Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Three Pillars


My vision of a relationship I will admit was a bit old-fashioned. I had this picture in my head.  A turn-of-the-century couple. He would be in a white striped suit, she in a beautiful flowing long dress. They would be on a rowboat in Central Park. He would casually row as she holds her umbrella to protect us from the sun and watches the passing scenery. Both stare into each other’s eyes, smiling as they engage in meaningful conversations.  Simply enjoying life.

Well, for the last decade, it wasn’t quite like that. Back to my rowboat dream. I was indeed able to sit in the boat and row. As in my vision, she was at the front of the boat, smiling at me. But in reality, she was wearing much more “comfortable clothes”.  And while she still held her umbrella, she used it to cover herself. The conversation was about how many times she reminded me to bring my own umbrella. She is not looking into my eyes but past me. She ignores how slow we are moving despite the fact I am rowing as hard as possible. She “forgets” to mention she knocked the anchor into the water (intentionally?!?), and we have been dragging it for most of the relationship.

Obviously, I knew neither the vision nor the reality was necessary. I thought it was my determination of a truly unrealistic vision, my stubbornness to be chivalrous kept me going. Deep down I knew the anchor was dragging. I knew the boat had a leak and was taking on water.

One day I happened to glaze into the water and saw my own reflection. I did not like what I saw. Hated it. I was rowing not because of a dream, but because of my own self-worth. I thought this was what I deserved.  

I decided the work of rowing two people in a sinking boat dragging an anchor was not enough and I sta So, I decided to do the real work. The inner work. The work on myself.

Fast forward to today. I'm in another relationship, back in that metaphorical boat. But something is VERY different. I'm cruising through the lake, viewing the scenery, but with the least effort I've ever needed to apply. The front of the boat is empty and for a good reason. My partner is sitting next to me! She is helping to row!

 She's wearing athletic clothes fit for a workout, looking into my eyes and smiling. We're engaged in meaningful conversations and taking in the views. And as the umbrella shields both of us from the sun, we take turns holding it. We are a team.

So why is this an entry on a wealth-building blog?

I believe there are three pillars in life: Wealth/Career (the subject of this blog), Health (mine is improving), and Relationships. I strongly believe that you cannot focus on more than one at a time. You need to devote your energy in one direction. You don’t ignore the others—they all require perpetual work. But you just put them on a type of cruise control. You build each pillar so strong that you can rotate and place an emphasis on the next. You check back often. You may need to jump back for a while. But each time, no matter which pillar you’re on, you maintain some focus.

I'm thrilled to say I believe my relationship pillar is strong. I have a partner who supports me, believes in me. She understands that growth in one of us is learning for both of us. She pushes me, challenges me, and expects the best from me. And she gives me her best. She's supportive and allows me to be supportive in return.

Together… we row! 

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Three Pillars

  My vision of a relationship I will admit was a bit old-fashioned. I had this picture in my head.  A turn-of-the-century couple. He would b...