She says she wondered whether being so focused on her own happiness was selfish, but then research shows that happy people are more forgiving, helpful, charitable, tolerant and have better self-control. So, I gather a happy person is easier to live with than one who is unhappy. Another quote I loved (her book is full of research findings and quotations) came from Oscar Wilde:
One is not always happy when one is good; but one is always good when one is happy.
Her weekly goals included
- Quit nagging
- Don't expect praise or appreciation
- Fight right
- No dumping
- Give proofs of love
I know I nag Bill when I find that the 'clean' dishes aren't really clean, but I sometimes miss spots, too (so he nags me back!) I'm beginning to wonder if we 'need' an automatic dishwasher, or just a special light over the sink? It would be nice to have more compliments on my cooking, but if he doesn't say something I really liked was good then I'm happy to say so myself. I'm just grateful that he eats 99% of things without complaint. As Gretchen discovered was important, most of what I do around this house I do for my own benefit, because I want to or believe it is my responsibility. If I discover that I resent doing something very much and I can't find a way to change my attitude, I generally just stop doing it!
We never have fought very much. I truly believe life is too short for such nonsense. However, we are still getting adjusted to both being retired and sharing the same space virtually 24/7. Well, eight rooms including the kitchen and garage but not the bathroom (cause we don't share it). I'm looking at the size of this house and asking 'How hard can it be?' I did a bit of internet research about adjusting to retirement and found a women's support group that had me in stitches, also counting my blessings; Bill is nothing like any of these men (which is why he is still alive, because I'm not like most of those women either!). It did me a world of good to put things into a better perspective. I think we've always been able to 'fight right', ie about a specific issue, not every grievance that ever occurred all at the same time, and without 'You always/never' accusations. In my view those are teenage tactics; grown ups have discussions.
Regrettably, I did practically nothing but dump on Bill (about my problems at work) for years. It is testament to his character that he didn't just murder me and tell God I died. I might have in his place. It was really Bill's request for this not to continue that caused me to make the leap from work to retirement. It didn't seem sane to keep at a job that not only made me miserable but him as well. Best decision I ever made.
As for giving proofs of love, I think we're pretty good about that, though not generally in the way of wildly dramatic and romantic gestures. I bought him a Valentine's card and he took me out to dinner, which was lovely, as we seldom go out.
Did you do anything special for Valentine's with your sweetie?