Reconnecting is a choice

I first met my husband when we were seniors in high school.  We didn't go to the same high school, in fact, we grew up almost 45 miles from each other in rural North Dakota. It was a chance meeting in the hallway at a basketball game in Edgeley, ND where we first made a connection. That connection has lasted over 31 years. As our relationship evolved from dating, to engagement, to marriage, to becoming parents. Through all our milestones, we have had to consciously make a decision to reconnect. We have changed so much as individuals in this process, especially considering we started dating as teenagers in high school!

We didn't know when we first met how our lives would unfold or what the future held for us. We didn't know the amazing joys and heartbreaking sorrows we would experience together. Yet, we do make the choice to continue to reconnect on a daily basis. As I reflect on how we evolved as a couple over the years, I am struck by the common thread of reconnecting through our common beliefs. Although we vary vastly as individuals, for example, he being a night-owl and me an early-bird, we could easily grow apart if we focused on only our differences.  Reconnecting requires action. One common belief which allows us to reconnect is to be respectful to one another.  Part of this respect is to listen well to one another.  Communicating isn't just talking, it is really listening and caring about what we each are saying. Believe me, we don't always communicate well. Effective communication is something we have to actively figure out together. Many misunderstandings and hurt feelings have fed into this learning curve. Yet our relationship is worth the effort. Busy careers; busy days; busy parenting obligations... all of these things can fuel distance between us.

One of our favorite ways of reconnecting is through adventuring.  I consider adventuring to be whenever we experience new things together. Adventuring can be as simple as going to a movie together or trying a new restaurant or cuisine. Our favorite adventures together frequently involve being in nature. Some adventures are elaborate, like the time we got scuba certified together on vacation in Jamaica. Other adventures are simple like kayaking at a local State park. We recently spent Spring Break adventuring in Texas. We had an amazing time reconnecting with dear friends, Jodi and Jack, as well as reconnecting as a couple.

We focus on what we have in common. We intentionally decide to reconnect because our relationship is valuable to us. Some days are harder than others. Some times we go longer than we should between reconnecting, especially when our priorities shift due to a crisis or life challenge. Our relationship is not perfect. We are flawed individuals, yet we do make the choice to reconnect through respectful communication and adventuring together whenever possible.
With grace, 
Joysister Renae

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