Tag Archives: love

10 characteristics that reflect real love

By no means do I claim to be an expert at relationships and love, but my experiences in life – especially in the last few years – have definitely taught me to recognize real love vs. self love (ego). I’ve read about it, talked a lot about it (gotta love therapy) and luckily, experienced both sides. Isn’t that the only way to really learn and appreciate something anyway?

So, in honor of this silly Hallmark holiday we call Valentine’s Day, here’s what I’ve come to recognize as real, selfless love from – or for – another human being. (Or dog… because dogs seem like they got this down long ago…) 

  1. Selfless – even when there’s a desire to be selfishWE
  2. Thoughtful – even when one is “too busy”
  3. Giving – in spirit and time (much more valuable than money or gifts)
  4. Supportive – not jealous or envious
  5. Understanding – not angry, even when passionately arguing
  6. Forgiving – no one is perfect
  7. Attentive –  truly knowing your partner because of it
  8. Reflective – always thinking about how to make the relationship better
  9. Respectful – in voice and actions, under any circumstance
  10. Faithful – always. If you are truly in love, this isn’t difficult

I Love…

  1. the sound of rain on the rooftop on a late summer night
  2. when my son gets excited about learning something new
  3. the way my three dogs take over the furniture
  4. making someone feel so special, they can’t help but beam with smiles
  5. white lights
  6. the look of lemons in a jar
  7. a good glass of wine
  8. getting a card in the mail
  9. that I’ve learned that whole “love is patient and kind, not selfish or boastful” saying actually is true and does exist
  10. seashells
  11. bear hugs
  12. kisses on the forehead
  13. realizing someone is truly a great friend
  14. a pair of sexy high heels and somewhere to wear them
  15. technology
  16. the smell of a baby’s head
  17. puppy breath
  18. water: the ocean, a lake, a pool – just put me in it
  19. food
  20. coffee
  21. the smell and feeling of clean sheets
  22. making jewelry
  23. word games
  24. a fire in the fireplace
  25. oysters
  26. my family
  27. my Ford Expedition – especially when it’s full of sand, beach chairs and towels
  28. my Stand Up Paddleboard
  29. the euphoria of running and finishing a marathon
  30. my sons’ smiles, especially when they are proud of themselves
  31. sparkly things
  32. snowfall
  33. finishing a good book
  34. bravery, not bravado
  35. a good workout
  36. paying bills
  37. working hard
  38. meeting goals
  39. decorating a Christmas tree
  40. a good view
  41. rocking chairs on porches
  42. the color purple
  43. overcoming adversity
  44. helping someone who doesn’t even know you
  45. getting someone that perfect gift that you can barely wait to give it to them
  46. driving fast
  47. seeing clearly
  48. watching something grow
  49. order among chaos
  50. being a Mom

What do you love?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you love Eat Pray Love & @GilbertLiz (or antiques, shopping, etc.) you’ll like this via @NYTimes

You know life is good when Julia Roberts plays you in a movie. And, apparently, just getting better.

Although, I could do without any more Three. Word. Sentences.

Amplify’d from www.nytimes.com
Love, Travel, Sell

MOST husbands call their wives to ask what cut of steak to bring home from the grocery store. Elizabeth Gilbert’s husband rang her from Vietnam and asked, “Do I have permission to buy a 7,000-pound marble Buddha?”

Her answer: “You don’t need permission, ever.”

That eight-foot-high Buddha now beams down beatifically outside the entrance to Two Buttons, a store jam-packed with curios from Southeast Asia. Ms. Gilbert, the author of the 2006 memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” owns the shop in Frenchtown, N.J., with her husband, José Nunes.

Ms. Gilbert is far better known as a writer than shopkeeper. “Eat, Pray, Love” chronicled the healing year she spent traveling through Italy, India and Indonesia after a wrenching divorce; her best-selling follow-up memoir, “Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage,” was published in January.

Read more at www.nytimes.com

 

Good People Day – Papa, That’s You

I participate in a micro blogging site called Twitter (if you’re on, you can follow me @missusP). If you don’t know what Twitter is… and you want to learn more, you can read more in various blog posts, online articles or by simply typing “What is Twitter” into any search engine.

Anyway, one of the users I follow, Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee… better known as the Wine Library TV celebrity) has made an Internet plea for today to be “Good People Day.” I’m pretty skeptical about such things…but then I thought of one of the best people in the universe, my Grandfather. If we’re talking good people, I must share his story (which is a post I’ve been meaning to write anyway so this is a good push).

Everyone knows traditional marriage vows include “til death to us part” and “in sickness and in health.” Likewise, we know that today, few people actually keep these commitments (with 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, sadly, these promises have become almost meaningless). My grandfather is a rare, focused and stubborn man who took these vows to a level of commitment few people ever know in their lifetime.

My grandmother was diagnosed with “dementia” (read: Alzheimer’s) in her mid 60s (just like her mother before her). My grandfather watched several heart-breaking years as this horrible disease crept up on her. She knew it at moments when she couldn’t remember her own address, her name, or how to get home. After it overtook her, he tried for many years to take care of her on his own. He had watched his mother-in-law go through a terrible nursing home experience that had soured him greatly.

If you are at all familiar with Alzheimer’s you will understand why he couldn’t keep this care up on his own. Eventually, with the help of family and friends, he did put her in a great nursing home. But, unlike many people in this world who dispose of ill loved one’s like they might drop of a dog at the pound… he remained present every single day.

Every day my grandfather, aka Papa, would arrive at the nursing home at 6 a.m. He would help my grandmother (aka Mimi) get dressed, brush her teeth, comb her hair, etc. He fed her breakfast, lunch and dinner. He made sure she got her “exercise,” took her outside for sunshine, read to her, painted her nails and spent every single day for over a decade taking care of her at the home. He put her to bed before leaving for the day and, although she didn’t talk, eat on her own or show any other signs of interaction, she always puckered up to kiss him back when he asked nicely.

Papa; Mimi

This is not a typical arrangement. The hospital staff knew this and let him “do his thing” – awed by his love and dedication. He befriended many of them over the years – becoming a constant presence in their lives just as much as he was in Mimi’s. He’d teach them about his favorite subjects like jazz music, funny quotes and new books to read. He’d bring them gifts like CDs, flowers, books and more. He brightened not only the lives of my grandmother but everyone in that hospital, every single day.

The level of this dedication could often be misunderstood. Some worried that he spent too much time at the home.. not enough time focusing on his own needs. But this is what made him happy, this is what he promised to do. I know very few people that have upheld such promises in such a tremendous way.

My grandmother passed away in November 2006. My grandfather still goes to the nursing home on a regular basis to visit other patients, friends he’s made along the way, and even use the hospital gym.

I hope you will agree, that’s a good – no, great – person.

Dispensable Life Relationships

Relationships have been on my mind a lot lately. I’m reaching the time in life where a good deal of friends are getting divorced, middle age crisis’ are approaching and many people are seeking some new kind of inspiration. Some find this by taking up new hobbies, or running away from responsibilities, others by traveling and still others by buying things they don’t need or can’t afford.

The divorce thing is really tough to watch – in my most selfish moments it makes me wonder if sharing your most intimate thoughts and moments in life with another person is something that will come to haunt you. It is always in the back of my mind – is my “family” now always going to be so? Are these relationships worth emotional toil or are they dispensable? As relationships crumble – and mind you, divorce is not just about the man and wife – ever – I get so scared.

Then – I visit my folks’. But they are not the ones that give me faith (well…I shouldn’t say that – they give me some faith, having been married since they were 17- and 19-years-old – they are now in their 60s). I get to see my 84-year-old, sprite Grandfather, seen below (photo courtesy of one brilliant brother, Brian Dilg.) He has seen so much in life. His mother passed away when he was six, his step mother died when she was 13. He had another stepmother – the Nana that I knew – who embraced and loved him and he, her…. But…

2007-12-26-016

… the biggest, most wondrous thing about Papa is his love for his wife. He met her when he was 13. She passed away last November from Alzheimer’s. For the last 20 or so years of her life he stood by her side – in a nursing home for the most part – every single day. He stayed by her when she started to lose her memory. He stayed when she began getting lost, running away and throwing things at him. He stayed when she completely forgot him and couldn’t function anymore (although, she always kissed him back – the one human reaction she never lost) and he stayed when many, many people would not have. My Grandparents’ story around the theft that is Alzheimer’s is a post for another time. For today, I thank Papa for showing me that real love can last, that not all relationships are dispensable and that in the end – faith is a daily leap that is a reward in and of itself.

Thanks, Papa.

Lessons from my Sons

 

The image “https://i2.wp.com/images30.fotki.com/v470/photos/9/939539/5560790/IMG_2134-vi.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. I’m a fairly Type-A person – always on the go, pretty intense and not one to sit down for long, if at all. It’s also quite possible that I possess a few obsessive- compulsive behaviors – if you count noticing any time a picture frame is moved as obsessive….

Many elements in my life have likely contributed to my constantly-racing heart and go-go-go mentality – a German-work ethic, a childhood full of yellow legal pad “to do lists” from my father, a Catholic upbringing…the list goes on. In some senses, my intensity has served me well – at work, for example, where clients appreciate my tireless work ethic and constantly spinning mind. In my personal life it has been called into question from time-to-time, such as when my husband is hoping I can just focus on him during a conversation – and not tidy the counter, open the mail or keep my fingers on the keyboard while he talks.

Like anyone, I was nervous to have children. I like everything in its place and I wondered how in the world I would possibly balance my career and motherhood. But I’ve found over the years that not only am I doing an acceptable job at juggling, but my sons (ages 5 and 2) are helping me to relax a bit – ironically, when I’m busier than ever – as they continue to teach me every day some very important lessons:

• Messes can be cleaned

• Relaxing is not a bad thing – especially on the hammock with a sippy cup

• Trains are cool – bugs are too

• Love with all your might

• I should have appreciated my parents more

• Some loud music, crazy dancing and beating a drum set does wonders for stress relief

• I can fish!

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