<![CDATA[Gordon Morrison - writer - Learn]]>Wed, 16 Dec 2015 13:01:22 -0800Weebly<![CDATA["I do"]]>Wed, 20 May 2015 05:13:46 GMThttp://www.gmorrison.ca/learn/i-doOne of my best friends got married this past weekend. It was wonderful to see him and his lovely new wife so happy. Most marriages start out this way; both man and wife are very happy. As I watched them begin their new life together, I thought about what they'd need to learn as a couple to maintain the happiness.

After much deliberation, I decided there are many things that contribute to a happy marriage but I believe there are five key items: 1) Communication; 2) Physicality; 3) Laughter; 4) Adventures; 5) 'Giving' work ethic. 

Communication is widely acknowledged as a key ingredient to any good marriage. I think communicating during the good times is fairly easy but during the difficult patches it gets a bit more complex. So what's a good strategy for communicating during the inevitable rough patches. Once upon a time, while trying to live happily ever after, I learned a quick and easy redirect for broken down communications. It can be very helpful. I'll call it a Think-Feel-Want session. When communicating gets bogged down in a quagmire of frustration, confusion or angst, simply call for a Think-Feel-Want session. Each partner tells the other what they're thinking, what they're feeling, and what they want. It seems to move things forward.

Another widely acknowledged ingredient for a happy marriage is a physical relationship that works for both people. My significant other is a registered massage therapist so she's very in tune with the human need and craving for touch. I've learned that skin time, in it's many forms, has the power to maintain or restore intimate feelings and love.

My third key to a happy marriage is laughter which doesn't always get the recognition that I think it deserves. I've come to the understanding that laughter creates a spiritual portal through which two spirits can playfully dance together and draw close. I came to this understanding through the following quote by an unknown author who said, "when you laugh, aside from the endorphine rush, there's also a spiritual opening ... " It's a wonderful metaphor; this opening of a spirit through laughter.

Sometimes laughter is found along the road to the fourth key to a happy marriage - adventure. Creating memories and adventures is truly the spice of life. I believe a truly thriving married couple goes that extra mile to fill their time with extraordinary adventures.

It would certainly be great if marriages were just one grand positive adventure but there's a lot of 'blood, sweat and tears' that also needs to be factored into the equation. This leads us to our fifth key to a happy marriage - the 'giving' work ethic. There's lots of work to be done in a life together. Topping the list of work is grocery shopping, meal preparation, washing and cleaning, home maintenance, earning a living and child care if there are children in the home. Unfortunately, human nature usually conjures up an internal score card keeping track of who's done what! It's a sad fact but often true. You both know what you have or haven't done lately and let me tell you this ... If you're a slacker and getting behind on that imaginary scorecard, get your act together because you're hurting the marriage even if your partner isn't articulating their frustration. Give more. A 'giving' work ethic creates a wonderfully strong foundation to build on.

<![CDATA[Years Later]]>Thu, 23 Apr 2015 04:08:18 GMThttp://www.gmorrison.ca/learn/years-laterWhen I look back on all my schooling (there’s been lots), I’ll admit to a roller-coaster of failure and success. Also, I’ll confess to bringing many bad study habits to the table for the failures. The successes were sometimes more a result of learning how to play the game rather than an indication of any academic acumen. An audit of my marks over the years would reveal evaluations that are truly all over the map. That’s a bad thing ... Isn’t it?.

It’s definitely a bad thing, when “crash & burn” marks won’t lead to the wallpaper of certificates, diplomas and degrees that can get you where you think you might want to go. But when you’ve arrived at mid-life with a nice smattering of paperwork on the wall, you realize that despite any unflattering marks on your record, the learning was never affected.  When learning is the issue, you can look back on the ups and downs of the journey as a very good thing. The measure of learning was never contained in marks; it’s contained in the mind - how you think and how you see the world. It’s just unfortunate it takes a retrospective look at the journey many years later to understand the failures were just as important as the successes. 

I like to think the most learned people are those who truly understand both failure and success.