Monday, August 27, 2012

16 Simple Things To Change Your Life

We have just seen off my parents who came to visit on their way to Germany. Before that, my husband's parents came over for a couple of days. We are by ourselves, at last, and I have time to post on my blog again, especially now that my husband has taken up the living room with his pre-deployment packing, and there is not much space for me to do anything else.

I was looking through the Russian version of facebook the other day and found the so-called 16 rules to turn your life around in an instant. Some of them got my attention, and I wanted to share these ideas with you. 

16 Simple Rules That Will Change Your Life

1. Do not watch TV. Ever. (Не смотрите телевизор. Никогда.) - Well, easier said than done! I guess this way you would have more time to spend with your significant other and kids and clean out your closet. We have been together for almost three years, but we bought a TV only several months ago. We still do not have cable and are not planning on getting it. However, I must admit that we do have Netflix account and watch movies from time to time. So, we kind of are following this rule #1.

2. Keep going despite anything. Try it; it works. (Есть такая штука как «Двигаться дальше несмотря ни на что». Попробуйте, поможет. ) - It is true, from sticking to a healthy lifestyle to looking for a job. Troubles do come, but you will be successful only if you get up and keep going after every failure. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! When my parents were here, we were eating my Mom's crepes with red caviar (blinchiki) and Russian ravioli (pel'meni), but we are back on a healthy track starting today :)

3. Did you think of an idea? Write it down. (Пришла в голову идея? Запишите.) - A thousand thoughts go through our minds all the time, so it is easy to forget a good one. I forget things if I don't write them down, which is kind of a bad thing, actually.

4. Are you running late? Find a way to let the person who is waiting know about it. (Опаздываете? Найдите способ предупредить об этом.) - I love this one! Probably because I do not like waiting for others and really appreciate if they let me know when they will be a little late.

5. Do not laugh at others' dreams. (Не смейтесь над чужими мечтами.) - Dreaming is beautiful! There is nothing wrong with that. Society's progress has always been driven by dreamers.

6. Do not come back to the people who betrayed you. They do not change. (Не возвращайтесь к людям, которые вас предали. Они не меняются.) - Unfortunately, it has been true for me, even though I desperately want to believe that people do change.

7. Spend more time with your parents. The moment when they are gone always comes unexpectedly. (Проводите с родителями больше времени — момент, когда их не станет, всегда наступает неожиданно.) - We do spend as much time with our parents as possible. Mine left us only yesterday! It will be hard to see David's parents who are in Houston and mine who will be in Germany, with me living in TN and David deploying to Afghanistan... But we will do our best to keep in touch! However sad death is, we know it is not the end, and this knowledge and hope make all the difference.

8. Politeness conquers cities. Use it more often. (Вежливость покоряет города. Пользуйтесь почаще.) - Politeness is just nice. I would like to think of myself as of a polite person, and I believe it has helped me a lot in all spheres of my life.

9. Be able to admit your mistakes. (Умейте признавать свои ошибки.) - This one is very important in your marriage. You should not be afraid to be vulnerable with your spouse, since you most probably trust that person with your life. Admitting your mistakes is a huge step towards resolving any conflict.

10. Give up a habit to complain all the time. Nobody cares about other people's problems. (Откажитесь от привычки всё время жаловаться. Никого не интересуют чужие проблемы.) - I like complaining from time to time, but I mostly complain to my husband and to my Mom. I hope they care! I know I should be grateful in any circumstances, but this area still needs work. Nobody is perfect.

11. Do not gossip. (Не распространяйте сплетни.) - Yet another area that needs work :)

12. When you are not sure what to do in a certain situation, go to bed. Also, it is great to remember that "this too shall pass." (В непонятных ситуациях всегда ложитесь спать. Также в любых ситуациях полезно помнить, что "и это пройдет".) - I remember when my whole world collapsed because of difficult circumstances, but going to bed did make it better. We have a saying in Russia that "morning is wiser than evening," and it is truly a pearl of wisdom.

13. Even during a serious quarrel, do not try to hurt the other person's feelings. Most probably, you will reconcile, but the painful words will be remembered for a long time. (Даже при серьёзной ссоре не пытайтесь задеть человека за живое... Вы помиритесь (скорее всего), а слова запомнятся надолго...) - True, especially with your significant other. I am very grateful we have not had a single fight with my husband!

14. Tell the truth, so you won't have to remember what exactly you lied about. (Говорите правду, и тогда не придется ничего запоминать.) - No comments ;)
15. Try to do the most difficult and unpleasant task at the beginning of the day. When you are done with it, you will have the rest of the day free of unnecessary thoughts. (В начале дня делайте самое трудное и неприятное дело. Когда вы сделали его — остаток дня вас не одолевают ненужные мысли.) - Oh, I am trying! I definitely start my day with the overtime project at work and am so happy when I am done with it! :)

16. NOBODY owes anything to anybody. Forget the word "to owe." Get rid of it. Otherwise, you will drown in financial and moral debt. (НИКТО никому ничего не должен. Забудьте слово "должен". Выбросьте из активного лексикона. Иначе действительно увязнете в долгах, да не только материальных, а ещё и моральных.) - My Mom always taught me this when I was a kid. If I remember anything from what she told me, this was it. It helps me not to take things for granted and to appreciate when people are nice and generous to me.

What do you think? Do these sound like anything worth pondering over?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Somebody That I Used To Know

Do you ever think about your previous relationships or times when you liked someone? Maybe you were very close and had big plans for the future together, but now you find yourself alone or with a completely different person. You may sometimes think, "What if?.." or not remember about the past relationships at all. You may wonder what brought you together in the first place, and now that once special person is just somebody that you used to know. Truth is, feelings come and go. People change. Everything changes. They say, "Out of sight, out of mind." Why does it happen, then? 

Time heals for sure. If you had a painful breakup, you would be better off if you hid all the pictures from the once happy time. Do not follow him or her on Facebook, either. It won't help. The quicker you get rid of the constant reminders of your past, the quicker you will be able to move on to the future. But does it mean that if you are in a long-distance relationship, you are bound to forget about each other and go your separate ways? Not necessarily, but it takes time and determination to stay close when you are apart. 

Military families have to deal with separation all the time, from short one-week training sessions to year-long (or longer) deployments. Some families do fall apart due to this, but I want to believe that ours is different. The Lord brought us together for a reason, and He will help us go through all the difficult times. Divorce is definitely not an option, so we will just have to find ways to stay close while my husband leaves for his deployment.

When we are at work and something happens, we text each other to make sure we are included in each other's lives. Little things that happen to us during the day are fun to discuss in the evening. When my husband is away for a short time for training within the U.S., we continue texting each other and talk on the phone or Skype in the evenings. When he will be deployed, I will be writing emails and real snail mail letters to let him know that he is still a big part of my life. I will be sending my husband care packages to show my love and that I still care about him. Without communication, we will fall apart, and that is not why we married. I do not want him to return in nine months and find a strange person in place of his wife. We both will grow and change during these months, but we will make sure we grow and change together.