Values drive one’s very essence of being. Values define who someone is and how he lives his life.

As I was musing about what to blog about today, I was thinking about a conversation I had with my partner as we were watching the sun rise on Sunday morning. As different as we are in personality, our core values are the same. That’s really what keeps us together, and continues to serve as the foundation of our relationship.

1. We value each other by respecting that each of us is different, but has much to contribute to the other. We appreciate that our differences make us who we are. We trust each other. Most of all, we are still both deeply in love with each other.

2. We value financial independence and common sense. Simply, we don’t spend what we don’t have. We act responsibly when it comes to money.

3. We value financial security. We each have a “rainy day fund” that can provide for our living expenses for at least 12 months should something happen to our respective sources of income. We also have been pretty good at saving for retirement since long before we met and have a diversified retirement investment plan.

4. We value family. My partner cares for his mother who is a rather difficult woman to love. I provide regular care and supervision for an elderly aunt. I’ve blogged a lot about my family, and certainly our love of family is deep and devoted.

5. We value caring for others. There are a number of people who we have included in our lives in a variety of ways. Often, we just sit and listen. Sometimes we help out with household repairs. Sometimes we provide transportation to medical appointments or the grocery store. I send countless birthday cards, “thinking of you” cards, and make tons of phone calls. Caring for others is a core value that my partner and I developed independently, but share equally.

6. We value integrity. We live honestly, openly, and with trust and confidence. We become very annoyed and sometimes angry with liars and cheats.

7. We value discipline and decisiveness. While I may seem to lead a very disorganized life with a zillion things going on and being rather forgetful, generally speaking, I don’t dither on a decision and if I say I’m going to do something, I do it. My partner is equally reliable.

8. We value patience. Goodness knows, the man in my life must be patient. I can be hard to handle; sorta like the Tazmanian Devil in the Looney Tunes cartoons. My partner also has his dark and moody periods, driven by chronic pain. We both have learned how to be patient with each other.

9. We value intelligence. We both do not suffer fools well.

10. We value others who share the same values. We gravitate toward others who share the same values of respect, integrity, and trust. That is among the reasons why I am so close to “AZ”, Clay, UTBR, and David [Bamaboy] (names of guys on “Boots on Line”) whose core values are beyond question. (If I haven’t mentioned you, it may be because I just don’t know you as well).

Am I a Boy Scout? Is my partner a saint? Nope… to either question. We’re both loaded with faults and frailties. But this statement of values expresses who we are, what we are, and what drives us to be “us”.

Have you thought of what you value? I tell ‘ya, this was an interesting writing exercise for me.