Beg, Borrow, Buy or Steal....
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
The newest option is to rent a gown rather than buying one. My friend who was about to make her first wedding said she heard about this. She asked why she should pay so much money and not even get to keep her gown? I responded -that's the advantage!! You don't want to start accumulating these gowns if you can help it. No kid of yours is going to pick the same color scheme for gowns for the next wedding. You just accumulate this rainbow of gowns that you never wear again. You run out of place to store it. You yourself then become a gown gemach/lender for others. After all, when are you going to wear a mint green or bright purple gown again. Only at your own affair, can you get away with this!
Now let's talk about the actual bride's gown. A generation or two ago, brides bought their own gowns. Then they cleaned and preserved it, hanging or boxing it. They emotionally projected, one day their child would love to wear it! Never did they realize, that when their child actually took one look at it, they’d go into gales of laughter or polite conversation. You wore that? I don't think that's my look. But, I'm sure it looked great on you! As similar as bride’s gowns are, somehow each person has a look that feels right to them.
Most bride's gowns take up even more room than regular ones. They hoop, they bustle, they flare, a lot! Then there is also the long, flowing train .... You almost have to take a train to the next stop to be in the same room with the gown. Who has that kind of room in their house? And when you start keeping all the bridesmaids and mother of the bride gowns, you practically have to give away your regular wardrobe to find place for them. What a pleasure to give it back to someone.
Sometimes you fantasize you'll cut the gown down and wear it as a dress after the event. Raise your hand if you are one of the few who actually carried out this plan! I know one young lady who did. And guess what, a few weeks later another friend of hers decided to use that same color for her bridesmaids. Go figure, the one efficient person still got stuck getting another replacement gown.
It doesn't mean no one makes up gowns anymore. Sure they do. But there's not just the price to pay, in money, there's the price to pay in time. You've got to keep going back for fittings! Like, can't they figure out you're a size 2 or 4 or 6 or 8 and just copy that. Oh no this is made just for you! And there's a spot on your body that's a 2, a 4, a 6, an 8, or 10 or 12 etc..... - and they are going to make it work just for your every inch. But you have other things to do with your life...!
Now, I'm not saying you can't always opt to buy something. But, even that takes a lot of luck and foot work. You don't usually walk in to the first place and find something, or second or third or fourth ....
There's always ordering online ......but that can keep you pretty busy too!
The greatest thing is when you hear someone wore a gown your exact color. And it was Gorgeous! And it was just your look. And she's exactly your size! And someone even asked her and she'd be willing to lend it to you......if only it was hers! She got it from a Gemach- in Lakewood no less. Go figure that besides 9,000 available black hat learners, they have these "Oscar de la Renta- like gowns" in some random basement in Lakewood.
Look at the lucky men.... They just have to decide which tie to wear! Oh and trust me, they can be as busy with that as you are with your gowns. After all, matter expands to fill the space allotted! A woman is usually dealing with every aspect of a wedding, right up, to the last minute. A man is still deciding which tie to wear, right up to the last minute. And then he's still not sure he made the right decision! "Are you sure you like this tie the best?"
Can we do it all any differently? No, I don't think so? We've covered every possibility. Beg, borrow, buy, steal! I don't think there's anything left. And honestly, if you’re not busy picking out a gown you'd be busy anyway picking out the flower arrangement or table cloths. And that you don't even get to schlep around with you all night.
So whatever option you chose.... Just try to look your best and feel your happiest. Because as important as it to you to have that gown ready to go, pressed, and poofed, the day of the affair, a day later you want it anywhere but in your space.
Enjoy good times. However, enwrapped you get there!Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com
You Nailed It
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
I passed by this store the other day, Jeannine's Dream, such a wonderful name. Had such a lilt to it. Such promise. Such fantasy. The thing is, only the name was still there. So what was coming to fill this now empty space? Close your eyes -wiggle your fingers and toes, and I bet you can guess it? Another nail salon!
Have I missed something? Do people now have a hidden extra hand or foot? Is this a front for something else?! These places are popping up faster than Starbucks. You can't walk a half a block without feeling you should probably replace Spanish with Mandarin, as your second language. Isn't it true that these places keep introducing methods to keep your polish on longer and longer, so how is it that people are going more?
Years ago someone said it’s amazing that Haagen-Dazs can charge so much for their ice cream. And a psychologically, business savvy person explained. Everything is getting to be expensive. Yet people want to be able to feel they can afford luxury, be able to buy the best of something. This Haagen-Dazs was a solution. Though it was way more expensive than a standard ice cream at the time. It was still a cheap expenditure to get the top of the line of something. Okay, so what does that have to do with nail salons?
I'm thinking, well you can't always run and get a massage to feel relaxed, a soothing facial, or a new makeup makeover. But, maybe a little pampering for your hands or feet, maybe that's the luxury you have time for. And for a few days, afterwards, as you glimpse at your embellished finger tips you can feel that tiny bit of, time for me, coming back to you!
Still there are a few aspects of this experience I seriously commend people for having the patience to go through. In these days of loving immediacy, I admire those who can sit patiently under that little fan or heater, blowing their nail polish dry. The problem is there's no exact formula as to how long to sit there and if you're off by one second so is your nail polish.
The other question I have is this, why is it that, even though they are using the exact same polish, on the exact same genetically constructed human being, the polish they put on your toes lasts like a month or two and on your fingers for like a minute?! And why do they need to use that file? Isn't there some gentler way of shaping nails? I feel like they stuck me in a class room and are scratching the black board over and over again.
I do recognize that in these places it is not all about fingers and toes. They usually have these secret little rooms in the rear. Because another service they offer is waxing. What's interesting to note about this is that totally separate salons exist to style, color, straighten, curl, shape, and blow your hair to perfection. These even provide a service to add more of it, by supplying extensions. But when you need it removed you go to a nail salon. Why is it that hair on your head is an enhancement to be continually embellished and yet anywhere else, important to rip off?! And how'd that become a nail association not a hair one?
What's really nice though, is sometimes when you go there, if they are not busy, someone will give you a manicure while someone else does your pedicure and a very talented person will give you a great shoulder massage. That's another talent they all seem to have in their pocket. And who can resist that? Other times it's just a great way to spend a few quality minutes with a friend between running here or there.
I've got to say, at least it fills the empty store fronts with something other than another place to eat. Because we seem to need to try any new eatery. So perhaps it's good to have a place we keep our fingers away from feeding ourselves.
All and all maybe it is a dreamy thing to do. Just to get a little respite in a busy life and even a little extra pampering!Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com
Where Do the Jewish People Get the Strength to Go On?
I am awed by this child of our people. Today Orit has lost the sweet innocence of youth. She has met indescribable tragedy face on.
And yet she refuses to utterly crumble. Her voice is strong despite the tears. There is a passion, a conviction that fills the room where thousands of mourners gather in silent sadness. I can hear the whimpers in the crowd, the sighs of weariness from still another killing. But she, this child of our people, does not yield.
“Abba sheli, Abba sheli” – my father, my father, “I love you so.”
Orit’s tears pull at my heart. The raw grief is agonizing, grueling to witness.
“My beloved father, I can’t believe we are parting. Just a moment ago you held me and told me that you’ll never leave but now God has taken you.”
Describing her father, one cannot help but be moved by the goodness that he must have transmitted to his children each day.
“You gave me your heart, Abba. You accepted us for who we are. If we did wrong you never left us for a moment… Thank you for everything. Thank you for the times you rebuked me and for showing me the right path. You were the best Abba in the world“
And then the blanket of darkness is lifted for a moment. A flicker of light shines through the pain.
“See us Abba. See us. We are broken. Broken! But so strong Abba, because of you. Because of your teaching us, you and Ema. See what strong children you have raised.”
“We need you. We miss you. Pray for us and pray for Ema that she should rise because we need a mommy. Thank you Abba for all you have given me. My faith. I am a believer. We will go on with your faith. Watch over us my Abba.”
Ours is a story unlike any other nation. Persecution, destruction of our holy Temples, crusades, inquisition, Holocaust, exile, vicious anti-Semitism, and now, savage killings of our people. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply give in to despair?
Tehila Mark, wounded in the terror attack, attends her father’s funeral.
From where does a child like Orit gain this body armor of faith? How can she go on? How can we go on proclaiming our belief in God and love for our people and our land? From whence the courage?
When I was a little girl I grew up with stories of the Holocaust. My father lost his entire family. My mother survived Bergen-Belsen along with her parents and two brothers but grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins perished in the flames of the crematoria.
My mother would describe to us and our children how each week my grandfather would not eat the moldy pieces of hardened bread he received. Instead he would hide his crust and save it for Shabbos.
When Friday night would come my grandfather would gather his children and my grandmother.
“Close your eyes,” he would whisper. “Imagine that we are home. Mama has hot challah, can you smell it? The Shabbos candles are lit, they are dancing. The white cloth is on the table, we are all sitting together.”
My Grandfather, Zayda, would give out his precious portions of hard bread that he had saved and then begin to hum ‘Shalom Aleichem,’ welcome to the angels of Shabbos.
One week my uncle, then just a little boy asked “Tatty (father), where are the angels? I see no angels here in this terrible place?”
My Zaydah began to cry. “But of course there are angels here. You, my children, you are the angels of Shabbos.”
My mother would never forget those words. She passed the legacy down to us, our children and our children’s children.
There were times that she would be forced to stand in the deep and freezing snow at roll call. Her head was shaven. There were lice and vermin. She was shivering in the cold. The Nazi guards would be laughing, warm in their fur-lined thick woolen coats and shiny black boots, rifles in hand. The German Shepard dogs would be barking ferociously. But through it all, my mother never wished to be one of them. She never doubted for a moment that she was a daughter of Israel, a child of the Jewish people. She was an angel of Shabbos.
This has been the secret that has kept us strong and emboldened us as we faced the fires of destruction.
No matter the hatred of the world, the threats of Iran, the rabid BDS movement, the chilling stabbings, shootings and killings that drench the ground with our blood we know that we, as a nation of God, will survive. We live today with this truth. We have been scattered throughout the four corners of this earth, many have pronounced us as dead and yet here we are. A new generation has been born. Despite the pain our sons and daughters declare their faith, hold onto our traditions and embrace the legacy of their fathers and mothers.
So to you, dear Orit, I salute you, my dear child.
You have stood up and defied those who want to wipe us off the face of this earth and throw us back into the sea. You have chosen to declare with all your soul that you, too, are an angel of Shabbos. You will continue to bring the light of your faith to this dark world of ours. The road ahead will be filled with bittersweet moments. One day, with God’s help, you will be standing under the chuppah ready to build a home of your own. You will look around and wish your father could be holding your hand. But he is, Orit! He is watching over you from above. He has created footsteps for you to walk in. Take all his teachings and his love; kindle his flame of faith. You have made him proud and you have given strength and pride to your people.
May God bless you and wipe away your tears.
After All, It's Just A Salad!!!
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
My daughter says I write about food a lot. Is that any surprise to you? After all, we eat a lot!!!
We also think about food a lot. And talk about food a lot. In fact, it seems the only time we're not talking about eating is when we're talking about -'not eating'!! You know like: " I need to go on a diet." "I need to stop eating so much." "Shevuoth killed me out, I ate way too much!" I just started the best diet ".
It's funny, we want to go to the wedding with the most fantastic catering, a kiddush with the most delicious food, and a restaurant with the most well flavored delicacies. Yet, at the exact same time, we totally do not want to be there!
The only place we feel we can have real control of our diets is at our own home. That is -until something gets in the way:
- For example:
If we even feel one iota of stress - All bets are off. Then all food cabinets are fair game!
-Or If we serve dinner to our kid and then they leave some left overs on their plate. How can we resist Gd's perfectly constructed french fry? And what's a french fry without a dip in the ketchup, and of course a bite or two of the hot dog respectfully accompanying it?!
I'm not saying I don't have the discipline to eat a salad. I do. But if you partake in anyone's but your own it's highly suspect these days. The problem is the greens are just a cover-up. There are more fattening items floating around in today's salads than are served in any desert. And at least with desert no one tricks you by calling it a salad.
There are croutons, caramelized nuts, terra chips, potato sticks, bread crumbs, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, and more Nuevo-vegetables. There may even be some cake, candy, and ice cream floating around in there, everything goes. They call it a salad, you eat it, and then 50,000 calories later you suddenly get it, that just because they threw some leaves into a virtual candy store it does not make it a salad Bar!
Don't get me wrong, I love food just as much as the next guy. Though, I didn't as a kid! In fact, I'd like to get my hands on the person who straightened me out! In those days food was irrelevant to me. I'd eat a bar of Philadelphia cream cheese and I was good for a week. Now if it's not enhanced by being wrapped around a cheese cake, who even looks at it?!
They say Jews are about the food and Non-Jews the drinking. But then they seem to miss out on the fun of talking about it - Probably cause they have no memory of the event. On the other hand -We can reminisce for hours!! "That appetizer.... was it good! It was so amazing, some sort of meat and caramelized onions in a pie crust and that sauce.... What about that soup encrusted and delivered in an edible bread basket? Oh yes I did! Ate every last bite of that bowl! And the main dish...what a marsala sauce. And what was that desert- hot mouse or chocolate soufflé?! Whatever!!! I was just too stuffed to eat another bite!! What do you mean there was a Viennese table??? Where? When? Why didn’t I see it?!! "
Though, I did get to take a steaming hot chocolate chip cookie from the lobby for the ride home. You know, I had to, what if we hit traffic?!
I'm not saying there's no other topic that people talk about. Sometimes, for example, we do discuss, business, politics, kids, and clothing. But, in all honesty, I'm just pointing out the obvious, all that just seems to be an intermezzo -between talking about one eating experience and another!
Is this a bit of an exaggeration? Probably! How I like to think of it is, as us demonstrating "appreciation" for all the wonderful taste sensations our creator brought into the world. And not just once in a blue moon, but over and over and over again! Wow look at that, what an amazing group of people we are?!Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com
Why Your Son Doesn’t Talk to You
A couple approached me to speak about their 14 year old son.
“I try so hard but my son just won’t talk to me,” the father said. “It’s not like he sits there talking with my wife all day but to me, he is a total zombie. I even offered to take him to a basketball game with his favorite team, best seats in the house. The entire time he just sat texting on his phone. Not a word between us except when he wanted to get a Coke. I can’t understand it.”
I told this father that I don’t mean to be hurtful or blaming but I just have one question: “All these years when you would drive your son to soccer or baseball, when he would ask you to play with him or read a book, even while you were out catching a bite together, were you checking your phone? If that’s the behavior he saw, he is simply doing what you did with him. He thinks it’s perfectly normal.”
The parents looked at each other and from their faces I saw that there was nothing left to say. Regret is a most painful emotion for us to carry.
And how are these sons and daughters going to relate to their own children and spouses? What does the future hold for families down the road?
Most people have become attached to their phones. I know men and women who sleep with their phones on all night, at their bedsides. Teens do the same. We go out to eat and believe we are spending quality time but our phones are on the table. We cannot miss a ping.
Family life requires focus. We need to hear, to see and to listen. Children need to feel cherished. Spouses need to feel as if they are not invisible. After a while, we stop believing that we are relevant. If you cannot seem to look at me while I am speaking what does that tell me about my words? Do I even matter to you?
Parents have also been made to feel as if they don’t count in their children’s lives. Perhaps this has always been a parenting issue but it is now way too easy to disconnect from the ones who wish to love us and to feel love most.
A mother told me that she traveled with her daughter to check out colleges for next year. After the long visit they got into the car for the 3-hour drive home. She was looking forward to sharing thoughts with her daughter, exchanging conversation and laughter. As they put on their seatbelts, her daughter placed her headphones over her ears, making it very clear that she was not interested in talking. Her mother felt terribly hurt but didn’t want to have the trip end on a sour note.
We use our phones and laptops as an escape. We are here but not present, and delude ourselves in thinking that we are together.
Bored with Being
How often do we find it difficult to be engaged with one activity at a time? What about our children? Homework, supper time, lounging with friends is constantly disrupted with checking out Instagram, Facebook and texting. We quickly get bored no matter what we are doing if we don’t have our phones to distract us.
One young mom confided to me that she finds being a mother boring. Meal time with her kids is just the dullest time of all. “Would it be so bad if I would sit at the table and play candy crush on my phone?”
Imagine how these children are growing up. Their mother finds a game more stimulating than real life give-and-take with her children. What about seeing the joy in a child’s eyes when we read a book, the giggles we share, the bright hopes and dreams that they dare voice to us when we least expect it? We miss opportunities for hugs and kisses because we cannot seem to shake this feeling of being stuck and want to check our phones instead.
Wedge that Divides Us
Deteriorating family life is the price we are paying for the new digital world we live in. Our children squeal as they run in the grass while we are checking our phones and only look up between texts. They call out to us to watch them but know that in a minute we will be looking down again. Husbands and wives crave a kind word, a warm smile, a gesture that shows that we care. Yes, we nod, we are listening but each of us knows the truth. As soon as we can, we turn back to our devices. There is this wedge that divides us, that doesn’t allow us to give all that we have to give. Relationships suffer; we feel lonely and some may look elsewhere for love.
You can make a decision right now to better your relationships and reconnect with your loved ones. Keep your phone off at mealtimes. Engage your sons and daughters. Look into your spouse’s eyes while speaking. Talk to your families while driving in the car. Create sacred time where it is only you and those around you. You will discover the beauty of family. You will teach your children that love means being present with both body and soul. You will nurture a listening heart that will touch generations to come.
Blessed Or Blasted- Musings Of A Groom
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
"He's got a big heart but a bigger mouth!"
"He did really well at test 'taking', the teachers weren't happy about it but the kids were, he shared them with all his friends!"
Sometimes at an aufruf we hear the strangest things about a guy. Some of it is just light humor or reminiscing. Some, really hits hard. One father of the bride said at an Aufruf that I attended -"My wife usually hates to miss any event, but I'm glad she's home with my daughter this week, and not here at this Aufruf. If she heard how they are tearing apart this guy she'd probably call off the wedding!" But how'd this tradition start, and is it a good idea?
In the time of the temple there was a special entrance made for grooms. This way people knew to bless him. Today, in temple, grooms are called up for an Aliah and given blessings by the entire congregation. Entering into this new stage of life, one is wished blessings, especially to have a family. Furthermore, a groom is likened to a King. A King was supposed to write a Torah, and always have one with him. One reason was so that in this elevated status he did not get carried away with himself. This is an important time in a man’s life to be made aware of the Torah. It is their guide for a good marriage.
So why are people poking jokes at the King? Well it's sort of the same thing as having the inspiration with him. He needs perspective! It's important to keep this guy humble. Today, he's the star of the show. But in that union he's got to remember maybe he's the King, but he's marrying a Queen. He needs to know he's got flaws and shortcomings too. When someone gets stuck thinking "I'm the man"! He could possibly forget: I'm the hu- man!
His cohorts are just trying to let him know -sure you’re a great guy, but not too great.
I'm almost betting the bride’s parents put the friends up to this job time and again. Probably some secret ancient tradition passed down from: parents -of the -bride to parents-of the -bride.
Reminding him of his history also conveys a message - You've got to see yourself as a work in progress. Look at all the crazy stuff you did in the past, and the fact that you have grown, hopefully, since doing that. So, there's always room to grow!
He's got to be ready to take out the garbage, pick up his socks from his side of the bed, and tune in to the all that stuff that is not said, which, in her opinion, he should figure out anyway. Now that last job is not an easy one, and certainly not easy for someone who is too full of himself to be hearing the silences.
So the Aufruf makes him the center, but also takes him down a notch or two. Not necessarily the worst thing.
Strangely, usually at the same time there is a Shabbas Kallah going on. All the bride's friends come over and talk about what an amazing person she is. Only! Not a negative word is on the roster! Could the bride's parents be behind this tradition as well? Or does she just have a better PR person?!
Aufruf means "calling him up" but maybe what they really meant to be saying is, "calling him out". You know, not letting him get away with stuff. Whatever the reason is for this tradition of teasing, cajoling, poking fun at, or gently nudging the guy -I think the important thing is to remember it's all done in good faith. These are his best of friends doing it, not some random strangers. Maybe the real message they are there to convey is -"no matter what your flaws are, you are a lovable guy! So if sometimes you feel a little unattended to, underappreciated, or called out about something, remember, you are still a lovable guy. You're with your new best friend, and just like us, she can love you even when you're not perfect!!"Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com
Why So Many Young Jewish Couples are Divorcing
He had a good point. Many speak about the ‘singles crisis’ and we also hear a lot about couples who are not making it to their second and third anniversary. If we could put our finger on what is contributing to the problem, perhaps we can find solutions that can transform this painful bind that many young people find themselves facing today.
I think there are four key factors we need to contemplate.
1. Disposable Society
Who fixes appliances anymore? Toaster ovens, microwaves, and alarm clocks get tossed while quickly outdated laptops, iPhones and cars get traded in for the latest model. After all, new is always better. Our kids lose their clothing knowing that we’ll just buy them more of the same next time. Somehow it has become no big deal to throw away or replace what we’ve lost.
This thinking has seeped into our attitudes towards the people in our lives. I’ve seen it in the conversations I’ve had with couples who are facing marital issues. One young woman said to me, “So what’s the big deal? I’ll get a divorce and find another one. There are lots of men out there. Look at all my friends.”
When we see relationships as disposable, whether they are friendships or marriage, the sacred bond becomes easily unglued. We’ve lost the ability to value what we have, including the people we’re supposed to cherish the most. All relationships have their ups and downs. The mindset that it never pays to fix things and that newer is better impacts our daily lives, lessening the sacrosanct value inherent in marriage.
We need to value the people and things we have in our lives. Work on appreciation and stop taking relationships for granted.
2. Instant Gratification
Whatsapp, texting and emails have brought us to expect an immediate response. Otherwise we wonder, “What is taking so long! Why didn’t they answer me?” Instead of waiting our turn to be helped in the store we just click and order most things online. We have next day delivery. I remember taking my film in to be developed when I was a little girl and anticipating the day it would be ready for pickup. Who can imagine not viewing your photo and sending it to others across the world instantly? We’ve lost the ability to be patient. We expect it all to be there for us right here, right now.
What does this have to do with relationships?
Serious dating and marriage takes work. You will not always see instant results. Love grows with time. The more we nourish a relationship the greater we feel invested in this partnership. If we don’t automatically feel madly in love or don’t always see the fruits of our labor, what then? Do we just give up and move on?
When couples look back through their years of being together they realize how much they have evolved. Sure there were great obstacles and dark moments. What would have happened if they decided then that it’s not what they thought it would be, so why go on together? (I am not speaking about abusive or intolerable situations). With time and much sweat, tears and self-work is born a love that is deeper than one could have ever imagined. Love is not instant. Marriage is built on a “mature love” that is carefully nurtured. Great patience is required.
Expecting instant gratification strips us of the opportunity to work through the difficult times and climb life’s tougher moments together. We give up too easily believing that there is no point if we don’t see what we want to see or feel what we want to feel right now. We end up selling ourselves and our relationships short.
3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
You see parties posted online, other people’s vacations, even delicious sushi or steak dinners and think to yourself, what about me? This fear of missing out is not good for singles and married couples. Comparing lives, wondering if there is something better out there, and checking out Facebook posts feeds this frenzy.
People are too busy counting everyone else’s blessings to see their own. Commitment requires one to be happy with what we have. FOMO is the exact opposite. There comes a point where we must make peace with our lives. We need to make a decision to stop glancing over our shoulder. Dating with one eye on who else may be around becomes an impossible way to create a lasting relationship. And surely one can’t have a solid marriage thinking that others have it better.
Begin with making a conscious mental U-turn. Stop looking at others and work on being satisfied with all you’ve been given. Seek out the good in your days and the people in your life. Instead of imagining other people’s happiness, work on creating your own. You will become self-satisfied and content.
4. A Disconnected World
Technology has connected us but it has also brought us farther apart. We’ve become used to communicating through texts instead of speaking. Singles have told me that their dating hit a roadblock when they began texting instead of talking. Husbands and wives converse while staring at their screens. Eye contact brings deeper connection-now this is lacking. Couples listen with half an ear and see with half an eye. Of course our relationships are affected. We also get bored easily with those next to us; constantly checking our phones. Our loved ones begin to feel irrelevant.
The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to put down our devices and pay more attention to those around us.
Whether you are single or married, or raising children who will be in future relationships, contemplate how these four factors affect your relationships. A few simple changes can allow us to live better, and love better too.
The Way You Make Your Bed Is The Way You Sleep In It!
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
One of the best things in the world, when you're a kid, is a sleepover date. You'll sleep on the floor the rug, the carpet, you don't care. What's a mattress between friends? You'll get 3 hours of sleep - more than enough! A ratty blanket, no sheet, a hard pillow- whatever, it's all good. It's a sleepover.
But replay that as an adult? Are you insane?! The mattress must be just so, exactly to your specs- hard, firm, bouncy whatever your preference is -it better be on that bed you sleep in. 3 pillows, 8 pillows, 10 pillows - whatever you are used to .... you just cannot entertain sleep without that number! And your prized pillow or pillowcase, that, you must schlep from home!
"The shades don't make the room dark enough!" " The AC's not cool enough!" "The heat’s not high enough!" " The bathrooms not close enough!" The litany of shortcomings is endless. If you could just dump your entire master bedroom in to your suitcase, then you'd be fine with a sleep over.
But short of that - the headache, backache, lost sleep, exhaustion and irritation, is just not worth the sacrifice.
What happened to that resilient, little floor sleeper of yesteryear? When did you become this inflexible kvetch?!
If the guest room you're put in is not the Taj Mahal, you want out of there! If the accommodations aren’t as good as home, you feel like crying like a baby.
In all honesty, sometimes you’re just homesick for the familiar, even if it's not that bad a place. Cause the truth is even if your bed is bumpy, lumpy or concave you are used to your bed. Your body has etched its form into a location and sleep is defined by your relationship with that spot.
So how can adults have sleep overs? Well first they must pack their collection of pills. Ambien, Tylenol PM, melatonin, whatever does the trick for them. Then the reason to leave home must be compelling enough to move them out of their complacency. Now, for a couple, this is a definite negotiating point. Your sister's kid's Bar Mitzvah, is different from his sister's kid's bar mitzvah. And vice versa. Your best friend's event is not his best friend's. And his best buddy’s first kid is not your best buddy’s first kid.
Beds have a way of being less horrible if your incentive to be there is greater. But with a couple there is often different levels of incentive. The more one has to be there, the more easily they can re-tap into their childhood resiliency. But! ...for the spouse who is not as motivated to be there, he or she is focused more on all the adult frustrations. Therefore, ----What must go up for one as the comfort goes down for the other, is one spouses level of appreciation that the other came. And then as the appreciation goes up the respondent better be able to gracefully say or imply -it's no big deal. I'm glad to do this with you! Despite the cold compress on their head, ice on their back or bags under their eyes, -good relationship skills are about being able to feel: what's comfortable enough for you, is comfortable enough for me. If you can see the flower through the thorns so can I!
The better side of wisdom often feels like -leave the spouse at home and grab your kid! They can sleep anywhere! To them it's an adventure. In fact, if they actually get a bed they're ecstatic! They don't wonder why the place they are staying doesn't have their brand of coffee, their diet sweetener, or the milk they like in it. Though, they may give you a run for your money if they don't find a breakfast cereal that they can eat. Still they will first sort through the collection and be open to trying a new one as long as it looks interesting to them. That spirit of adventure is still with them.
Maybe what we should do is ask some questions before our guests arrive, like we do in relation to food. You know like, “is there anything you don't eat?” Or, “does anyone have any food allergies?” Ok, I know, we food shop every week, we are not about to redecorate our guest room each time a new guests shows up!
I guess it would be smart to walk in to our guest room once in a while and lie down on the bed and think, could I actually sleep in here? Have I at least tried to make it the best accommodation that I can? I know I can't meet every adult's requirements, but can I step it up a bit. Add a variety of pillows. Buy newer, softer, fresher bedding. Make sure the blinds work -not every neighbor needs to know that my guest is getting dressed!
So even though it seems that sometime, and as a parent I'd speculate just around high school age, adults do start to appreciate the need for sleep more than kids do. And even though adult agendas do start to demand coherence a bit more than a kids. Maybe - just maybe, the only solution for a guest to get through a visit with a good attitude is to somehow remember there was once a time that the experience was certainly much greater than the comfort of the bed they were assigned to!!!
Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com