Celebrating Differences

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  • Just a few days ago I wrote a blog called “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”. The blog included my personal favorite things as well as a list compiled from contributions from 100 friends in my social media family. This blog spurred conversation with my immediate and my extended family that brought up some very interesting stuff.

    P1040872My husband and I discussed this blog when he was out of town, before I posted it. It was a cold wintry day in Montana and Darryl asked me if I had the fire going. I told him that I didn’t, and instead just put on an additional layer of clothing. He shared with me that one of his favorite things is to start a fire and keep it going for me all day, so I stay warm and cozy. Funny thing is, I LOVE when he does that, but always felt I was a bit of a princess to be spoiled like that and I don’t enjoy hauling wood into the house.

    In reviewing my list of favorite things, he was surprised to see that I loved to make dinner for him. Many nights he’ll suggest that we go out so I don’t have to cook- because he doesn’t enjoy cooking.

    The funny thing is- he loves when I cook for him and I love doing it. I love when he keeps a fire going for me and he loves doing it. But, because I’m not crazy about hauling wood to maintain the fire and he’s not crazy about cooking- we assumed the other one wasn’t crazy about it either when in fact, it’s one of our favorite things! When we can learn to identify and celebrate our differences- even in our favorite things- life is a whole lot more fun.

    A few days ago I was speaking to a friend who was complaining about his wife. He asked me, “How can I just make her be happy?” He shared that she’s always “doing things for other people and not for herself”. I smiled and shared our fire/dinner story with him, only to help him realize that when she does something for others that wouldn’t be fun for him- that doesn’t mean that she’s not fulfilled by being of service to others. I learned that we make some really bad assumptions on what may bring someone else happiness, based on our own preferences.

    This year for Christmas, I’ve asked my son, my daughter and her husband, and Darryl, to each bring their list of their top 25 favorite things with them on Christmas Day. I want to share them together as a family, and yes, learn more about one another.

    Imagine if we didn’t assume for someone else, based on our own filters… that alone could open up all kinds of possibility for improved communication and greater connection. It could even take away guilt that you may feel over something that you perceive as a sacrifice from another person, when in fact, your accepting their gift may allow them to experience one of their favorite things!

    As I write this I can hear the crackling of the fire in our living room. My hubby has built a roaring fire to keep me warm. I’m going to go warm up, celebrate one of his favorite things and start planning what I’d like to make him for dinner tonight.

    Have you had other experiences from writing and sharing your favorite things? Please email them to me at gail@inspiremetoday.com or post them below in the comment section. By sharing our wisdom with one another, we learn, we grow and we become more compassionate global citizens.

    Thank you for being a part of our community and a part of my life. You are one of my favorite things. ☺

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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