As part of an e-mail RSVP process with a young couple on their upcoming wedding celebration, they noted that they were seeking input from long-married couples on tips for a successful marriage and looking for any good advice for young fools in love.
My wife had a very simple, net message that is difficult to argue with:
"As for advice, well, the best we can offer is to not follow the advice of others. That's meddling! No one knows what's inside a relationship better than those in the relationship. The view from the outside is never true."
They asked over a week ago and I've been thinking about it every since. Of course, I'm framing my answer with my work-life view. Although I'm not really blogging anymore (having found the right life-work balance for me), I felt compelled to document all my thinking here in Balanced Bits (and of course, I had to make a chart!).
Work-Life balance encompasses Work, your Relationships, and You. Success around these are all centered around how you deal with people and challenges. To me it is not being judgemental and to not let every little thing bother you. It may be simplistic, but just take a deep breath the next time a car cuts you off and move on.
For your Work, it is important for you to figure out if you want a job, a career, or even a life staying at home. I have blogged on this a number of times and won't go into it further into it here, but the key is to thoughtfully make the right choices for you and no one else.
Life is about both you and your relationships. Don't forget about taking care of yourself as well as your partner. Also, remember how important family can be. All of these are impacted by the choices you make!
Whether it is work and/or yourself, make sure you find your passion. And if we remember to to not judge, the best behavior with your partner or your family is to love unconditionally.
The last piece I added specifically is to have lots of communications between you, your partner, your boss, etc.
It's all that simple to me.
Good Luck and all our love to the happy couple! We are excited to be sharing in their happy day.
P.S. Let me add a personal update since I haven't blogged in two years. We have sold the house in suburbia and are living in Vermont and loving it. We shop at a food co-op and a farm stand, have local farms for meats and are enjoying an active lifestyle. We are renovating an apartment in Manhattan as our second home and hope it gets done soon! Great friends in many places and all the right part-time work projects round it out to keep the brain going (along with the NYTimes Crossword). My work projects can be found on my LinkedIn profile.