Week 3 {52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life}

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.

1. Family
2. Work Ethic
3. Happiness
4. Personal Growth
5. Patience

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.

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18 thoughts on “Week 3 {52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life}

  1. I think you did a fab job – and I too was the author of our statement – but getting my husband and kids to answer questions (and my hubby to do his values) gave me the bones to flesh out. Then when I read it back to them they had a chance to say if it was not right…

    Also if you r starting point was never talking about stuff like this then you just moved a whole heap of steps in the right direction. i could not imagine someone going from having no input to suddenly wanting to draft a statement. you guys found your way together and it can evolve with you. From your husband’s answers I think I got a clear picture of him and what he wants and that was the aim.

    • As I thought, he’s been giving our conversation a lot of thought since Saturday afternoon. I thought he might. He is good at thinking about things once they’re planted in his mind. I’m excited to see what other conversations come of this and it’s nice to have something “new” to talk about.

  2. I think you did a great job! I had the same situation with my husband!! But I tackled him and my children (it was painful 🙂 ) but we got through!! I like your mission statement!!! Good luck for the rest of the challenge 🙂

    • I should ask our 3.5 year old some questions just to get his answers. Kids do say the cutest things!! Thanks for stopping by and good luck to you too, look forward to reading more of your challenges.

  3. At least you got him to answer some of the questions! I think that was fantastic. I think its a great starting place…maybe by the end of year he’ll be answering them all…crossing my fingers thats what mine does! Thanks for visiting my blog I really appreciate the comments!

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting back! I hope your husband comes through on the answers for you. Mine has been thinking about it, he says, so that is a step in the right direction!

  4. you put this post together very well!! Good on you for tackling it with your plus one – i hope now that he has rested and had some time to think that it will be an evolving conversation for you both… one step at a time xx

    • Yes, baby steps! And he says he HAS been thinking about our conversation, so that is good. Maybe once the Aussie Open is over I’ll have time to talk to him about it some more 😉 LOL!

  5. My husband sounds a bit like yours. For him it is cultural as well but I admire the fact that he humoured me by answering some of my questions and then the conversation turned quite deep and I think we both got a lot out of it.

    I like your mission statement- we also had to think of ours in terms of the four of us except our two littlies are not quite up for the values and mission statement talk yet.

    I liked your humble and forgiving line. This is something I perhaps should of thought of for ours as well.

    • I’m glad he humoured you! I think most men probably CAN think about these things with some gentle guidance, they just wouldn’t on their own and you can’t demand it out of them. Our little guy is probably a bit too young to talk about it, too. I’m reminded every day I go to work about how important being humble is, because I work at a place that has a lot of overly proud (ignorant!) people! 🙂

  6. Love your post. I defo think men are from mars sometimes. My husband likes to say he has 3 feelings now – happy, sad and sorry. Just completely different to women. I wrote ours too, but he did contribute quite a few of the words and thoughts so it was nice to be get him involved.
    I really like your comments about wanting a happier childhood for your son. I would agree with that too, and we have started to realise that we have to put effort into thinking what we do want/how we are going to make it different (not just what its not going to be). Little steps like this are so positive towards that goal I think.
    Thanks for sharing. It was a great read.

    • Thanks Steph. You make such a good point. It’s not enough to say “I want a better childhood for my son” we have to actually figure out HOW we’re going to do that and then DO it! Glad you got your husband involved a little bit – a little bit to us is a big bit to them!

  7. Thanks for it lining your process. The part that most interested me was your discussion of what you want for your son. I’m still working on my statement but that’s been in my mind as I think about how to craft mine. I do like your statement very much. I’ve now read three that have some similar themes but are all so beautiful and resonate with me. Maybe I’d better top reading everyone else’s otherwise I might not be able to come up with anything original!

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