You’re probably reading this with spit up on your shoulder and a little something sticky you can’t quite identify on your arm. The room around is cluttered with toys and clothes. There is the distinct smell of urine coming from somewhere. And as you scroll through Facebook, and finally take a seat on the couch, you notice that a new zit has somehow manifested itself on your chin. Charming. The posts on Facebook make you cringe as you read about everyone else’s Valentine’s plans. You look up just in time to see your partner walk in the door. The tiredness rings around their eyes as they shuffle into the room and mumble something like a greeting, as they pass through the room.
A sigh wells up inside you as you contemplate what Valentine’s would be like without the spit up, and the urine and the zit. You scroll more. There is something bubbling up in you, and you begin to notice it’s not indigestion, it’s bitterness. You wish you can step away from all the responsibility and the laundry and celebrate the love you have for your partner in a truly beautiful way. But even summoning up the possibility of that happening just deflates your energy even more.
How could that even be possible? How could I get a way for even a few moments much less a date? And of course it all depends on me in this relationship… And the saga continues.
What do you really want Valentine’s to be like?
What do you want your marriage to be like?
You get to choose. Yes, it takes two people to be in a relationship. Yes, it is work. And, yes, it doesn’t always feel good, but you get to choose. You get to take responsibility for how your Valentine’s will go. You get to decide how you show up to the most important relationship you have in your life. I’m talking about your significant other, not netflix.
You can just choose. Right now.
I like to call it the donut of control. Partly because I love donuts. Like I could eat one at any time of the day, all day. But I digress.
There are very few things that you are in control of in this life. You can’t control how many flowers your partner will buy you, or how many zits are on your face. You can’t even control the offspring that is currently driving you bananas as you try to read this. No, friend there is only one thing you can control.
You. Your thoughts. Your mind. Your attitude. Nothing else is in your control.
Just let it sink in. I’ll wait and grab a donut.
So, where does the donut fit in? We often want to control all of the things in the outer ring of the donut. We want to control what other people think, or how they behave. We want to control the weather, or the school, or the house we live in.
We only have the hole in the middle of the donut to control. The outer ring is for things we can merely influence.
Here – I drew you a picture so you can see what I mean.
As you consider Valentine’s, you get to decide how you will spend it. You are responsible for how you show up to it. You can show up loving and caring for your partner. You can show up bitter and raging, or despondent and indifferent. It’s up to you. It is not up to them. Yes, they will show up with their own zits and their own expectations, but all of those things are out of your control.
You get to show up to Valentine’s in whatever way you choose. You already are. So might as well make it a conscious choice. Make it one that you really care about. That you can stand behind. It’s Valentine’s day. It’s your partner. How do you want to show up?
Take a moment and decide. This relationship is the bedrock of your home. It is foundational for your children. It is your responsibility, no one else’s. Your partner may be to blame for a lot of crazy stuff, but you can’t control any of that. You can only control you. You can only control how you will respond to your partner. Don’t lose sight of what you can do. Every decision matters. Don’t cast the blame, or claim you don’t have expectations. You get to decide. Chocolates or roses, pink negligee or kinky handcuffs. Simple movie night with candles. Falling asleep not mad for once. Giving him the benefit of the doubt. Giving her the hug she always talks about. Even the smallest of choices can turn the tide.
Remember the donut.
And have an amazing Valentine’s day of your choosing.
About the Author
Heather Davila is a Life Coach who helps you make better decisions. One at a time. She loves the crackle of a fire on a cold day and the laughter that erupts at her dinner table when someone burps. Heather is married to Jason, the man of her dreams, and mother of Thaddeus the Leader, Judah the Joyful, and Delia the Adventurer. Heather graduated out of CECPTA in May, and adores the organization and all who make it a reality.