A few years back, Eric and I were working with a business coach and he recommended that we have a theme on which to focus each year. So, in 2014, we decreed it the Year of Connection. We wrote posts about connecting deeply with each other, friends, and family. In 2015, it was the Year of Experiences. That year, I committed to having (and writing about) two experiences each month which took me outside of my comfort zone. Those experiences helped me grow a lot. In 2016, our focus was on Blessings. We wrote about blessing your sweetheart and blessing others. We also blessed our readers with a monthly giveaway.
This year, in 2017, our theme is… Perspective.
We have been helping dating and engaged couples for the last several years with their relationships and helping them choose their future spouses with increased peace and clarity as well as to help them prepare well for marriage. Though we have steadily improved our services throughout the years, we now have a healthy amount of experience and greater perspective on how we can better help couples going forward. So, we are entering a period of transformation and are re-evaluating PreEngaged from the ground up – from the vantage of our current perspective, we are preparing to make some significant changes.
In addition, we are opening ourselves more to listen to the perspective of others – not that we were closed to others’ input previously; but, this year, we are intentionally seeking out the advice and wisdom and experience of others while we undergo this period of transformation.
Lastly, we would love to hear from you and your perspective – and even to publish it on PreEngaged. If you are an author or blogger who believes you have a message for our audience, please contact us and let us know what you would love to contribute to this community (and, if possible, links to samples of your current work).
Taking the time to question one’s own perspective can be very helpful as the following true story illustrates:
One Christmas, Eric gave me personalized license plates. He framed a printed picture of how they would look (printed from the DMV site) and wrapped it up for me to enjoy on Christmas morning. After I had opened it, I sat there… confused… thinking, “Really?!? He is giving me license tags as a present? Could we not budget for this somehow? Why did it have to come out of gift money? How cheap can he be? License plates are not a gift!” (Note that we had already discussed these tags and I was not aware he planned to give them to me as a gift. My understanding was that we were making a collective decision to purchase them from our household budget.)
At the moment, I kept my feelings to myself. After all, who wants to ruin Christmas? But, a few days later, my inner three-year-old came out to play; and, through angry tears I let him know how much his “gift” hurt me. (Each year, we budget a certain amount of gift money to spend on each other, and he spent the vast majority of my portion on these plates.)
After my cathartic explosion, I hurried to the bedroom, sat down, and cried. Soon, Eric came in and sat down on the bed next to me. Quietly, he said, “I was going to wait to tell you about this, but I am planning to buy a Berkey Water Filter from my personal money.” (We budget a small amount of money each month for each of us to spend on whatever each of us please. Eric tends to save his and I tend to spend mine.)
At that moment, I felt so childish and silly. Here I had cried and guilted Eric for not giving me a better Christmas when all along he was planning to spend hundreds of dollars of his personal money (saving for over 6 months’ worth of personal money) to get me a water filter which I had been talking about for months. From my perspective, Eric was cheap and uncaring. From his perspective, he was sacrificing money he had saved for a long time to give me something I truly wanted. If I had taken the time to question my perspective (and contentment), I might have discovered Eric’s side of the story before delivering those angry tears.
The Year of Perspective
Challenging your perspective and seeking to understand your partner’s perspective is essential for a healthy relationship. Before we jump to conclusions, we need to take the time to listen and appreciate each other’s point of view. Instead of accusing Eric of being cheap, I could have calmly expressed my confusion and given him the chance to say, “Trust me, Honey.” So many times, I have reacted harshly only to later discover and appreciate Eric’s perspective.
This year at PreEngaged, we are going to shift our perspective. We are exploring new business ideas and changing our business model with the goal of better serving our clients. In doing so, we will be reducing our blogging to one day a week (which will come out on Mondays) and re-focusing our time on creating excellent posts, outstanding products, and services which will delight and surprise our clients. For those readers who can’t get enough of our posts and want more, we have previously published several hundred posts to read through – we pray you benefit from them and enjoy them!
We are excited to see what this year will bring (as well as intentionally crafting it to be awesome) and look forward to serving you better as we take a fresh look at PreEngaged throughout the year! Thank you for being a part of this community and continuing on this journey with us!
Bring on the Year of Perspective!
Heather (and Eric)
Is there an area in your life where you need greater perspective?