Sunday, February 8, 2015

Happiest Day Of My Life

August 1991. I don't know the actual date as all I wrote on the back of the photograph was "August 1991".

I've had many happy days in my 60 years on the planet, and many, many more happy events or moments. However, this particular August day stands out in my mind. I've always known it was a special day. The entire day was different, magical from beginning to end. It was a day unlike any other. And now, now I know why.

On 1.9.15 I was introduced to a man (yes, this will likely be a future post). During our conversations he has introduced me to The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Learn More Here). The first thing I did was to take the quiz. My results were: 

10Quality Time
9Words of Affirmation
6Physical Touch
4Acts of Service
1Receiving Gifts
Then I checked the book out from the local library. I began reading it earlier this week. It's an easy read and while I am only on page 76 out of 200, I am recommending it. In fact, I think I'll be sending a copy to my daughter and son-in-law.

Here is a brief description from the quiz results of my primary "love language": 

"In Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time."

So on this particular Friday in August, my ex-husband and I had taken a day off to take the two kids, ages 4 and 7 to Langhorne, PA...specifically to Sesame Place (boy does it appear that it has changed dramatically in the nearly 25 years since we were there!). We packed up the necessary gear, a picnic lunch, snacks, etc. and headed off in the Dodge Caravan to  Sesame Place. Once we arrived, we were off to explore. At 4, our son was into fire trucks and the characters, at 7 our daughter was ready for water slides and her Dad was willing. Me? I could have floated all day in Big Bird's Lazy River. It was a joyful day. I didn't know it was the happiest day of my life that day, however I did know it was special. As we drove home, with both kids tuckered out and asleep. I didn't want the day to end. I asked the "ex" if we could swing by our house, pick up a few things and head to Tom's River, NJ (Bayshore) where his family had a shore house. I think he thought I was nuts, however it is what we did, and thus the day extended.

On this, the happiest day of my life, I experienced the quality time I had only dreamed of to that point. All four of us, sharing the activities together, with full and undivided attention, deeply connected, just about us.

In The 5 Languages of Love, Chapman writes about "keeping the love tank full". My love tank was full that day in a way it never had been before nor since. He suggests that if we understand our primary love language and that of our partners (and I would add significant others including our children and friends) and learn to speak love languages other than our own, we would likely have a full love tank.  His description of this was spot on for me, as once in a marriage therapy session my ex told the therapist he thought I was a bottomless pit. Upon hearing that, I was deeply wounded. However, I am certain now, it felt like that to him, because essentially my "love tank" was empty. The "ex" didn't speak "quality time". And I imagine I didn't speak whatever his love language is. 

My take-away from this is that now I have a better idea of what to ask for and how to ask for it for myself. I want to explore the language that is important to the significant people in my life. I want to speak their language so that I can be part of keeping the tank full rather than depleting it.

In my potential new relationship, this man's primary language is "Words of Affirmation". I've already made two gaffs, which fortunately he has been able to ask me about and I've been able to correct. For him, "words are important". My sometimes straight forwardness may be a challenge, on the other hand, affirmation is my 2nd language not far behind quality time, so I should be able to mediate this.

So here is the call-to-action in this post (maybe if I force myself to spell it out, I'll actually remember to write about it).
  • Do you have a "happiest day ever"? If so, why? Could it be tied to your love tank?
  • Take the Quiz
  • Read the Book
  • Share a comment below

The PHOTOS are mine (I know this as I am not in either of them!)

The 5 Love Languages book and quiz:

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