15 years and going strong…I think it’s safe to say I like my job. And I believe my co-workers would say the same thing. They’ve been around for a while too – the newbie has been there about 8 years and others more than 25 years. After being together for that long, we’ve definitely settled into a routine.
We’re in the process of hiring another staff member so as a manager, I felt the need to bring everyone together to hit the refresh button.
Don’t get me wrong…we have a good thing going. In fact, someone who was interviewed commented that our group was “like a family”. And I would agree.
But that’s where we could also get ourselves in trouble.
When things become so routine, we can easily forget that things we do or don’t do can still impact the group dynamic. And as I prepared for the staff meeting, I quickly realized that the same could be true at home.
Team building – How often do you & your spouse take the time to connect with God? After all, He’s part of the team too and “a cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) With the busyness of life, finding time to pray together is honestly a challenge for my husband & I. When I leave for work, he’s asleep. In the evenings, after a 12 hour day and a long commute, I’m pretty useless unless you count catching up on “The Voice”.
When I complained for the 100th time that we needed to figure this out, he finally said, “Bringing it up doesn’t do anything if we aren’t going to follow through” and he was right. We had to think outside the box. Since it seemed like our mornings & evenings were shot, we decided we would pray together during my break at work. It may not be the family prayer time we experienced growing up but it’s still an opportunity for us to connect with each other and God.
Common courtesies – I reminded the team at work that a little courtesy can go along way. At home, we can be guilty of taking things for granted and forget to just say “thank you”. These 2 simple words are something my husband & I try to consistently express and I truly believe it is one of the keys to a strong marriage. No matter how big or small the task, from washing the dishes to getting new tires for the car, everyone needs to feel appreciated.
Phone – Most companies have policies about personal calls at work…well, the Abrahams have created a little policy of our own. In a recent heart to heart conversation, I told my husband that I felt like he was always on his phone when we were in the car. Well, you can imagine how surprised I was when he said he actually felt that way about me. (It’s funny how 2 adults can remember things very differently). Regardless, the fact was that it was obviously an issue so we made a pledge: no more phone conversations with other people when we are in the car together. Honestly, some days, the car ride is the only chance he & I have to really talk so we have to make the most of it.
Doors – Instead of cubicles at work, we each have our own office with real walls and a real door. (There was a time that my office shared a door with the bathroom which is a whole other story). Some of us were keeping our doors pretty much closed throughout the day and for good reasons (noise, temperature, etc.).
In spite of the good reasons, a closed-door can still have a not so good effect. Communication is disrupted and before you know it, you are feeling disconnected. I didn’t want that for our team so I asked them to give open doors another chance.
How are we closing ourselves off in our marriages? We may have our own “good reasons” like hurt feelings or we’re just tired but it doesn’t change the potential negative impact. Don’t allow yourselves to disconnect from each other.
Our marriages deserve the kind of attention that we give to other areas of our lives…since we plan to be around for a while, let’s do our part to make it the best it can be.
Photo credit: Wendy Longo https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode