As we celebrate this holiday season, I am reminded of how important friends and family are. In doing a bit of research for this blog, I learned the 2 turtle doves in “the 12 Days of Christmas” are representative of lifelong partners. Turtle dove birds, aka lovebirds, mate for life AND share in life duties such as child rearing, home building, etc. They are devoted to one another, trust each other, and rely on each other for survival during their lifespan. This immediately brought to mind one of my favorite pictures of my grandparents. They were sitting on the couch together, holding hands, heads tilted towards each other, eyes closed, and completely lost in themselves. You can feel the love, the peace, the comfort they bring to each other just by looking at the picture. #lifegoal
I heard the tail end of an interview on NPR the other day, so I cannot give it proper credit, but the man speaking said something to this effect. He interviewed couples and when he asked them to speak of a positive attribute their partner possessed they responded, but fairly apathetically. I mean, we are grateful for the things are partners do for us and the qualities they bring to our world, but do we show them our appreciation? Do we acknowledge their positive qualities? Or do we just thank them in hindsight, give them a quick shoulder squeeze as we run out the door, murmur some generic thanks or praise as we scan through our social media? He then went on to re-phrase his interview statements and asked the couples to reflect on a significant moment in their relationship and how things would be different had that moment never happened …. a first date, a chance meeting, a conversation. He said the response was very much in contrast to the prior response. He said that when presented with a negative reflection, the couples were much more grateful and responsive. Why??? In my personal opinion, it makes us more present in the relationship. You are fortunate to be sitting next to the person you love, but what if that chair were all of a sudden empty? What if you turned to that person and they weren’t there anymore? All of a sudden those little things that drive you crazy about them are gone…. those socks on the floor, that dirty glass on the counter, that hairbrush on the vanity, the full trash bag, aren’t such a big deal compared to the loss of the conversation, trust, intimacy, and companionship that you would experience were they not there.
My challenge to you is twofold, work to attain and maintain “turtle dove” relationships. Be there, be present, be grateful, be humble, be supportive, and be the best version of yourself.