Several years ago I gave my husband, Brian the gift of a loving thought every day for a year. I wrote these daily thoughts in a little notebook (they grew into two notebooks) that I then presented to him as my Christmas gift. I called the books 365 Days of Loving You. I remember how my love grew as each day I was aware of the little things that say, “I love you.” I felt more grateful for our relationship. More than a year ago, Brian began writing me similar daily notes, but instead of writing them in a notebook (or two) he sends them to me via email. He calls them Daily Sweets. He committed to doing this for a year, just as I had. However, at the end of the year, we both agreed the Daily Sweets should continue. Brian is finding he gets the same type of benefit from being aware of our relationship as I did and I look forward to seeing them pop up in my inbox every morning. Sometimes the topics he writes about are profound; sometime they’re just about the everyday. Sometimes I want to hear his deepest feelings toward me; sometimes I just want to be thanked for doing the laundry.
While we are on vacation in Italy I have wanted Brian’s vacation to be especially restful, so I have been doing a couple of things that are normally his chores. I’ve been making the bed every day and I’ve been writing the Daily Sweets. I am once again infused with fresh feelings of love and gratitude. It is such a simple act to be present and watch for the good, but it brings such strong feelings to the forefront.
Is this awareness the secret to being happily married for 35 years? Probably not by itself, but it’s a good place to start.