Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Time for Strength - Weddings and Family Calamities

As I carried food from the great big refrigerator in our kitchen to our spill-over refrigerator in the garage, I thought: Maybe this is the Surprise of the Week.

In the middle of the afternoon, the fridge just stopped working. We called the Maytag guy and started cleaning the inside of the refrigerator. While making dinner. And getting ready for house guests. A great opportunity for complaining and fretting. But we didn't complain or fret. We just took care of business, one task at a time. She washed and I wiped. I thought, these are the personal strengths that are important right now - acceptance, decisiveness, initiative, composure, patience, and cooperation.

Something always happens, right? You never know what it's going to be. Some problem. Some challenge. Some calamity. Some crisis. Every day, dealing with issues here and there. And then, about once a week, something major. Par for the course. Deal with it.

I think about this kind of thing when I go to weddings. I once knew a guy who spent $2 million on his daughter's wedding. He wanted to get them started right. A great wedding doesn't do one damn thing to help a young couple get started right. None of this hoopla and ceremony and partying will help one tiny bit when the calamities and surprises start rolling in on a regular basis. When that happens, the only thing that matters is personal strength. If you want to get your married life off to a good start, what matters is choosing well.

What counts is when a whole lot of years later in the middle of a family crisis your spouse looks over at you, grins and says, "We make a good team."

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .


Sarcastic Bastard said...

A great wedding doesn't do one damn thing to help a young couple get started right.

Amen to that.

I am so glad you and Kathleen found each other. I love you both dearly.


Beth said...

Buck offered his daughter (my step-daughter) $5,000 in 1986 to "just go elope" and forget the big church wedding. A few years ago, she said, "Boy, dad, sure wish I had taken the $5,000 and walked. That wedding almost did us in before we even got started!" Luckily, love and friendship prevailed despite the wedding craziness . . .

KarenInVirginia said...

As my daughter's wedding nears- and I might be asked to make a toast at her wedding...I will remember your comment about "surprise of the week" and references to personal strengths. How right you are- hearing your spouse say to you "we make a good team" basically sums it up and says it all.