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The Happiness Project: Part 4

February 11, 2010

So I’m reading through Gretchen Rubin’s bestseller “The Happiness Project” month by month and incorporating some of her ideas into my life to hopefully increase personal happiness. This month, Gretchen talks about love and boosting happiness through the most significant relationships in your life. I want to take the next week to write about things I’ve learned about love over the last year and a half in my marriage to my best friend, Katie.

During our first year of marriage, I essentially worked a second-shift job while undergoing graduate studies at MFI. (Actually, I worked first and second shift, depending on the night, but let’s not split hairs.) Katie graciously held off having dinner until I got home, meaning we often didn’t eat until between 8 and 10, and some of these nights, we had to do fast food. She was grumpy that I had gotten home so late and couldn’t commit to an evening eating schedule, and I was often so mentally exhausted from the clients I had seen that night.

Which leads me to the third thing that I’ve discovered about love from Katie in the last year and a half–love gets experienced at the dinner table.

There are obviously significant theological implications between food and intimacy that I won’t get into on this blog post. For Katie and I, the table represents stability and centeredness for our relationship. No matter how furious, excited, rambunctious, or melancholy our affects are, we always come back to our dining room table and share a meal. (And now that I’m not working second-shift, we share our dinner at a reasonable, consistent hour.)

Sometimes we have a lot to say to each other, and get into philosophical conversations or share information about our day. (Usually, the latter gets done before dinner.) Sometimes, our meals are more quiet and a chance to enjoy delicious food, although there’s usually some sort of affirmation, be that through foot flirting or saying “I love you”.

Katie grew up in a family centered around the table, and I’m grateful that legacy has continued in our relationship; our dining room table symbolizes a place of continuity, rest, safety, and love.

Do you have any symbols of continuity and love in your households and relationships?

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 12, 2010 7:56 am

    A hearty amen! 🙂

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