Since Amois and I were married on Valentine’s Day, we also take the chance to celebrate our first date as an anniversary. It reminds us of the New England Fall, the leaves full of color, the crisp nights perfect for a walk, and the excitement of a new academic year. Over this past weekend, I was reminded of how lucky we are to still be in love. Amois was the one who found Life Coaching first. She got me into it. And with both of us being trained as Life Coaches, we couldn’t help but look back at those thirteen years and ask ourselves, “So what did we learn?”
I know that we’re really lucky. We’re just as much in love now as when we first met as 19 year olds and sophomores in college. If you ask some of our friends who know us from college days, they’ll report how syrupy-sweet giddy we were for months on end, ad nauseam.
Yet, the challenge of starting essentially a new field of Academic Life Coaching as a career and business while raising little kids has been a tremendous challenge. Sleep deprivation and dealing with the craziness that a 5 and 2 year old can create is tough. Being in love, making business work, and raising kids is a perfect trifecta of stress as well as living a rich, full life.
An idea we talked about over this weekend: Society places so much emphasis on being academically and traditionally successful, but almost no attention is placed on the importance of making the decision of marrying someone with the intention of spending the rest of your life together.
To help remedy the emphasis Amois and I have come up a short list with that we want our daughters to consider in order of importance in considering who to marry that I’d like to share with you:
- Be on the same page spirituality. You may come from different religions backgrounds, that’s fine. But it’s important that at the core you share an idea of who God is and how to relate to the Divine.
- The number and quality of the values you have in common. I’ve written lots on the importance of values. Briefly, for those unfamiliar with Life Coaching jargon, values are those aspects of your experience that you hold to be most important. They are the answer to the question, “What’s most important to you?’ and ‘Why?’ Your mother and I were lucky enough to share some big core values together, such as an interest in Life Coaching and debriefing and a curiosity in personal growth. We both love urban life yet share an appreciation for nature and outdoors. We agree on where to live and what kind of life style to have. The values that overlap and share outweigh the values that are different. Having different values are good too, but the balance is important.
- Your fights must be productive. Let’s face it. Any relationship involves some good fights, and your mother and I are good at it. By good at it, I one specific thing: you help each other grow. A fight is only productive if it causes someone or both of you to grow and change a pattern or habit.
Those are the Big 3. Admittedly #1 permeates everything and #2 covers a lot of ground. #3 is underrated but important nevertheless. And of course, there’s Love, but let’s take that as the given.
Oh, and when you grow up, I hope you still respect our parental opinion…