Friday, 23 April 2010

Love Language - Acts of Service

Last Sunday morning after breakfast, I heard intermittent noises from outside on the driveway – metal clanging on paving. Having got myself ready to go and fetch my son from a rugby camp I met my husband in the doorway. He had just finished rotating the tyres on my car.

I was surprised as I hadn’t asked him to. He had commented the day before that the front tyres were wearing a little and I’d thought “mental note for to-do list - get tyres sorted”. I thanked him and set off.

As I drove along I thought “Gee, that was so nice of him…. It was thoughtful of him to check them for me (as I rarely remember to look)….. He really cares enough to do all that work, on a hot day, to rotate them……”

When I got back I said thank you again and explained how really touched I was. I can’t recall anyone ever doing that unasked before. And having done it myself, many years ago, I know what a hassle it is.

There are two things that he often volunteers to do specifically because he knows I don’t like doing them - washing the lettuce for salad and putting my car away in the garage.

All these things are acts of service, according to Gary Chapman the author of the Five Love Languages series.

Gary teaches that there are five ways in which we express love:
 Words of affirmation – thank you, you are special, well done, …..
 Physical touch – hug, massage, tickling ….
 Quality time – time doing what they want to do with them ….
 Acts of service - freely helping in anyway…..
 Gifts – large or small…..

One of these is our primary language which is the most important to have fulfilled. Thereafter we can appreciate any of the others.

My primary language is physical touch but I now realise that acts of service comes a close second. My husband's is quality time - the one thing that I find the most difficult to fulfil as I am always on the go.

Years ago when I learnt about the five love languages, identified his, and started making more time to be with him, focussed on him/us I saw him and our relationship blossom before my eyes.

Over the years making time has become easier, more of a natural habit and good for me. It is part of how I began exploring the ability to just ‘be’.

What is your primary love language?
What is your partner’s and each of your children’s language?
What about your parents, siblings and friends?
What can you do to fill their primary love tank?
Have you shared yours with your partner?

A lovely piece of relationship advice from Zig Ziglar ‘s Little Book of Big Quotes
“Your mate doesn’t live by bread alone; he or she needs to be “buttered up” from time to time.”

Here is a link to a quick, fun assessment of your own love language.

Originally written as a BBI in March 2008 - links updated

Monday, 12 April 2010

Music for the soul

I stumbled across this most unusual TED video this morning and played it in the background. What a beautiful interlude.

Natalie Merchant is a free spirit. Listen to the end to see how an artist who is so comfortable with herself handles a techie audience.

Natalie Merchant sings old poems to life

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Team Effort

I am sorting out my photos folder and doing some editing. I just came across these two photos from Xmas Day.

So what is their relevance other than perhaps making you hungry :-)

They just reminded me how great it is that my children are now teenagers.

This last Xmas we hosted lunch. After breakfast and opening of presents I was in the kitchen making the starters and main course accompaniments whilst my husband cooked a fillet on the braai, my 15 yr old son made gingerbread biscuits and my 18 yr old daughter assembled her dessert creation. It was the easiest, most enjoyable xmas meal I have ever prepared. So much more fun than doing it all myself. And for sure with more attention to presentation detail!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Opposite of a Palindrome

PALINDROME (def): A word, line, verse, ... etc., reading the same backward as forward (So ... What is the opposite ?)

Now watch the video

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Fitting it all in

Emma Thompson (writer, actress) shared her view on balancing career, family and hobby in an interview on channel24 today. Her answer is so pragmatic - I just loved it.

She was asked “How to balance your career and being a mother with your activism? You’re involved with a number of campaigns, supporting refugees and the opposition to a third runway at Heathrow Airport.”

She replied “Well I just try and parcel it out and say ‘what can I manage in this month…’ Like if I’ve got a deadline or I know, for instance, this month I’ll be away a lot because I’m promoting Nanny McPhee and I’m also taking the family on holiday, so I say ‘what can I achieve?’ and then cut my cloth accordingly. It’s just a bit of a balancing act really and unfortunately it does mean that I say ‘no’ a lot. But you know, I hit my 50th last year and you think to yourself ‘I have to choose very carefully what I do and make sure that it’s important..’ (read the entire interview here)

That last sentence ‘I have to choose very carefully what I do and make sure that it’s important..’ sums up the key to taking control of your life so succinctly. Now all you have to do is put it into practice :-).

1. Let go of the expectation that you need to do everything
2. Identify your values and your priorities
3. Generate personal energy (increases capacity)
4. Develop ritual habits (increases capacity)
5. Simplify your life
6. Learn to say “no”
7. Work from quadrant two – important, not yet urgent
8. Plan your week and your day (max 3 – 6 priorities per day)
9. Use your time efficiently
10. Be in the moment

Have fun

If you want more help with this come along to one of our workshops “Take control of your life” or “Help, I’m a yes-addict”. There is one this Saturday and the other next week Saturday.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Hier kom kak

“Hier kom kak” – my friend Luewellyn’s words greeted me as I opened my Facebook page. I looked to see what they referred to and was lead to the news 24 stories of Eugene Terreblanche’s murder.

I don’t often write on political matters but I was struck by the immediate fear that I felt for our country. And then how my mind jumped right back to 10 April 1993 - driving to the Vaal River on that Easter Saturday and hearing that Chris Hani had been assassinated.

My fear turned to possibilities for hope.
In April 1993 we thought “here come’s big trouble” but as a country we pulled through that. We can pull through this as well.

Afriforum and Solidarity have both called for calm - a most positive response. On the other side of the spectrum President Zuma has called for restraint. If Malema can keep his mouth shut, the ANC backs off from the court case challenging the banning of “kill the boer” and the leaders of Afriforum and Solidarity are influential enough to hold their members, we can weather this storm.