How do you celebrate your most memorable life occasions?
From previous blogs, you know I am a very sensitive person, an incurable romantic. I suck up the good times and savor them. When life’s turbulence bounces me around, I look back on the especially memorable times of my life. Then I feel joyfully grounded. Positive Reminiscence is the gift that keeps on giving. Armed with my iPhone velcroed in my hands, I am on alert to photograph my reverie. I want to make the good feelings last forever. Make that a double delight if there is a flower nearby to trip my trigger of awe.
What is positive reminiscence, and why is it so important in your life?
Famed positive psychology researcher, Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her book, “The How of Happiness”, defines positive reminiscence as “…the ability to savor the positive experiences in your life. It is one of the most important ingredients of happiness.” It helps you to remember the good times and re-frame your mood to positivity when your difficult life circumstances throw a monkey wrench into your day.
What is savoring, and how do you harness it?
Think of savoring as having a past, present and future.
Pause to remember your past. Be aware. Do a mindful mental scan. Add a feeling scan for the times you and your partner made memories. Times when you savored your good old days together. Your meeting, your partnering or marriage, the birth of your kids, trips or adventures. Rack up the sweet milestones you have shared. And play them over again.
In the present, you savor being with your partner by mindful listening. By being wholly with them and relishing your NOW together. You notice and smile when you get into fun FLOW. You express GRATITUDE in the present. You connect everyday.
And what about the future? You savor it by anticipating and fantasizing about what upcoming positive events you will create. Fun future meandering with hope and promise gracing your senses. Looking forward to life in a similar direction. And if your life together is lovely but you are both quite independent, make times to plan to share together. Be interested in your partner and happily support and celebrate their accomplishments. Accept your mutual independence.
Thirty years ago…A legacy of love took wing.
Can you recall a time when you and your partner were planning, perusing and/or savoring an upcoming major event?
Maybe you were not even born 30 years ago! Life passes by so quickly, it is often hard to wrap your brain around time. The essence of it. How fast life appears like a blip on your radar screen and vanishes into thin air. That is why the great times in your life are so very important to savor. To remember and smile. Positive reminiscing, especially the older you get, sets the stage for positive emotions to frequently step up to the forefront. To be grateful for your lovely memories. To bask in their glory one more time. Ahhh…Look for the good, our positive psychology mantra, and positive emotions ignite the sparkling happy times. You relive the magic. How wonderful!
Ken and I eloped.
Yes, this very day 30 years ago, Ken and I were in our own French Polynesian island paradise, Moorea, humming Carly Simon’s sweet son, “Anticipation.” We were head over heels in love. I never dreamed he would trot into my life on his white horse and swoop me up. But despite my protestations and honesty that I did not want to remarry, Ken’s super sales acumen, charm, and smiling tenacity won me over. I really made him work hard. But his diligence and character won my heart. Understatement. Ken is a great man I admire, respect, and adore. As his partner, I joyfully learned love can last.
Not that we haven’t been on roller coaster rides. We have traversed and explored the world with our own peaks and valleys. But real love is like powerful superglue. Passion for togetherness, intimacy and closeness, and commitment through al the BS life has thrown at us, we are still smiling. Marrying Ken was the best decision of my life. He has been my rock, my joy, my consummate supporter, and my wise sage on days when my judgement was vanquished. I swear I don’t know who else could have put with my career. My emergency calls from clients at all hours of the night, my work ethic, my years of being gone to care for my mom…I could go on and on, but my Ken has been and still is there for me. I am truly one of the lucky ones in love.
Yes, it took me till my late 30’s to get love right.
HOPE is a very powerful emotion and character strength. And Ken has HOPE and GRATITUDE in spades. OPTIMISM is his middle name. Despite major health issues, and his need for privacy about them, his ZEST for life remains solid. We share and care. We tell ourselves every day how lucky we are. He quietly smiles and puts up with my need to photograph, well, everything in my sight! I think one major key is we honor each other and our many differences. He lets me be me, and I let him be him. We appreciate how we compliment each other. Strawberries and cream. Even the days when the cream goes a bit sour or the strawberries are a tad too ripe. Letting go is key.
Today I celebrate LOVE, POSITIVE REMINISCING, and GRATITUDE. I hope you are blessed with a partner in life who is as special as Ken. If not, I hope you harness positive visioning to shine a light on a happy future with someone you love. That is if you chose to. There are no happy hermits. But maybe you are happy in your own skin alone. If so, I salute your self esteem and choice. And if you have lost a partner, I pray your great times sustain you. Even if you had a break up, I bet there are good times that made you smile. I pray so. And that you remember them and savor them.
Today I salute my intelligent, dedicated, loyal, kind and super supportive Ken and our life and family.
The day we married Ken, I gained another son and a daughter. It was a WOW time of celebration. It opened the doors to a more brilliant life I cherish and appreciate. I savor our wedding photos and smile.
Maybe you are wondering what we are doing to celebrate our 30th anniversary. This morning, I called my favorite local Wisconsin radio station, my old radio days stomping ground. I had three decades at that studio. I asked them to play for Ken the song my beloved friend and talk show host, Ron Zimmerman, surprised us with over 20 years ago, Carly Simon’s hit “Hello Big Man.”Â The lyrics begin with, “Hello, little woman, hello big man.” Fitting.
Ron was right. This song was us. He frequently reminded me Ken was a courageous man. He hoisted the 5′ 1″ of me up onto his broad 6′ 3″ shoulders. He gifted me with new positivity perspectives. A meta-view of all that was right, good, generous and beautiful in the world. Ken became my gentle yet powerful warrior advocate whose light ignited a fire within me. He spotlighted the goodness and blessings we shared together. And looked blamed handsome and dressed better than I did! We were and still are odd, but loving bookends.
I hope Ron is looking down from heaven and smiling. It was always fun when out of nowhere listening to his show he’d play our song. The one he chose for us. Great guy. And oh did he and I bantering when we appeared together on the radio. And how funny and cool, Ron had no idea how the lyrics in the song hit home for us. I love serendipity. I used to work the switchboard when I was in college. And Ken’s entrepreneur dream was to start a company son Jason would one day take over. And he did. Life is surely fascinating!
Hope you enjoy our marriage photos from Moorea, French Polynesia, 30 years ago today.
I’d love to see your wedding photos, too, if the spirit moves you to send them to me.
Though we have no special plans for today, in a few months, we hope to take most probably our last cruise to the British isles. We both have Irish descendants and I am Scottish as well. Watch for FB photos in September this year if the universe gifts us with good health and vitality.
Please keep sharing and celebrating your life.
Reminisce the big deal occasions but also the little things, too. Savor them, embrace them, and pay forward your love and joy.
Thanks for your sharing our special day with us. Hope your memories elevate your life, too.
Smiles of positive reminiscing and present day love and hugs to you,
P.S. I also wanted to mention Ken’s favorite mantra book, “As A Man Thinketh.” He asked me to read it when we were first dating as he said it would help me understand his values and how he thought. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and still do.Perhaps share it with your loved ones, daughters as well as sons. Despite its age, published in 1903, the values and wisdom are still insightful, heart-warming and relevant. It is positive psychology in action decades before positive psychology was a science.
“As a Man Thinketh” is a literary essay by James Allen. It was described by Allen as “… dealing with the power of thought, and particularly with the use and application of thought to happy and beautiful issues. Allen has tried to make the book simple, so that all can easily grasp and follow its teaching, and put into practice the methods which it advises. It shows how, in his own thought world, each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life, and that, by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts, he may remake his life, and transform his circumstances. It was also described by Allen as “A book that will help you to help yourself”, “A pocket companion for thoughtful people”, and “A book on the power and right application of thought.
P.P.S. If you and your partner want to enhance and enlighten your relationship and savor eye-opening fun, take the Values in Action Survey (VIA). Be fascinated as you discover your 24 character strengths. Notice how you are alike and how you are complimentary. Ken was amazed at how different our strengths are but how well they compliment us. Knowing our strengths surely helped us understand his cognitive strengths like judgment, critical thinking and honesty and my transcendent ones. Why art and appreciation of beauty and excellence, ability to love, and gratitude are so important to me. Hope you have a blast playing with your strengths constellations. Each strength is a star!