I Love My BEACH DAYS!!!
Though I am not as excited about the number of trips around the sun as I used to be, I still look forward to birthdays. One reason being that birthdays usually mean BEACH DAYS! God gave me a good friend who shares the same birthday week and we share a deeply held love of the ocean. Personally, I see no better way to celebrate than by spending hours bobbing up and down with the waves and praying the sharks stay out to sea.
The last beach day of the season carries with it a hint of sadness. Late last September, my sister-in-law and I sat wrapped up in our beach towels because it was FREEZING! I wasn’t ready to let summer go – just like a kid.
Knowing a beach day is coming gives me hope. It motivates me to keep going.
Visiting My Hometown!!!
One of the hardest days of my year is the day we drive back to our home after spending Christmas with my parents. It seems like the last three months of the year is a build up to Christmas – and then it is quickly over! As we drive away, I am reminded that it will be months before I see my parents again; and, while that could seem like no big deal, it is a true struggle for me. One year, Eric and I were set to leave, but I could not stop sobbing. He made me get out of the driver’s seat and continued driving (he did not feel safe riding with me at that time ~smile~).
As the winter months pass, I begin to feel more joyful – more hopeful. When April comes, it is as if the year has finally begun! I mentally plan my year around trips to what my best friend and I affectionately call The Motherland. There are few, if any, “treats” I find more exciting than getting to “go home again.” During those visits I am reminded of who I am, where I came from, and all the ways I have been blessed.
Knowing a visit to my hometown is coming gives me hope. It motivates me to keep going.
There is just something about spending the whole day with a girlfriend which lightens my heart. Movies, coffee, shopping, and long, therapeutic talks – what could be better? When I know I have a girls’ day coming – or even just a lunch or dinner date with a friend – it gives me that extra push I need to keep on moving. I am so much more diligent, in heart and action, when I have a girls’ day to look forward to!
Knowing a girls’ day is coming gives me hope. It motivates me to keep going.
Most adults do not have the energy or money to party on a daily basis. Of course, eating out and watching a movie is partying in my book. ~smile~ But, having a date planned on the calendar is like a beacon of light. The week may be rough, but that night of fun is coming. Eric and I thoroughly enjoy the ones we have. It is a night free of cooking. It is time for enjoyable conversation. We do not have to share each other with any other person. It is a nice, serene time – most of the time, anyway!
We would both encourage you and your sweetie to make date nights a regular part of your life. Dating post-marriage may even be more important than pre-marriage. Women want (need?) to feel valued and pursued all the days of their lives; whereas, men want to enjoy their wives’ companionship in all seasons. Plus, dates give couples a chance to connect away from the cares of work and raising a family.
Knowing a date night is coming gives me hope. It motivates me to keep going.
Which Experiences Make You Work Harder and Keep You Motivated?
What lights a fire underneath you? Are you motivated by work? By success? Does the excitement of finishing a project give you the strength you need to keep going? Are you motivated by fun, like me? Do you feel fired up when you know something pleasant is waiting for you at the end of the task? What about rewards? Will you complete almost any tough assignment if there is a bonus, gift, or desired item up for grabs?
If you have never really thought about it, I would encourage you to think about it now. Discover what brings a smile to your face. What encourages you? What stirs you on the inside? Also, find what brings out the best in your sweetie. Knowing the sources of your motivation will be helpful.
Eric is motivated by efficiency. He enjoys fulfilling work. He is exhilarated when he finishes a big project. The excitement of completing the task and completing it well is its own reward. Sometimes, he has a hard time understanding why the joy of working does not motivate me in the same way. Similarly, I cannot wrap my mind around someone working because he or she wants to. I have always pictured work as a means to an end. In my mind, we work because it leads to fun. Isn’t it a blessing that God created all kinds of people? ~smile~
A year ago, Eric wanted me to complete a project on which I was dragging my feet. No big surprise there. Then it occurred to him, “Heather works best when there is a reward.” So, he came up with a small reward to offer me if I completed a portion of the project on time. Like a five-year-old, I jumped at the opportunity. It worked so well, we continued setting goals and rewards each week until the entire project was finished. Even though Eric does not fully understand why I need short term external rewards for labor, he understands enough to give them to me – and we are both happier! ~smile~
What motivates you and your sweetie to keep on keepin’ on?