our marriages. Most of us have challenges – tough times, words uttered that should not have been said, issues with children, loss, complacency. One way to stay (or get) content in spite of obstacles is to focus on what is good about our mates – what we are grateful for. Writing it down gives it weight.
So here is the challenge:
FOR 30 DAYS WRITE DOWN 1 THING DAILY THAT YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE.
How easy is that? Fifteen seconds a day. (You can do more if you want, but a minimum of one entry every day.)
Here’s some easy examples to get you started: My spouse
You will find yourself expanding beyond the obvious: My spouse
By the end of 30 days, don’t be surprised if you are going through the day looking for positive attributes in your mate so that you have something to write down.
If you do this long term, you may be amazed at all that is good about your spouse and marriage – all the lovely, funny, silly, precious moments that get lost in the big picture of life and the negative marital issues that get so much of our focus. If you do this long term, you will have an incredible record to draw from when you hit tough times or marital snags that could take you off course.
But long term can wait.
All I’m asking you to commit to right now is 30 little days. Grab a nice journal, a spiral notebook, a calendar – whatever will motivate you to jot down your notes – and write down at least one thing you are grateful for about your spouse. (Make sure you put the date or number on each entry so that you have accountability.) If you miss a day (try not to, but don’t let a miss derail the commitment) just add a day to the end.
My goal is at least 100 people commiting to take the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. Your spouse is worth it. You’re marriage is worth it. Let’s do this!
Sign up for the challenge in the comment section below. If you’re willing to take the challenge and would rather be anonymous, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can add you to the count without using your name.
Take the challenge. Challenge your friends, spouse, and family to take the challenge. The results are worth it – I promise! The 30-Day Gratitude Challenge starts NOW.
I’m in! Now I need 99 more of you to join me!