Little Reminders

It is Thursday, and I have seen my husband maybe four hours this week. For the next five weeks or so, our work schedules will run opposite, Monday through Thursday. It’s tough.

And it is a reminder that relationships take work.

I am technically still a newly wed. Our one-year wedding anniversary is in two weeks! Still, I like to think I have gained some wisdom from our four years together, and that I have learned lessons from the long and successful relationships around me.

People change every day, with every experience and interaction. In a year, you will be a different person. Your core values may be the same, but the color and flavor of your world will be different. Your perspective will be different.

We can’t just expect our relationships (friendships included) to tag along, bending and reshaping on their own to fit us as we change. Even the most solid couple can veer off course and grow apart without mutual commitment, without work.

A sweet text or e-mail during the day. A handwritten note pinned to the refrigerator. Picking up the slack with household chores. Making your partner’s favorite meal. Hugging just a little bit longer when you get home. These are small acts, but they are so important.

The big things are important, too. Respect. Commitment. Compromise. Fighting fair. Being honest about needs and fears, expectations and disappointments. Navigating life’s challenges as a team. These are the headings for your journey – your true north.

However, as this week has reminded me, the little things are the small course corrections that can keep you going in the right direction. Especially when things are tough.

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