An Unusual Marriage, by Lara Schiffbauer

It’s another Life List Club Friday, and my guest today is Lara Schiffbauer, our newest member. I’m proud to have her here today. Enjoy her post below and then skip over to Sonia Medeiros’s site (click here) to read my post on “Old People.”

An Unusual Marriage, by Lara Schiffbauer

Let’s look back to January 1, 2012. On that day in history, many of us completed our annual ceremony of establishing goals and resolutions for the coming year. Each person’s ceremony is a little bit different from another’s, much like a wedding is a demonstration of the bride and groom’s personalities and taste.

My ceremony looked a little something like this:

“Do you, Lara Schiffbauer, take these goals, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, from this day forward, until death you both shall part?”

I thought about it, long and hard. Could I do it? After the honeymoon period where my goals inspired me and encouraged me to become a better person, would daily life intrude, driving a wedge between me and my goals? Would we slowly drift apart, and soon my goals would be sleeping in the back bedroom? How could I sustain a commitment to my goals for a whole year?

It’s a universal truth that the beginnings of things are exciting. We love new – new years, new shoes, babies, new relationships, new goals. However, the key to achieving success in the longterm is sticking with projects, a.k.a. goals, until we have met them.

“Commitment is an act, not a word.” Jean Paul Sartre

Commitment in a relationship is hitting a rough spot, and not breaking up but working through the problem. It’s taking the time to recognize the other person as important and worth the effort required to stay together. It is respect and acknowledgment of the other person’s value as a human being.

Often we make goals with good intentions, but without the commitment needed to see them through. Using the relationship model above, we need to recognize our goals as important. We have to make time and work through the problem, rather than breaking up with our goal because it seems too hard to meet. When the “new” wears off, we have to have commitment as a back-up.

So, back to my goal ceremony. Taking all of this into consideration, I made a decision.

“I do,” I replied, both nervous and excited at the future ahead of me.

What kind of a relationship do you have with your goals? Do you have any ideas on how to remain committed to your goals when the honeymoon is over?

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Lara Schiffbauer writes contemporary fantasy and general fiction, and has been lucky enough to see some of her short stories published.  By day she works as a school social worker in an elementary school and at night juggles writing, playing with her two adorable little boys, and doing everything else that has to get done in a day. You can find her blogging at www.motivationforcreation.blogspot.com, or tweeting at @LASbauer.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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18 Responses to An Unusual Marriage, by Lara Schiffbauer

  1. Ah Lara, you bring up some great points in your post!

    People who know me know that I hate goals. Well maybe that is too harsh of a word. Dislike, there that sounds better.

    I tend to overshoot. Then feel complete failure. And I also rebel against them.

    But I’ve decided that it’s time to grow up. Got to buckle down and move forward. And the only way I see it IS to make goals. Whether I make them or not only time will tell.

    That’s why in ROW80 I call it the Dreaded Check-In. I dread it. But I’m doing it! 🙂

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    • I feel your pain! I set goals, and then when I don’t reach them really beat myself up. I am trying to be a little kinder to myself, and one of the ways I do that is to focus on the long-term commitment. That way I tell myself “there’s always tomorrow.” I read a lovely sign on Pinterest that said something like “Strive for progress, not perfection.” I pinned it to my “Motivation” board, and want to do a blog post on it some day!

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  2. Karlene says:

    Lara, What a fabulous post. Yes. I do, too! My goals and I are far beyond the honeymoon stage, and well into the golden years, where we work in sync, harmoniously, and still get creative to make them all happen.

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  3. Jenny Hansen says:

    Goals and I have a love/hate relationship together. What I’ve learned to do over time is to kind of trick myself into them with little tiny incremental steps. I don’t have the mental fortitude or patience yet to be methodical, but the baby steps appear to be working. 🙂

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  4. I love the way you compare committing to goals to a marriage. It’s so apt. It is a little scary to commit to the goals and, at some point, the honeymoon period ends. LOL. But we can choose to stay committed and our goals change and adapt over time, just like our relationships.

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  5. hawleywood40 says:

    What a great comparison! I immediately thought of how I fall “in love” with new WIP ideas, and then when I hit rough patches in the writing I have to force myself not to abandon them. I DO cheat on them with new projects all the time though : ).

    I guess for me what works best is keeping the long term goal in mind and, just like in a relationship, giving myself a little space when I need it.

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    • I love cheating on your WIP with other projects! It took me a while to figure out, but by considering a goal to be a long-term committment, it made meeting goals easier. Even if I don’t do good one day, there’s always tomorrow. It isn’t an all or nothing proposition!

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  6. Jess Witkins says:

    Love this post, Lara! So true, and a question I’ve asked myself while making out new goals. And the example of the relationship is the best of them all. With any relationship you’ve got to work at it and give as much as you take, sometimes more. My honey and I have been together going on 6 years, and our lives are very different than when we first started dating. A date night a week really helps us reconnect. I also love this motto from Thich Nhat Hanh “If you do not give the right attention to the one you love, it is a kind of killing. When you are in the car together, if you are lost in your thoughts, assuming you already know everything about her, she will slowly die.” I try to live my life as someone who WANTS to know your story, because there is always more to our stories.

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    • Thanks, Jess 🙂 I love that quote. I have a postcard on my refrigerator by a 5y.o. girl that says “If you love someone, hurry up and show it.” It can be so easy to take those closest to us for granted. It’s always a good thing to step back and remember to show them the love, too!

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  7. Lara, I guess all commitments put us to the test. Greatness is sometimes just being able to live up to the challenges we set for ourselves. “I do” are two little words that are loaded!

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  8. Marcia says:

    Committing to goals is like a marital commitment, I agree. Why give up something halfway through before you get to see all the benefits of going all the way with your commitment? In marriage, smart people take it one step at a time learning from each misstep–it’s the same in achieving anything worthwhile. Great analogy, Lara!

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    • I agree – it makes no sense to work really hard to get half-way there, and then quit. What about all the work before! Just taking it a step at a time is good advice, whether in marriage or in achieving goals.

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  9. It’s work. Like anything else. And you can’t ignore it. Or else it piles up and becomes a big fat mess. Gotta tend to your marriage the way you’d tend to a garden.

    No. He probably doesn’t want soil or water.

    But a regular date night can go a long way to making sure you stay connected. Especially if there are children in your future.

    Congrats, newlywed! Hubby and I got engaged on New Year’s Eve in New Orleans. Such sweet memories.

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    • I will definitely not try to plant my husband! He might get cranky!

      Work is always required of the things that are most worth it. It amazes me how much more accomplished I feel when I have worked to make something happen than when something just falls in my lap. The enjoyment factor goes up exponentially!

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