Part of the challenge us technology communicators have is the very job itself – being buried in the latest stuff to bring you the ideas and insights that will make your life easier, more fun and more effective.
But by the same token it can often make our downtimes more limited, and in themselves more challenged.
I’m the first to say ‘I neglect you’ to mine other half when I should be able to bellow from the rooftops, ‘I have given you everything’.
I think the old, ginger one out of the Spice Girls said it best. Recounting her last relationship (and there have been a few…) with a geek in ‘Say You’ll Be There’, she squawked:
I’m giving you everything all that joy can bring this I swear
(I give you everything – that’s the other ones that sang that)
And all that I want from you is a promise you will be there
Say you’ll be there (Say you will be there)
Won’t you sing it with me
So, don’t let it slip or slide. There are times when your work is the most important thing on earth. Least, that’s how it feels in the moment. But then think back to when you were in the moment of a spot of ‘lover lover’ and I’m sure you’ll agree, work is worthless, vapid by comparison.
People love people – not productivity. So when your computer tugs you by the sleeve (or you could just have a thread caught between the Y and U keys) or you duck out of bed for a late-night coding sesh, remember this: your partner wants you to show you…
1. Care. Steal moments from the job in hand. Get down the shops and buy her some nice cereal. Or he. Let’s be honest, us geeks don’t all have dangly bits. Care means being there but it also means being excitable and spontaneous. Do something out of the ordinary. And if taking him/her to the theatre doesn’t do the trick, push them, fully-clothed, into a fountain.
2. Can. Be true to yourself and make the impossible, possible. Because you know my friend, there’s no such thing as can’t. Genuinely. I’ve seen numberless examples of things that looked out-of-this-world that were brought down to an Earth level by a stiff constitution and a determination we can all aspire to. And maybe a large whisky.
3. Are strong. You don’t have to pull a cart round the town centre to demonstrate your lack of fragility. Being strong is about making decisions.
Challenge for you: Go for a month without saying ‘I don’t mind’, or ‘it’s up to you’. Within reason – if it’s his/her birthday, you might choose to forego making the choice once or twice. But seriously this stuff is gold: not only does seizing the day, or Carpe Diem to you Romans, make a big, positive impression on S/HWMBO – it also makes you enormously aroused as to your potency. Try it: it’ll make everyone smile.
4. Can cook. I’m totally down with this one. I have this secret hankering to be a chef. I read Londonelicious, and all those blogs where people go to restaurants every flickin day and rattle on about how incredible their dining habits are. And you know what? It’s because there’s an invisible connection between eating and loving. You eat good, you love great.
Secret 1: Oven avoiders can make a huge impact by following Delia Smith’s ridiculously simple How to Cheat at Cooking book. Get yourself a basket of pre-concocted ingredients from M&S (mince beef in gravy in a tin) and a bag of spuds, and you got yourself a lush cottage pie. And a juicy lady or guy who will adore you forever (or at least until you burn the ice cream on your next culinary adventure).