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Love Blindness

Remember falling in love? Remember how love blinded you to little things like the food wrappers and empty water bottles in his car or her need to stop at every rest area you passed? Remember noticing instead how hard he worked to raise money for that dog shelter or how she made your cranky old grandfather laugh so unselfconsciously and feeling blown away that this terrific person would choose you?

Love goes right on blinding us. Eventually, her playfulness and great sense of humor get noticed only when she takes them a step too far and makes your boss uncomfortable. His generosity gets noticed only when he loans money to a friend you know will never pay it back.

If you could actually see those great qualities as they get played out month after month and year after year in a million different ways, you would regain some of the awe and desire you felt back then. And you might be blinded to other things, like how often you're eating that same, unexciting potato salad with dinner or looking at sweaty workout clothes lying on top of the hamper.

You two have got a lot of living still ahead of you. How can you prepare to remember the really great stuff and feel so great again? Stories! If you write them, you can read them later. Read them often enough, and you'll be able to tell them from memory. You will have them at the tip of your tongue when you assume love and look for other versions of the distressing story of the moment.

Share these stories with your kids, and you'll give them valuable lessons in how to love, as well as strong confirmation of what great people they are descended from. There's a good chance they will share them with their own kids or grandkids, too, if you make it easy for them.

I'm no expert on writing these family stories in a way that makes them fun to read and share, but I know someone who is. Personal history author Beth LaMie offers free teleclasses on documenting family stories. Put your name on her mailing list; she announces at least two new classes every month, even when she fails to list them on the website.

Beth also has a terrific new book on how to write your stories. She will help you use all five senses to recognize stories worth writing and show you how to make them interesting to read again and again. As a bonus, if you have kids, you will find many tips to engage them in writing your family's stories, too.

Beth will have you reliving the surge of love that brought you two together and creating the legacy that will get you through some big challenges down the road. Think of it as marriage insurance.

Comments

Patty,
What a great blog about real love. I especially like the part about overlooking the little things that can irritate, in favor of the parts we appreciate.

So often, we don't remember to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. That is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about getting people to capture their family stories.

In fact, just one little story would make a wonderful gift to our fathers as a tribute on his special day. Make Father's Day more personal with your own story or card.

Beth

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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