I’ve been procrastinating/purposefully ignoring, this, week 3 of the 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life challenge. It’s one thing to dig deep within myself and figure out “me”, it’s another kettle of fish trying to figure out my whole family.
Week #3 Challenge: Creating A Family Mission Statement
“1. Review your values from week 2 and in preparation for this chat have your partner do the values exercise too if they have not yet done so.”
Obviously, Deb has never met my husband. Asking him what he feels about something is sort of like asking the Pope to explain to you the technical side of surfing. I got the answer, “I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it” a lot. Ultimately, he just wants, “to be a good person, to have a happy marriage and family.” Ahhh, simplicity. My husband didn’t grow up in a family that talked about values, goals, or dreams so these kinds of conversations are difficult for him.
It’s not a slight against my husband, it’s just the way he was raised. To be fair, I blind-sided him with probing questions in the car on the way home from Thomas the Tank Engine Saturda. I figured while N was asleep I would take the opportunity to talk about our family mission statement.
We tackled a few of the questions on Deb’s list:
If people talked about our family how would we want them to describe us?
Happy, good together, in love/loving, supportive, patient.
If you could create a perfect day what would it include?
Sleep in, hanky panky (guess who’s this was), good coffee, breakfast at the beach, quality time, relaxing.
Are there things we see other families do or how they behave that we would like to have in our home life?
Patience, adventure, spontaneity.
If you won lotto, and money was not an option, how would you spend your time? (this was my question to him)
Cars and travel. (I mentioned the cars – buying a house with a massive shed where he could work on whatever he wanted, he mentioned the travel).
It was interesting to me that my husband responded to the questions in terms of me and him. I responded in terms of the 3 of us.
We didn’t get to continue our conversation last night because he had a headache (probably from all my questions) and went to bed while I watched the tennis. Priorities, right?
This probably defeats the whole purpose of this activity, me essentially doing it for him, but I feel he came up with the answers on his own, even if he was guided by my questions. From the notes I made during our conversation (poor guy probably felt like he was being interrogated), I have made a list of my husband’s values. I can’t say what order he would put them in, but I think I have a fairly good idea.
2. Work Ethic
4. Personal Growth
In terms of what we want for Nick, what we want to instill in him and raise him to value, we were very much on the same page. Family, honesty/integrity, strength (character), caring, loving, kind, accepting, patient, easy going, supportive, are all words we thought of for Nick. Things we want to teach him.
One thing that came up was that neither of us have particularly fond memories of our childhood, and we don’t want that for Nick. I know each generation thinks they are better parents than the one before, and we make the best play with the hand we are dealt with at any given time.
All that process to get to this. Our family mission statement.
Always supportive and encouraging of one another, we will show kindness, love and affection each day. We will seek out new experiences with open minds and hearts, allowing for positive personal growth and development. We will be understanding and accepting of our differences and of the differences of those around us. We will be humble and forgiving. We will be thankful for each other and the many blessings in our lives. We will nurture and protect each other, our family and our friendships.
This was hard. There are so many things I could add, making this mission statement a 10 page bound and sealed document. But I really wanted to focus on what I think we as a family can realistically strive to be on a daily basis – kind, caring, supportive, thankful, humble, always looking for ways to learn from our experiences. In the end, I am believing more and more that this is the meaning of life.
It’s not too late to join in with Deb and those of us participating in her 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life challenge. Join in where you want, catch up if you want, link up if you want, or don’t. At least read the challenges and give yourself some food for thought.