VALUE NUMBERO UNO - I FINALLY understood that I VALUED my INDEPENDENCE.
As I wrote in my last post about ‘The One thing I was missing…” I told you I was going to share with you one VALUE, each week. Well here we are at week one. Personally, I believe this value is most important (as it is in my restaurant relationship) so I wanted to talk about it first (in my standard,’Chatty Cathy’ way)…. INDEPENDENCE.
When I first started dating my then chef boyfriend, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into…dating someone in the industry. I thought that my time was his time and vice versa - OUR time (like most typical 9-5 relationships) - I thought that meant we had to spend ALL of it together which was why I quickly became the naggy one asking him…
“WHEN are you going to make time for me?”
I was focusing SO MUCH on what I didn’t have, that I couldn’t even see what I did. Of COURSE I loved that I could go out on a Friday nite with my girlfriends or to a movie on Saturday and not have someone always asking me what I was up to (that was really awesome)… but where I was concerned… HE wasn’t available when I wanted and THAT was a problem.
*Oh, the arguements we would have about this. Let me tell ya….
He would say that this is his schedule and there really is nothing he can do about it (SOUND FAMILIAR?) So I would sulk and do my best ‘cold shoulder’ act that I could conjure up so he would get the point that I wasn’t happy. Unfortunately, it didn’t change his schedule.. just left me thinking I’m not sure I can ‘do’ this.
Eventually… I decided I couldn’t and broke up with him for what I thought, was for good.
FLASH FORWARD to my relationship with a 9-5′r. I felt guilty every time I went to do something with my friends and left him home. After the honeymoon phase wore off, I found myself yearning for an evening to do what I wanted to do. *Confession: I remember wanting to go to an all day concert with a girlfriend, and my 9-5 boyfriend wanted to come, I JUMPED on the chance of it being just me and her, when he said he wasn’t feeling well. Yikes.* Because I was now in a relationship with a fellow 9-5′r, I usually chose hanging out with him instead of doing what I wanted to do, and eventually felt a sadness.. like I was missing something.
It was in that relationship that I realized that I was a really independent person. I really enjoyed the FREEDOM to do what I wanted to do with my free time. When I realized that… a HUGE weight of sorts lifted from SO much of my life. I remember when I was reconnecting with my chef (for the final time, thankfully), thinking… OH MY GOSH, that means I can have ME back!!! My friends and my family noticed a change back to who I innately was inside. They would tell me…”It’s good to see YOU, again.”
Once I understood what I valued…I no longer felt neglected like I once did.
*I swear I’m not feeding you a line. It’s SO much different than before!*
For example, Sunday is usually one of his days off. (YES, I know I’m lucky.) BEFORE, I would get SO upset if he wanted to go hang out with his chef friends because it’s the only day that we had together. NOW, I know that that is usually the only day that his FRIENDS have off too (to ride motorcycles and such).. and he needs that time too. Because I understand I value my independence (and so does he), it makes watching him ride away for a few hours enjoyable… knowing he’s going to get “fed” from his time doing something he loves.
For those just starting out in restaurant relationships: This is not like “regular” 9-5 relationships. You will not spend the same kinds of time with your other half that, perhaps, your friends in 9-5 relationships do. If you begin to demand that same kinda time from your restaurant man or woman, you’ll quickly find that YOU will be let down, sad, and angry that you are not getting what you want. (Like I always was… saying “I’m not important to you if you don’t make time for me!”)
Let’s flip that around, shall we?
What are you doing in your own life that is EQUIVALENT to the passion they have in their careers? Is it your own career? Your hobbies? Your active social life? Your spirituality? Your health?
Go out and DO THAT.
*Caveat: If your still debating if this type of relationship works for you, and you continually get the feeling that having your own time to do your own thing always leaves you feeling angry, resentful, lonely and sad… even after you answer the questions below… it MIGHT be one of three things… 1. maybe you don’t value Independence as much and THAT IS OKAY! 2. maybe another value trumps Independence OR 3.this isn’t the type of relationship that will inevitably leave you feeling fulfilled. Either way, you’re figuring it out and that’s all we can hope for, right?
You’ll find that the more time you spend on your OWN plights, goals, passions… the richer the time you do spend together will be. If you are waiting for them to come home, get off work to spend time with you… you’ll be looking for HIM/HER to create your own value.
*Everyones values are different. No one person values the same exact thing in the same intensity. That said, it’s up to YOU to figure out what works for you. What works for you might not for your restaurant man/woman. *Although, I believe a thriving restaurant relationships share common values. Independence being one of them.
In the same light, I understood that we both VALUE having SACRED time together (Sacredness is another VALUE). Routines and rituals that we do not reschedule or rain check because we know that we have limited time together, enhance our time apart. Having these moments help us BOTH to feel valued when we miss each other… knowing we’ll reconnect soon helps us nurture our own VALUE. These sacred moments have become the cornerstone of our marriage and their something we both look forward to, from week to week.
So here’s what I want you to do to discover if Independence is a VALUE of yours.
1. Get out a piece of paper.
2. Answer the following questions:
- When it’s Friday nite and I’m about to get off of work and I know my restaurant man/woman is working… I feel ____________________.
- T/F – I feel so lonely when he’s at work and I don’t have anything to do.
- T/F – I kinda feel like we don’t have a “real” relationship if we don’t evenings and weekends together.
- T/F – I think it’s kinda selfish that I like to do my own thing… I mean, that isn’t “Normal.”
- If I know I’m going to have a day to myself… I end up doing____________________________.
- When I am feeling “SO MUCH MYSELF” (meaning happy in my life/my own skin/FREE TO BE ME!) I am usually_________________.
Maybe you’ve heard the quote:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Most likely, your restaurant man/woman is doing what makes him/her ‘come alive’. Now it’s time you find the same thing.
I want to end by saying that no one TAUGHT us this… about what we value. We’re thrown into life with our fingers crossed and hoping for the best. How awesome would it be to have a little help when we begin something new… with a firm grounding of who we are and what we bring to the table…so we won’t always feel like we’re missing something.
How do YOU feel about this? Please share with us your thoughts, feelings… reactions.
Finally… in a few weeks (Thursday, March 8th 8pm EST), I’m offering a FREE CALL to discuss said values more in depth, discuss these and share with you what other values you have! (Once you sign up, I’ll send you a list of over 100 additional values for you to consider!) I want to take your questions, quandaries.. even frustrations. Sign up below to join in on the call! Hope to *see* you there!