- Family - Those closest around you that love you unconditionally. Who care deeply enough to let you make the hard decisions. Who stick with you through the hard times and try to help you through the the tears and pain. Who are first in line to laugh and cheer you on in your triumphs. Those who you can receive the most hugs from because they are so near.
- Friends - The ones, though you may not see them or talk every day, will drop everything to come to your rescue. Who are just a call or text away, and will listen with an objective ear and give sound advise. Those that are willing to serve and be served. Who will let you return the shoulder to cry on, or the arm to lift and strengthen. Who say "Thank You", OR, "Because I love you."
- Faith - Believing in that, which cannot be seen, yet you feel it is true. Seeking for a higher power to draw strength from. Receiving a calm assurance and warm feeling that what you believe is real and that you are never truly alone, no matter what your circumstances are.
Your Spouse - This Should really be easy.
- Turn off the T.V., the Video Game, your iPhone, Android, or favorite book.... and listen. Really do it. Give your full attention! Have a 2-way conversation. I have to remind myself on this very often. I am no marriage counselor, as Barbi would attest to, and I never claim to be perfect, but in my heart, I know what I should do. I guess I should listen most often to my heart. My friend Laura, who I met on a couple's cruise in 2007, who is a Relationship Consultant, would be pleased to see me say this. There is no better reward in life than serving your spouse.
- Have a date night...Regularly. Your best friend should share your best times. Date nights don't have to cost a lot of money. But you should devote your whole attention to that person while you are on your date...every time. I need to learn from this statement more as well. Too often, my smart phone will alert and I'll pull it out and read a work email, or a Twitter feed, or John Heald's Latest Blog. Though I enjoy reading John's blogs, I can certainly wait until I am alone, in the bathroom, or sliding down the water slides on the Carnival Magic.
- Take a trip together. Now this one I believe I have accomplished well since meeting Laura on that Valentine's cruise 2007, aboard the Grand Princess to the Western Caribbean. Barbi and I have discovered a whole new meaning of reconnecting and enjoying the beauty of the world, TOGETHER. It has now become at least an annual event. It has not always been aboard The Love Boat, but it has always been together.
So this most "Wonderful time of the year" really should last all year long. Laugh each day, like you are Karaoke singing. Laughter makes all the troubles of the world disappear. Search Endorphins on the internet! Love more deeply! Picture yourself dancing under the stars on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. Where no one else is around. Take lots of pictures. I don't know about you, but my memory doesn't remember everything, but pictures help me to remember.