Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: August, 2013

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Marital Bliss

Finding that special someone to share your life with can be tough.  A blending of personalities, morals, values, shared financial views, intimacy, religious beliefs, child-rearing expectations – all compatibility traits needed to make a happy union.  This week’s blog, keeping the happiness going with your significant other, is written by Heather.  Holly wrote last week – we are taking turns at the end of the summer these last 2 weeks to allow for a little unplugging time for each of us!

We hear experts from time to time say that having a strong marriage is a lot of work.  While being in agreement with that, it shouldn’t be so hard all the time that you are missing out on the joy & the love.  Marriage is a give & take, shared responsibilities, creating a life together with a common goal of looking out for each other.  It’s healthy to do things together, but also separately.  Everything in moderation.  Even arguing is sometimes necessary to air out things that are bothering you.  Problems swept under the rug can fester and breed resentment.  Ever hear an old married couple, when asked about the secret to being married for 50 plus years, give the following advice: “We never went to bed angry.”  Well, sometimes that’s impossible – especially when you’re tired at night and irritable; you’re in no mood to compromise or see the other person’s point of view!  We love the saying “agree to disagree” around here!  When you wake up, the day is anew, you have fresh perspective, and a much better frame of mind to discuss a big topic.  Always keep communications open; that is so important.

These are some things to keep on your “happily married” checklist:  Make time for just the two of you – once a week, once a month, a get-a-way once a year, anything to focus on your couple time.  Discuss the future – where you want to grow old together, things you want to do, vacations you want to take.  Check in with each other during the day while you are working or running errands, even if it’s just a quick call.  Let your children see a united parenting front, healthy for all involved!  Keep the “I love you’s” flowing freely, and the hugs!  The power of human touch is very bonding, even just sitting close together on the couch while watching tv or reading.

Anything you’d like to add to this list?

Keeping happiness in our lives with the person we have chosen to love and trust, has a connection to keeping happiness in our world – it helps you exude a contented and peaceful attitude in your interactions with others.

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Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Work With Integrity

There are many ways you can serve your community. We mostly think about volunteerism when we think about public service. But there are many jobs in our communities that are funded by our tax dollars. This week’s blog is not about different ways to serve but about how you serve and the way you treat people.  This week’s blog is written by Holly and based on an experience she had earlier this week.

We feel that when a person accepts a job offer and begins that career, they should do it well and to the best of their ability. Between us, we have had some of the lowest paying jobs you can imagine (not enough to even provide a living wage). We have also had some higher paying jobs at different points in our lives. No matter what the income or work responsibility, we always work with integrity. This is something our father and mother taught us. Conditions might not always be perfect, but once you say “yes”, work hard and work kindly.

Public servants, we feel, have a great responsibility to do their jobs honestly and fairly as they work and sometimes even live in the communities in which they serve. We say, if you don’t enjoy working around people, maybe you should re-think what you are doing. Taking out your frustrations with your job or your salary on the people who come to you for your service is wrong. We don’t like being talked rudely to or justifying a certain position we may have within our communities because a disgruntled employee on the other end of the conversation is unhappy. We don’t deserve that – no one does!

If we all try to live and work with integrity, maybe it will be contagious. And maybe “do unto others as they would do unto you” will make our collective communities stronger and kinder.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: “Me Time” is Healthy!

Do you take some time for yourself every now and again? Do something you really enjoy, just for you? Sometimes we can get caught up in the daily stresses of life, caring for our families, households and jobs and neglect to do something just for ourselves every once in a while. We feel guilty taking some “me” time when it’s not benefitting anybody else. But we shouldn’t feel guilty.  Recognize that it’s actually good for others when we focus on our own happiness now and again. You are a better parent, spouse and friend when you do things you enjoy.  You have more patience and an elevated mood and that in turn puts positivity out into the world.  It is healthy to take a little time for yourself, necessary for your mental well-being & happiness.

So, what to do if you only have a little time here and there?  Get into a good book, take a walk or see a movie.  How about the next time you go to the grocery store you buy something that you love to eat, even though you usually don’t because no one else does?  Don’t you buy everyone else their favorite snacks?  Why not yourself?  Finish or start a fulfilling craft or do-it-yourself project.  If you have a little more time, make an appointment for a day at the spa.  Take a class in something you enjoy, just for fun, be it photography, cooking or yoga.

It’s nice if you can find a little time to carve out for yourself everyday but if that’s hard, try at least once a week.  It’s important to re-charge & re-fresh.  Don’t feel guilty about focusing on yourself, know that your happy mood will be carried out in all of your interactions in life!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Be Kind to Animals!

We grew up always having a pet in our home: dogs, hamsters, fish, birds, guinea pigs, hermit crabs and an occasional visit from our grandma’s cat. They usually all got along, except for one dog who hated a parrot we had. Sometimes they lived for well over a decade, and sometimes just a weekend – carnival goldfish we won and named “ham” & “eggs”:(  We loved our animals and sometimes feel sad we are no longer able to have anything with fur in either of our households due to family members with asthma.  Yes, even hypoallergenic dogs make our loved ones suffer.  But that does not stop us from loving animals and continually trying to think of new species that won’t make anyone sick.

Bird feathers are fine so we can enjoy the company of our fine-feathered friends.  Also, adopting a stray cat is rewarding.  It lives outside (we trapped it, got it neutered & vaccinated) but you always worry about its safety in the elements.  Recently we babysat a baby duck.  He was the sweetest thing ever but when ducks grow up, space is a problem, not to mention the poop everywhere!  If allergies are a concern in your home, consider volunteering at an animal shelter or donating to no-kill shelters.  Animals can bring such unconditional love & happiness to our lives.  They deserve our kindness & safe-keeping.  Does anyone know anything about a teacup pig? We really want one!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: The Art of Relating

There is a dance to conversing and relating with others – a give and take. When that becomes one-sided, it throws off the harmonious balance in a relationship.

Sometimes there is a talker; one person who wants to tell every detail of what’s going on in his life.  All of his stories are important and there is no room for you to interject in the conversation.  Then there is the listener.  She wants to hear everything going on in your life and asks you lots of detailed questions but never herself will share her stories.  Also in the mix is the person that will confide in you in private, or that person with whom you can have really great one on one time doing things with, but she can never let the public know you are friends.  There are no pictures of you together or comments on social media; being ignored in a group when “better” people are around.  What is wrong with all of these pictures?

All people have their quirks, their baggage, something they bring to the table that prevents them from being themselves – past hurts, a fear of sharing or an eagerness to overshare and be heard.  It’s time to break free of the social ineptitude and just be yourself.  Like someone if you want to or choose not to invest time in the relationship.  Acknowledge friendships all the time, not just in certain settings.  Be a good listener and share your feelings with others.  Maintain the balance, as best as you can, in all of your relationships, the give and take.  We all need each other; let’s be loving.

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