If our own parents aren’t divorced we at least know a friend, co-worker, boyfriend or girlfriend, or spouse whose parents are divorced or they themselves have been divorced. And the people who are still together, still married didn’t seem happily married. When I was a little kid this terrified me. It terrified me that people who once loved each other so much could no longer want to be together; it terrified me that love could be fallen out of. Now, I’m in my twenties and it still scares me.
One of my responsibilities at work is the sacred duty of keeping charge of the Master Calendar. I have a wall dedicated to this enormous calendar. The calendar contains the current month and the following two months after it. Part of my ob is making sure every appointment is kept and information is announced and advertised at the appropriate time in advance. Every single day, several times a day I check the calendar. I am constantly updating it with new and vital information–date changes, new events, etc. I have notes written at my desk, reminders on my computer for especially important dates I need to remember. My job depends on not missing a date. I pour my heart and energy into keeping up with this calendar because I want to be great at my job, be promoted, reach my dreams and because, frankly I don’t want to lose it.
What if we treated our relationships like our jobs (I know some of you hate your job, so maybe this isn’t a good analogy for you, but think about something you LOVE…football, writing, working out, traveling; I know I don’t love my job all the time!). What if we poured our energy and time into our relationships because we knew if we didn’t…we’d lose them. There is a saying which says something about how you spend your time defines what you love. If we love the people in our lives, why do we so often forget about them? Why do we so often forget what their favorite song is, what story they told us last week, when their birthday is, what the little things are that make them smile, or what things they dream of doing.
We take the people in our lives for granted. Thinking about work–if I dressed sloppy day in and day out, forgot dates, showed up late for things or didn’t show up at all, had a sour attitude all the time, didn’t pay attention or was on my phone 24/7…I would get fired. Why do we do the same things to the people in our lives and expect to have a thriving relationship??? If we just let ourselves go….forget important things over and over again…be a grump all the time…never show incentive or not show up for things, or don’t listen our relationships grow weaker and weaker and before we know it they’re gone.
Love is about ACTION. “I love you” isn’t just a phrase you mumble as you walk out the door. Love needs to be felt…and how love can be felt is by being shown. If you want a great love story, one of those people who never fall out of love…it’s going to be hard work.
Thinking about my work calendar and how I write every important thing down, I thought this could work for relationships. I’m a forgetful person and I know it. What if we wrote down, had a special calendar or book dedicated to our significant other. We had all the special dates marked, notes about the things they mentioned they like, places they dream of going, songs that give them goose bumps, etc. and we constantly checked and updated this calender. We made it a point to not miss a day; we made it a point to make that person feel special; we made it a point to make them know they are important. What if we were DEDICATED to showing that person we loved them everyday? I think a lot of things would change.
For anything to last a long time (houses, plants, furniture, cars, etc.) you have to take care of it, you have to give it “love”. If things aren’t taken care of they rust away, shrivel up really quickly. It’s the same with our relationships. You have to try. You have to give effort. You have to give your time. You aren’t always going to get it right. You are going to mess up, but what you will get right is making that person in your life know they are loved.
I know divorce happens for many different reasons, unrelated to this. But, I also think that just maybe love wouldn’t be fallen out of so easily if we took it more seriously.