Friday, January 30, 2009

Those Little Moments

"Boy, you just better hang on to me", I told my husband as I walked into the room. "Oh yea, and just why is that", he asked with one of those "oh no what is she up to" grins. "I can open a package of instant gravy mix and a package of instant mashed potatoes with the best of them", I finish, unable by then to contain my laughter. Of course, he starts laughing too and we share one of "those little moments". You know those moments I'm talking about? I sincerely hope you do. Like those moments when you are in a crowd or just across the room from each other and happen to look up and at each other at the exact same time. Maybe you both smile a little, or maybe he even winks and just for a split second, it's just the two of you. Without saying a word you've shared one of "those little moments".

Those moments aren't for new lovers. Those true moments are for the long haul. For that partner you've been through good and bad with. That partner you've weathered the storm with. The one who knows all your deepest secrets and worries and has shared them all. Through sickness and in health for real, not just saying the words. Those little moments meant for just the two of you. Maybe after your kids are tucked in bed at night, or like my husband and I, after the kids and grandkids have gone home and its once again quiet and just the two of us. As we close the door behind them we look at each other, grin and breathe a sigh and say alone at last. NOT because we don't love them and NOT because we don't want them around because we do. But they have their lives now and whether they want to believe it or even think about it, so do we. Alone together just the two of us, we are free to do whatever we want to do or to do nothing at all if that's what we choose. That moment. That moment you realize and you thank God that you are friends, and thank God that you have each other.

Kids grow up, families grow apart, friends grow away. Having a life partner, a soul mate as some would say is what you have left, hopefully. Someday it will be your turn and trust me, you don't want to miss those little moments. Its those moments that no matter what kind of day you have had, you have someone to share it with.

I wish everyone could have that in life. It isn't a fairy tale but it doesn't come free, easy or cheap. Partner means just that -- partner. It doesn't mean Master and slave, it doesn't mean acquaintance to share a bed, it means working towards the same goal, the same plan, the same dream. In any partnership there are always differences of opinion and disagreements, that's a given. It's how you handle those that makes the difference in whether a partnership lasts or not. No two people see eye to eye on everything and that's okay, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree. Get over it, get done with it and get on.

I hear so many young people today that are "searching" for their soul mate. Most of the girls say they don't want someone that is compatible because it would be to boring. I have two sage pieces of advice for the young. #1) quit searching so hard, you just might overlook that soul mate and #2) Don't be fooled. Finding someone who likes the same things you do means you always have someone to do things with. You always have someone to talk to because you both like the same things. Having things in common means you spend time together having fun, making plans, working on things you both enjoy and then you have someone to talk to about it after its over because you both enjoyed it and did it together. It's not boring. It means you spend time together and once in awhile you might do your own thing, (generally wishing that person was with you). Instead of spending all your time doing your own thing and once in a while spending time together. Or, just wishing you had someone to do stuff with because your partner is also out doing their own thing. That's what happens when you don't like the same things and don't have things in common.

If you have children at home still, love those children, do things with them. Give them two loving parents that care about them and what they are doing, but, give yourselves time too. Make time for those little moments, make memories that you can sit and laugh about one day or sit and cry over. Don't let yourselves drift apart. Don't go outside your home seeking that friendship that you should have right there with your partner. If you've already started growing apart and you recognize that then you have half the battle already won. Your next step is to go to your partner. Start talking to them. If you are to the point you need counseling, go get it. Remember the person you fell in love with and the person you were then, start remembering what you have shared, the growth, the one step forward and two steps back that you've taken together to get to where you are now. When you go outside your marriage (or relationship) to talk to someone else what you are usually doing is telling that person what you like, what you dislike, what you want and don't want. What your partner does or doesn't do that annoys you or upsets you. You think they are listening because they care about you but they don't know you, not like your partner does. They listen, but they can't share, all they can do is listen and empathize or sympathize. If they are paying attention, they give you what you are looking for and then if you aren't careful you become another statistic. Another broken home with children being raised by two separate parents and two strangers. Long before it comes to that point, talk to your partner. If you can't get them to understand or they don't seem willing, let them know what's at stake. Many times after people have been together for a while they stop communicating, they talk about the children, the neighbor's cat, the ball game, work etc. but they stop talking about "them". They quit doing things together and devote all their time to working or all their time to their children and they forget they have each other. One of them or maybe both of them realize something is wrong but they don't talk so they can't fix what is breaking until its almost to late or sometimes it is to late. Then everyone loses. Many times the problem seems one sided and one partner feels blind sided because the other one didn't try to talk to them, didn't try to fix that break and instead went looking for a repair somewhere else. Communication is the main breakdown in a marriage or relationship. Once communication breaks down things start to crumble. People will stay together for their kids but once the kids are gone then what? This whole lifetime you've built together falls apart before your eyes? All those memories, all those years, gone, lost. It's a fact we don't get younger every day, we get older and we don't have forever. Why spend all those years building something just to let it fall apart and have to start over?

Make those moments now, make time for each other now. Plan for the day its just the two of you, look forward to it. Don't let "those little moments" get away from you. You've had them with your family, you've had them in your lifetime with your friends, your kids, you have them everyday with each other. Save them and share them with each other when its just the two of you alone in a roomful of people ;)

Back to that "instant" dinner I was preparing. As an extra bonus I thought I would give you the recipe and the meal plan. (Have to admit here I've still not learned how to cook for just 2 people so if you follow this recipe/meal plan you WILL have left-overs).

Chopped Steak with Brown Gravy,
Gourmet Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Seasoned Green Beans
Bread of your choice

2 lbs hamburger meat
1 pkg Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. bread crumbs (optional)
1 T. garlic powder
dash of salt
In a bowl mix all ingredients, form into patties whatever size you like. Fry or grill hamburger patties, drain off all oil/drippings (save 2 T. and set aside)

In a 2 qt. sauce pan mix 2 pkg. Lowry brown gravy mix according to package directions (be sure and use amount of water for both packages). Once gravy starts to thicken place patties in gravy and simmer to finish thickening.

Gourmet Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3 c. water
1/2 tsp salt
4 T. margarine
approx. 3 c. instant potato flakes
1 T. garlic powder
1 cup sour cream (or miracle whip)
Heat water, margarine and salt to boiling and remove from heat. Add garlic powder and sour cream. Stir in potato flakes until moistened. Let stand until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, add more flakes or more sour cream depending on consistency you like.

Seasoned Green Beans
2 cans favorite brand green beans
2 T. hamburger drippings
dash of salt
1 tsp mrs. dash
small jar of pimentoes
Heat to boiling in pan, cover and let cook until liquid cooks down and green beans are lighter in color. Mix in pimentoes and serve.

Compare a relationship to cooking. Remember you are the one that went shopping, you are the one that chose the menu, just because right now you might feel like you are stuck with plain meat and potatoes doesn't mean you have to settle for plain meat and potatoes. It's up to you to spice it up!