I am not kidding…not entirely anyway. 😀
This weekend, my family travelled to the Kickapoo Nature Reserve area for some fun and recreation time.
It is always funny how teens react when you tell them that you have planned a nature vacation. At first, they react as though it is the worst possible thing that could happen! Once you get them there though, away from the Netflix videos and video games, they actually enjoy themselves! Getting that Vitamin D from the sun, getting off their ‘seats’ are all positive things for sure!
Other than hiking, fishing, seeing Amish communities and farmlands, we went canoeing. Which brings me to the focus of this post.
It took a few minutes to orient ourselves and figure out how to work with the river, when to turn, how to turn, how to synchronize and be most efficient. This is very similar to the first year or two of marriage. When you start living with someone, you have to figure out how they work (some aspects are more apparent than others). ‘Does he squeeze the toothpaste from the top or the bottom?’ ‘Does he believe in making the bed in the morning?’ 😀
When you encounter inefficiencies during canoeing such as one partner does not listen to instruction or decides that they are too tired to paddle, you have a few choices:
- Give up and stay stuck in the river
- Yell at your partner and waste your energy
- Let the other have their non cooperative moment. Sit back and save your arm strength until they realize you have to work as a team to get to the other end of the river
- Acknowledge that they may just be tired. Relax and enjoy the river and its surroundings with them!
The last two choices would probably yield the best results. Just as in a marriage, we have to take a step back once in a while to acknowledge that the other might be going through some pain. That pain sometimes prevents them from being on the same page as you. We all know that this ‘pain’ comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. 😀 So rather than being ‘up in arms’, save your arm strength until they cool off. Then, give them a BIG hug and move right along on the path of life. They will both appreciate you for understanding and perhaps realize that you are a good team player!
When I had a rhythm with my canoeing partner, we had fun and we could enjoy the scenary around us. In marriage too, when your partnership has been (loosely) defined, you can focus more on enjoying life’s happy moments and dealing with issues or adversities in a calm manner (knowing and trusting that your combined strength will take you through).
It was definitely interesting how after almost 20 years of being married, an activity like canoeing reminded me of the basic principles behind a building (and re-building) a stronger relationship.
I respect the power of Nature!!