Where has January gone ?

January is all done and dusted, and if you have started the year running like most of us working people (robots) who earn just enough to float above the debt collectors and bank phone calls, then you probably have spent the last four weeks blurry eyed trying to make out what that 11pm sms or email to your phone says.

Well stop for a second and try to remember what your wife dressed in yesterday and what the name of your kids teachers are? I thought so because I have no idea either , you got to stop for a second and just ask yourself the question who or rather for what are your working for. The answer should be the family and a quality of life, sadly Work and Quality of life very rarely go together, so you need to make the weekends count.

Plan your Saturday and Sunday, goto church and take the family for a drive, surprise them with a Drive-Inn movie or Mountain walk or a packed picnic with Cheese and Wine. Get out the iPhone and snap some shots with the kids and wife. Take the time to sit with each kid and get a little insight into their lives, give them a hug, and let them know you care.

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Relationship Workouts

 

If you think that moving in together is going to easy, with double the income, double the amount of people cleaning and looking after the apartment or house, double the fun. Well its all true until the first argument about the dirty dish in the sink. Moving in together or marriage also means double the mess, clutter and just stuff lying around.

My wife and I have worked out that it’s not going to be the kids nor finances and not even the dirty dishes that our divorced friends seemed to have argue about, but rather that they gave up, they simply went one round and threw in the towel.

You see like lightning and most elements found in nature, we humans tend to also take the shortest and quickest route to what we feel is the only answer.

Dont be lazy, work at it, give each other time, the toothpaste left open, the toilet seat left up even the underpants left on the floor somewhere between the bed and the shower are all going to slowly disappear when you realise that life is not about the small stuff and partnerships that build solid healthy foundations are going to last the longest.

Date Night
Date Night

 

What All Men Need

The other day I paused near a barbershop, sitting in the chair was an elderly man lying back relaxed, eyes closed and content. He was getting his beard shaved and his hair trimmed. A trip I’m sure he happily made each month, just to get away from life, you see men sitting in bars, casinos, delis, some men head into the bush to camp, other go. hunting, but one thing for sure men need to escape from life, we need a timeout. Now I know in this anti everything world we as men, we find ourselves having to apologise for everything from being straight masculine men to being Christian brothers, and this is the very reason we need to get back to basics and find ourselves.

If our partners would allow us, no afford us the time to be the men they married or chose as partners they would find that we would feel less claustrophobic and more inclined to feel satisfied with who we are.

We are not given a good life or a bad life. We are given a life. It’s up to us to make it good or bad.

Change Direction

If you see the road signs, detour ahead or road under repair do we not change directions, the biggest problem we have is that love is truly blind like an addict we are sometimes so deep on the thick of things we don’t realize we’re in trouble.

Now if you’re like the millions of normal people who worry about their weight and put in a honest days work for very little return you going to be part of a very large club of  trying your best to be a good partner and staying on top of your mortgage and debt.
But and I start with but because if you going down a road and you can see the signs- debt ahead , heartache  100 meters or divorce . Stop look at what you doing cut the credit cards up, forgive and change your lifestyle.
Start by changing one small thing in your life each day. Today I cut up my credit card, tomorrow I am going to plan and stick to a budget.
Your family will love you for it!

Stop being a Parent and Listen

The other night I switched off the mobile and TV, and just sat with my teenage son and for first time simply listened to his day, he spoke about music, interesting sites he had visited, Facebook comments and I just listened I offered no advice nor judgment. Even being a teacher and working with teenagers for 15 years all day and every day I am constantly surprised how complex teenagers lives have become.

If you have a teenager you probably tried and in many cases failed to workout the complexities of your kids who seem to be on trial for their very existence by a jury of their peers through social media, sms’ and emails having to defend themselves from the onslaught of pokes, likes and anonymous tweets of the faceless internet 24/7.

Start listening and less judging, life for us as kids was a lot easier and far less complex, where bullying was left on the playground and you knew when you got home you were safe, our kids need us to be compassionate and caring, don’t force them to switch off their umbilical cord to their social world, but through discussion and by example show them the real meaning of life.

I took my kids to the beach; we bought ice cream and watched the sunset. That night we prayed for a better tomorrow.

The Chains of Chores

Its never about the trash or dishes, but it always seems to be the last straw or in this case dirty dish, that seems to ignite the 24 hour argument. If we as couples simply discussed and resolved the little things before the big blowout how many arguments could have been avoided.

Men tend not to notice the subtle irritations, we dont usually notice that collectively all the little things we do or miss, tend to get our partners all riled up. We would love it if you just told us that nail clippings on the bed are disgusting, or arriving home late after work and griping about a cold dinner, that used to be warm is inconsiderate and tends to come across that we are not appreciative of all that you do for us. We men are simple folk and you need to realise that each every little annoying trait we have probably got passed down to us by our fathers or lack of a father.

If you break the argument chain and gently discuss and put in place better (easier) alternatives most of us are willing to avoid arguing and will change.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. –Leo Tolstoy

A Life Lived vs A Photograph

I used to look across my desk at the silver framed photos of my family and think to myself how blessed I was that God had given me such an amazing family, and colleagues would comment on how lucky I was, as they admired the photos of the wife and kids. The problem, and for some of us the realization comes far too late in our lives that we just looking at photos.

We need to reevaluate our lives and think to ourselves what are we working for, is it the unfulfilled dream that someday we will have enough money to retire, and so what, our kids would have left the house, and you and your partner are going to be too old to explore the world anyway. Dont let life wrap you up and passed you by ? Why have kids if you dont get to experience life with them ? Make a change, life is too short, I spend 8 hours a day with my wife and kids, yes the pay is less but we have more and I’ve seen more of the world than anyone I know, create small financial goals and achievable dreams. Start by taking the kids on a day trip, make plans for a road trip and sit down with a financial planner a plan your retirement options.

 

Convert your thinking
Convert your thinking

 

Muted

The other day I drove with a man that told me of the pain and emotional anguish he has to endure each day as he lives with a woman who through addiction and emotional blackmail made his life a misery. Don’t be muted if you have a problem or a concern talk to your partner don’t allow them to control you, you owe it to yourself to have a happy and successful life. I truly believe that most relationship issues can be resolved through communication and reflection .

In saying that I also believe that in this world we also have bullies and for them their is no solution but one of control and manipulation and in this situation the best advice would be to walk away and seek professional council and rather move back home to the safety of your folks and start again than stay in the hope that it will get better.

 

 

Wild Horses

Wild horses is a great analogy for living together, when men and women move in together, there can only be three outcomes, the first being the woman takes the wild stalion and trys to turn him into “my little pony”, or the man trophies the woman but he still wants to run free, or and by far the most successful outcome they simply live on the same farm, with no other horses on the inside of the fence, but still allowing each other the room to run and get used to the idea, friends and family left to visiting from across the fence.

The reason men bolt or feel caged-in is the fact that for the first time they are answerable to someone else, who wants them to change immediately, look only in their direction and stop being what every cell in their bodies are telling them feels unnatural.

We know why we chose you as a partner, we want this lifestyle , so give us time to adjust and love you.

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