[THE NEIGHBOR’S WIFE] Spring Fever

Spring is time for new beginnings, a fresh look and a new sense of self (Be the man!)

Maybe social pressure has been getting you down, or the high expectations placed on you by others, whether family members, your coworkers or even yourself; it may be time for you to look at your current life and see if you are truly the man you want to be.

No, I don’t want you to start therapy, meditation or a raw vegan diet for three months, but I want you to embody this quote:

“We can create a society where people have time to play together, time to act politically in their common interests, and time even to argue over what those common interests might be.  That fertile mix of human relationships is necessary for healthy human societies, which in turn are necessary for sustaining a healthy planet.” Jeffrey Kaplan

How to do that?  It’s simple — take the time to play. Play with your wife, play with your children; play with your family pet, or with yourself (not like that!).  Not sure how to begin?  Try following this handy list:

Step outdoors: The outdoors is an incredible place where families can spend quality time together and learn how to communicate and just be together.  Nature is a wonderful teaching tool. Go on an observation walk with your children or wife. Start a family Transportation Puzzle, or, if you need to go it alone, do as my father does and wake up an hour before everyone else and go sit in your yard and listen.

Be kind: Before you make your plans for the week and weekend, be kind to your family and yourself and see what everyone wants to do.  It can minimize the stress of crushed expectations due to the demands of child rearing, differing personal interests or lovers’ opposite approaches.  Be kind by planning activities that include all members of the family. A simple activity like going to the park can fill everyone’s need; kids can play, mom can read a book, dad can jog, then everyone can meet up for a picnic and talk about their life.

Work less: We tend to always rationalize the amount of time we work for money or the time we need to stay plugged in to any other commitments except family.  Often, this can be a mechanism to detract attention (our own or others’) from our dissatisfaction or fears.  This month, try going to work later or leave a little early.  When you are home, help out your wife or play with your kids.  Don’t check email or make phone calls. Don’t turn on the television; instead play with your family and plan a camping trip or hike for a weekend.  After the children are in bed, take one hour for yourself and spend one hour with your wife.

Share your thoughts on how you will embody the idea of renewal and keep us posted on your discoveries!

– Heidi Ahrens

Mark your calendar April 22nd is Earth day.  Celebrate life, abundance and growth with your beautiful children and inspiring wives. Not sure what to do? Get family-friendly pledge ideas!

Image credit: D Sharon Pruitt

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4 Responses to “[THE NEIGHBOR’S WIFE] Spring Fever”

  1. Marty A.
    April 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    I like this article because it emphasizes how simple everyday actions are a big part of making the world a better place. If every Dad or Husband did this stuff, it’s not just families that would be better off. The whole world would be better, simply because we aren’t out there causing trouble!

  2. Sara
    April 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Ditto!

  3. Alexander Maddrey
    April 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Love the quotation. . . and the simple notion that few–not many–spring changes in the routine can really make a difference. I’ll try out the one-hour-me/one-hour-wife regimen immediately.

  4. Heidi Ahrens
    Heidi Ahrens
    April 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Just yesterday I had the chance to go to a Yoga class and realized how much it is beneficial to me and my relationship with others. It would not be possible without the help of my husband. It made me really appreciate his dedication to give me time and for him to spend time with the girls alone.

    Maddrey, let me know how the one hour thing works for you.

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