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Why yes, I AM available Friday nite!…. VALUE Number One – Independence.

February 4, 2012 in Favorites, VALUES

wonder woman shoes

Source: Hannah

 

VALUE NUMBERO UNO I FINALLY understood that I VALUED my INDEPENDENCE.

As I wrote in my last post about ‘The One thing I was missing…” I told you I was going to share with you one VALUE, each week. Well here we are at week one. Personally, I believe this value is most important (as it is in my restaurant relationship) so I wanted to talk about it first (in my standard,’Chatty Cathy’ way)…. INDEPENDENCE.

When I first started dating my then chef boyfriend, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into…dating someone in the industry. I thought that my time was his time and vice versa – OUR time (like most typical 9-5 relationships) – I thought that meant we had to spend ALL of it together which was why I quickly became the naggy one asking him…

“WHEN are you going to make time for me?”

I was focusing SO MUCH on what I didn’t have, that I couldn’t even see what I did. Of COURSE I loved that I could go out on a Friday nite with my girlfriends or to a movie on Saturday and not have someone always asking me what I was up to (that was really awesome)… but where I was concerned… HE wasn’t available when I wanted and THAT was a problem.

*Oh, the arguements we would have about this. Let me tell ya….

He would say that this is his schedule and there really is nothing he can do about it (SOUND FAMILIAR?) So I would sulk and do my best ‘cold shoulder’ act that I could conjure up so he would get the point that I wasn’t happy. Unfortunately, it didn’t change his schedule.. just left me thinking I’m not sure I can ‘do’ this.

Eventually… I decided I couldn’t and broke up with him for what I thought, was for good.

FLASH FORWARD to my relationship with a 9-5’r. I felt guilty every time I went to do something with my friends and left him home. After the honeymoon phase wore off, I found myself yearning for an evening to do what I wanted to do. *Confession: I remember wanting to go to an all day concert with a girlfriend, and my 9-5 boyfriend wanted to come, I JUMPED on the chance of it being just me and her, when he said he wasn’t feeling well. Yikes.* Because I was now in a relationship with a fellow 9-5’r, I usually chose hanging out with him instead of doing what I wanted to do, and eventually felt a sadness.. like I was missing something.

It was in that relationship that I realized that I was a really independent person. I really enjoyed the FREEDOM to do what I wanted to do with my free time. When I realized that… a HUGE weight of sorts lifted from SO much of my life. I remember when I was reconnecting with my chef (for the final time, thankfully), thinking… OH MY GOSH, that means I can have ME back!!! My friends and my family noticed a change back to who I innately was inside. They would tell me…”It’s good to see YOU, again.”

Once I understood what I valued…I no longer felt neglected like I once did.

*I swear I’m not feeding you a line. It’s SO much different than before!*

For example, Sunday is usually one of his days off. (YES, I know I’m lucky.) BEFORE, I would get SO upset if he wanted to go hang out with his chef friends because it’s the only day that we had together. NOW, I know that that is usually the only day that his FRIENDS have off too (to ride motorcycles and such).. and he needs that time too. Because I understand I value my independence (and so does he), it makes watching him ride away for a few hours enjoyable… knowing he’s going to get “fed” from his time doing something he loves.

For those just starting out in restaurant relationships: This is not like “regular” 9-5 relationships. You will not spend the same kinds of time with your other half that, perhaps, your friends in 9-5 relationships do. If you begin to demand that same kinda time from your restaurant man or woman, you’ll quickly find that YOU will be let down, sad, and angry that you are not getting what you want. (Like I always was… saying “I’m not important to you if you don’t make time for me!”)

Let’s flip that around, shall we?

What are you doing in your own life that is EQUIVALENT to the passion they have in their careers? Is it your own career? Your hobbies? Your active social life? Your spirituality? Your health?

Go out and DO THAT.

*Caveat: If your still debating if this type of relationship works for you, and you continually get the feeling that having your own time to do your own thing always leaves you feeling angry, resentful, lonely and sad… even after you answer the questions below… it MIGHT be one of three things… 1. maybe you don’t value Independence as much and THAT IS OKAY! 2. maybe another value trumps Independence OR 3.this isn’t the type of relationship that will inevitably leave you feeling fulfilled. Either way, you’re figuring it out and that’s all we can hope for, right?

 

You’ll find that the more time you spend on your OWN plights, goals, passions… the richer the time you do spend together will be. If you are waiting for them to come home, get off work to spend time with you… you’ll be looking for HIM/HER to create your own value.

*Everyones values are different. No one person values the same exact thing in the same intensity. That said, it’s up to YOU to figure out what works for you. What works for you might not for your restaurant man/woman. *Although, I believe a thriving restaurant relationships share common values. Independence being one of them.

In the same light, I understood that we both VALUE having SACRED time together (Sacredness is another VALUE). Routines and rituals that we do not reschedule or rain check because we know that we have limited time together, enhance our time apart. Having these moments help us BOTH to feel valued when we miss each other… knowing we’ll reconnect soon helps us nurture our own VALUE. These sacred moments have become the cornerstone of our marriage and their something we both look forward to, from week to week.

So here’s what I want you to do to discover if Independence is a VALUE of yours.

1. Get out a piece of paper.
2. Answer the following questions:

  • When it’s Friday nite and I’m about to get off of work and I know my restaurant man/woman is working… I feel ____________________.
  • T/F – I feel so lonely when he’s at work and I don’t have anything to do.
  • T/F – I kinda feel like we don’t have a “real” relationship if we don’t evenings and weekends together.
  • T/F – I think it’s kinda selfish that I like to do my own thing… I mean, that isn’t “Normal.”
  • If I know I’m going to have a day to myself… I end up doing____________________________.
  • When I am feeling “SO MUCH MYSELF” (meaning happy in my life/my own skin/FREE TO BE ME!) I am usually_________________.

Maybe you’ve heard the quote:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Most likely, your restaurant man/woman is doing what makes him/her ‘come alive’. Now it’s time you find the same thing.

I want to end by saying that no one TAUGHT us this… about what we value. We’re thrown into life with our fingers crossed and hoping for the best. How awesome would it be to have a little help when we begin something new… with a firm grounding of who we are and what we bring to the table…so we won’t always feel like we’re missing something.

How do YOU feel about this? Please share with us your thoughts, feelings… reactions.

Finally… in a few weeks (Thursday, March 8th 8pm EST), I’m offering a FREE CALL to discuss said values more in depth, discuss these and share with you what other values you have! (Once you sign up, I’ll send you a list of over 100 additional values for you to consider!) I want to take your questions, quandaries.. even frustrations. Sign up below to join in on the call! Hope to *see*  you there!

JOIN US – FREE CALL! Understanding what you VALUE – Thursday, March 8th 8pm EST

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sleeping alone

August 25, 2011 in Everybody Else, Favorites, Life

My Side by teenytinyturkey

 

Let’s face it….

It doesn’t take long to realize that if we’re going to be in a relationship with someone in the restaurant industry means there are nights when we’re going to bed alone. We’re setting the automatic coffee pot to go off in the morning, locking the doors, turning off all the lights, possibly tucking the kids in and hitting that pillow with no one to kiss goodnight.

It comes with the territory.

You are not on the same cycle as your other half. You pass through the night. You’re sleeping when he/she gets home and their sleeping when you wake up. It just is. It’s part of the dance you two do. Like an earlier blog post, this is not like your usual team sport. It’s a relay. He does the night shift and then hands off to you in the morning. It’s something that we ladies and men who are married to these nocturnal creatures either have to get used to.. or find a way to cope with it. Is it always desirable? No. But like our weeknight dinners alone, we quickly manage to create an evening routine that works for us. Why?

Because we’re resilient.

One of our greatest strengths is our ability to adapt.

Even though there are times when it stinks to go to bed alone, if you were to REALLY look at the situation, you’d find that there is a PART of you that enjoys having your evenings to yourself. (whether you admit it to yourself or to others is another story!)

If you didn’t, then this type of relationship wouldn’t sustain you.

Most likely one of these reasons will sound familiar to you:

  • You enjoyed your single days, being able to come and go as you pleased and this type of relationship serves that feeling, that sense of independence.
  • You are very driven in your own goals and so, the fact that you have events/school/get togethers in the evenings allows you to do those things without feeling the guilt that you are out, doing what you want.
  • You are the type of person who NEEDS a solid amount of alone/quiet time to decompress, without a lot of the noise and distractions that would be around if your other half was there.

If you can admit this to yourself, then you can TAKE ADVANTAGE of this, see this as an OPPORTUNITY to create what YOU want for your life. (I mean, it IS your life, right?)

I don’t know about you, but when I know that I will be going to sleep alone, I actually look forward to it. I am a little bit of all three above, and having the evening to do what I want (whether that’s going out with girlfriends, working on my business, having a client coaching call, or just watching TV in peace – with FULL control of the remote) makes me feel grounded and at peace.

Doesn’t mean I don’t love my husband. Not at all.

Means I understand the VALUE of what this relationship brings me. *time to myself? check! It’s what I need in order to feel… well ME! It took me a long time to understand this. This WORKS for me! I actually ENJOY this!

I am sure that from an outsiders perspective, this might bring up thoughts that I don’t CARE about being with my husband, or that I’m selfish. (You ever get that vibe from others?) It makes sense, a “typical” relationship involves both parties spending every evening and weekend together. There’s the rub… THIS IS NOT A ‘TYPICAL’ KIND OF RELATIONSHIP. It has very different parameters, and what works for ‘typical’ relationships, does not, WILL NOT work for this type. Trying to fit this type of relationship into the box of whats ‘typical’ only brings up the belief that there’s only one way to do it and therefore, that there is something wrong. This kind of relationship is not for everyone.

Can you imagine how that belief can seep into your relationship? Causing resentment and doubt?

If that’s how you’re currently feeling, lonely that you have to head to bed alone, feeling like that MUST mean there is something wrong with your relationship, let me assure you – You are not alone. Anyone that’s just starting out can absolutely get hung up on how this is just not ‘normal’. It’s common that learning what works takes a while. This is just part of what makes your relationship tick. Isn’t that what you want to know anyway? Instead of spending time worrying that this is a big red flag, you could choose to see this as an opportunity, something you look forward to instead of something you dread.

How can you make this work for you?

To the contrary, I’m not being selfish, I understand how this works FOR me, instead of against me and am CHOOSING to see the perks in it. *Not to mention that this works for my husband too. When I am OKAY with our independence, it gives my husband a greater sense that ALL IS WELL, allowing him to focus on what he’s doing more, making him more present in his role as the one who runs the kitchen.

Happy wife, happy life, right? 😀

When I have those moments when I miss my husband in the evenings (yes, they do happen)… when the thought of cooking a meal by myself, or heading to bed without our usual banter of laughter and love makes me feel sad, brings me even CLOSER to him. The next time I see him or am with him, I feel THAT much more connected and revived in my feelings toward him. I miss him in these moments and I allow myself to miss him. When these moments come up, we message each other with sentiments of love and longing… while he’s busy on the line, making sure that the restaurant runs smoothly. I still feel that moment of missing him, but when I understand that these moments are not a USUAL occurrence, I am able to pass through it without it feeling like I’m missing something, or that something is wrong.

Tell me, How do YOU handle the fact that you are usually sleeping alone? What is your evening routine?