Personal responsibility has always been high on my list. It’s a mindset I routinely encourage restaurateurs to adopt as it sets a powerful example for their people and the importance of individual accountability.
And while I fully believe each of us are responsible for carving out our own paths to happiness and success, there are almost certainly people along the way — like a spouse, significant other, or long-time friend — who offer guidance and encouragement that keeps you motivated and moving forward toward your goals. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to be mindful of who we surround ourselves with, since it can have a dramatic impact on our life experiences and emotional well-being.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately as my husband, John, and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. From day one, he has been my fiercest supporter and I sometimes forget to tell him just how grateful I am for his influence in my life. From the birth of our children, Keegan and Logan, to fulfilling my dream of writing and publishing a book, his support has been instrumental in achieving all sorts of personal and professional accomplishments. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities or courage to do even half of it.
Here are seven ways my husband has influenced my happiness and success and deserves a whole lotta credit. :)
1. He loves me for me.
When you first get married, everything has this rosy sheen to it, likely because you’ve probably gone to great lengths to show your partner the “best” of you. They haven’t yet witnessed all of your little quirks or seen you during your most trying and unflattering moments — like that bout of horrific food poisoning, the blowout with a friend, or the challenges of starting a business or raising a family.
But John gets me and loves me for who I truly am — at my core, complete with bedhead, yoga pants, and no makeup.
2. He celebrates our differences.
John and I are the epitome of opposites. He’s quiet and reserved, always looking for those moments of solitude. On the other hand, I’m a talker. I have to talk everything out, usually replete with plenty of exclamations, hand motions, and generalized annoyingness for the more introverted listeners like John.
Even when he’s yearning for peace and quiet though, he attentively listens to my ramblings and lets me talk…and talk…and talk some more. He knows that’s simply part of who I am and doesn’t try to change me.
3. He never holds grudges.
I admit it. I’m stubborn. While this dogged determinedness has served me well in many aspects of life, it has the potential to drive a wedge in a marriage if you’re not careful. But the amazing thing is, it hasn’t. And that’s totally 100 percent because of John.
He accepts my stubborn nature, knows how to navigate our conversations to avoid drama and conflict, and never ever holds any grudges. He remains kind and respectful toward me, even when I’m being super crabby and just not letting something go. John serves as my daily reminder and inspiration to not sweat the small stuff and take a good long look at the big picture instead.
4. He makes me laugh, every day.
John is pretty reserved, so most people don’t see him express much emotion or really cut loose. I feel like one of the lucky ones though, because he’s always had this uncanny ability to make me smile and laugh. Whether it’s chuckling at another one of my off-the-wall ideas or breaking through the tension of a tough day, he always seems to know when I could use a good laugh.
5. He can cook.
If it weren’t for John, the boys and I would be living on cheese sandwiches and PB&Js. Although I have always had a heart for the restaurant industry and would consider myself a total “foodie,” I’m a mess in the kitchen. Thankfully John is a phenomenal cook, so when he stole my heart, he also vowed to fill my tummy!
6. He is an amazing dad.
John has always been a great role model for our boys. Since their births, he has devoted his life to making sure they are happy, well-rounded, inquisitive little humans. It’s important to him that they are thriving and not simply surviving, giving and not only taking. John works relentlessly to make sure the boys have opportunities to grow and stretch themselves and learn how to be stand-up individuals.
7. He supports my dreams.
No matter how big, elaborate, or just plain crazy they are, John has ALWAYS supported my dreams. He believes my success is his success and vice versa. His confidence in me and my abilities — even when I don’t believe in myself — makes me feel like I could take on the world and actually win!
Here’s to another 13 years, John! <3
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Have you had someone influential in your personal or professional life that deserves recognition? How did the relationship contribute to your happiness and success? Please join the conversation below.