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The Valentine’s Day HALT

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Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



Valentine’s Day has become more special to me because of my wife.

Joanna and I have been doing this “love” thing for a long time… and the more life you live, the more you realize how precious it is.

She juggles so many schedules. I have trouble following one.

She knows where everything is. I can’t find anything.

So, yeah, I’d be lost without her.

A black dog with a rose in its mouth, with a quote about true love

Joanna gives so much to so many… and she does it unconditionally. I wish I was better at that.

She also excels at recognizing the good in others. I need to hone that skill, too.

Lately, I’ve been taking inventory of my character traits. And, honestly, I don’t always like what I find.

I can be selfish. I’m often impatient. And there are times when I am downright stubborn.  That’s the stuff that makes you not talk to each other for three hours… or even three days.  

I’m not proud of my character flaws, but I am beginning to identify them so that I can start doing the opposite.

A black dog with a rose in its mouth, with a quote about growth

Journaling in the morning and the evening has made me more aware of the choices I make and the emotions I feel.

By reflecting on my day, I’m able to see certain patterns in my behavior.

I’ve read about an acronym used in some programs called HALT.

It’s purpose is to remind us of the most common stressors. HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.

That’s also handy when taking inventory of your emotions.

Of course, HALT also means to stop. To pause. To hold back.

In my case, HALT stands for “Have A Little Timeout.”

A black dog with a rose in its mouth, with a quote about slowing down

I’ve been doing a lot more HALTing lately.

When I’m about to say something silly, selfish, or stubborn, I HALT and ask myself three questions:

  • Does it need to be said?
  • Does it need to be said right now?
  • Does it need to be said by me?

If my answer to any or all of these questions is “no” (and it usually is), I shut my bit yapper. I don’t always have to be right… even on the rare occasions when I actually am.

Maybe it’s just  because it’s Valentine’s Day…. but I’ve been thinking more and more about my relationship with Joanna… and how I can do better.

Because there’s nobody in this world I’d rather do life with than her.

A black dog with a rose in its mouth, with a quote about true love

Thankfully, God doesn’t ask for perfection, he just asks for progress.

So if there’s a special someone in your life, don’t forget to HALT. It will make your Valentine’s Day – and the rest of your life – so much better.

Take care, Neighbor. Take good care.

Oh, and PS… did you know “Lovebirds” are actual birds? These petite, brightly plumed parrots are curious, affectionate, intelligent… and once they find their mate, they’re linked for life.

A selfie of a smiling couple

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