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I wrote earlier this week about the findings the New Economic Forum gives us on developing our own well-being – and five steps to getting people to ‘flourish’:

  1. Connected
  2. Be Active
  3. Take Notice
  4. Keep Learning
  5. Give

Interesting that I read Marty Wilson blog with interest as he describes the importance of creating ‘space’ for the most important person in your life (your partner).. also how we so often take the person closest to us for granted. But if we follow the five simple steps of flourishing with our partner… well wouldn’t we then flourish together?

Marty mentioned RedBalloon in his blog (excerpt below)…. how delightful to give me an insight into the impact of what we do… now that has helped me flourish today. (Marty gave me a gift  and I learned something new..perfect)

“…..For my 40th birthday, my brother and two sisters gave my wife and I a RedBalloon voucher for a wonderful weekend away in the Hunter Valley. Even more importantly, Mum and Dad offered to chip in with a “babysitting coupon” so we could go without our two boys aged 3 and 6. A few weeks ago, I finally organised the time off and we had a wonderful two days away. I am now 42 years old.

As we planned for the break we realised this would be our first  in over five years. We talked about all the other things we’d squeezed into that same period of time. We’d moved back to Australia, found a house, I’d gone back into advertising, got a book deal, had a second child, changed jobs, finished my first book, had it be a bestseller, ran screaming from advertising, started comedy and corporate speaking again, had our first child start school, had both kids in hospital, finished my second book. How could we not sneak in a lousy weekend holiday? We really, really really needed a break!

I think the key lesson for us was that there was never going to be a free weekend that just “miraculously appeared” and made it easy to get away. We just locked it into the calendar and worked liked dogs before and after.

Just like it used to be

When you do get away, it’s amazing how quickly you slot back into the way you used to be. By the time we’d driven the three hours from Sydney to the Valley, we were starting to feel like “Allie and Marty” and not “Mum and Dad”. We have some friends who talk about how things used to be “BC” (Before Children) and we could see what they mean. We were slower, calmer, gentler.

We pulled up at our accommodation for the weekend, a gorgeous, secluded little place called Wilderness Lodge has only had four suites, and – just what we wanted – is a couple of kilometres away from the main touristy area. It’s also in the middle of an expansive Olive grove, and incredibly peaceful. We spent the afternoon doing nothing much.  (stop it! get your mind out of the gutter) We had a huge spa bath in the afternoon – just because we could – and as we lay back Allie said: “Isn’t it luxurious to lay back in a bath without a toy shark sticking into your bum cheek?” I said “It’s brilliant to be able to do a wee without a three-year-old coming in asking something like “Are pterodactyls herbivores or carnivores?”

As we talked through the afternoon, we noticed that a typical conversation went like this:

“Isn’t the scenery here lovely? You really could be in Europe with the hills covered in vines and the olive trees. Remember that trip to Italy we had when we live in England? I miss that.“

Instead of this:

Isn’t the scenery here lovely? (Connor, take your fingers out of your brother’s nose) You really could be in Europe (Elliot, beans are not lightsabers) with the hills covered in vines and the olive trees. (Finish your lunch or no ice cream) Remember that trip to Italy? (Boys, stop it.) we had when we live in England, (Right no ice cream for anyone) I miss that.

The next day, we went for a huge three hour walk and it was the best time of our weekend away because we walked, we looked at the stunning vineyards properly not from a car at 100km/h and (drum roll please) we talked. We spoke, to each other and no one else, for almost four whole hours. We hadn’t done that in five long years, except for those sporadic dinners when you’re so happy to be outside the four walls of your house together you end up ordering that second (sometimes third) bottle of wine and not remember exactly what you talked about anyway. It felt so natural, so easy, so just-like-it-used-to-be “BC”. It reaffirmed our commitment to each other and reminded us both why we got hitched in the first place.

Marty is and author and speaker – he is writing a series on ‘What I Wish I Knew…’ His new book is in stores now. Ahh, it makes us feel great to be alive! Thanks, Marty.

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