You will have to forgive me for getting uncharacteristically mushy today. I have talked previously here and here about ways in which our family attempts to find ways to reduce the time taken by every day tasks in order to spend more quality time together and I also covered some of the things we love to do together as a family when the kiddo’s are home for the holidays. However, one of the things I always feel we should make more time for is each other…..as a couple.
This week my hubbie and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. We got married young for a variety of reasons, the main one of which for me was that I knew, even as young as I was that I had found someone I couldn’t risk losing. (Insert here a list of all of my man’s wonderful qualities which include the ability to make me laugh even when I’m trying very hard to be angry, a beautiful, kind heart and generous, caring spirit and an uncanny ability to pluck from the air a limitless number of strange and wonderful topics of conversation when he can see he’s about to lose a ‘debate’). We were both on the cusp of big life decisions when we met which would have taken us in separate directions and I knew that leaving him behind would be a decision I would regret for the rest of my life. He won’t thank me for getting overly gushing here (he’s certainly squirming already) so I’ll leave it at that but suffice to say, it turns out I was right about him!
Every year around this time we try to take a weekend or at least an evening together without the children and it always makes me think that we should do it more often. Having time to talk and laugh about everything and anything without interruption is far too rare a thing in our lives these days and I always find myself wishfully thinking that we should make time for ‘us’ more frequently.
So, since this little blog is all about getting my life in order, I wanted to make that apply to us personally as well as to our home and the things around us. So, I have come up with a few things I am going to try to do, to prioritise ‘us.’
PLAN AHEAD FOR TIME TOGETHER
Whenever I talk with friends about arranging a night out or a day together, I always suggest putting something in the diary well ahead of time. I do this because I know how busy our lives and the lives of those around us can be and trying to fit things in at the last minute rarely works out. My plan is to try implementing this tactic within our own relationship. Putting a date in the diary to spend time with each other seems like such a simple thing and yet we rarely do it. In fact, I can see how it would feel like I prioritise time with friends and family over time with each other. There definitely needs to be a better balance. Therefore, it will be my plan henceforth to prioritise at least one evening each week to be together and I will be planning well ahead of time to avoid disappointment!
KEEP OUR LITTLE TRADITIONS GOING, EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE TOO MUCH OF AN EFFORT
Over the years, we have developed what I can only describe as ‘traditions’ which we have always done. Things like a cup of tea in bed in the morning, a kiss and ‘I love you’ before either of us leaves the house, dinner at our favourite restaurant on our anniversary. These are small things but they are still important. I feel like it’s worth the effort to make the effort (if that makes sense?!)
BE NICE TO EACH OTHER
This one sounds so obvious and yet, it can be so easy to slip into the habit of not appreciating one another. For example, being polite to one another and ‘using our manners’ can really make such a difference to the way a conversation goes but sometimes they are so easily forgotten when you live with someone. I remind my children constantly about these things but I don’t always practise what I preach when it comes to my own exchanges. I will be setting a better example from now on.
EAT AT THE TABLE…..AND TURN OFF THE TV
This is one that we really try hard to observe but just recently we’ve been a little bit lazy about turning off the TV. Having the TV on makes eating dinner together a totally different experience. If it’s off, we always find ourselves talking about what we’ve been up to, planning the coming days together, discussing the children’s highs and lows. Sometimes this is the only time during the whole day that we actually stop and stay still in the same place at the same time. With the TV on, we just sit side by side in silence. An opportunity to catch up with each other has been wasted. Why would we want to do that? So, off with the TV it is.
I remember a few years ago when the world started going mobile crazy, noticing a difference in the way people around me behaved when it came to technology. To start with, people would discreetly check their phone for text messages whilst we were mid-conversation. Then, they were replying to those messages. Then, sitting on my sofa when we were having coffee scrolling through their Facebook news feed as we chatted. I can even think of occasions when people have drifted away from the thread of a discussion without even realising they were doing it leaving me to wait for them to be ‘back in the room.’ I used to find all of those things rude and annoying (to say the least!)
However, sad though it surely is, it seems like now it’s completely accepted for all of those things to happen. People openly scroll through the news or check their emails while in the middle of a conversation with another person and I have to confess, I have slowly but surely joined them. The worst thing of all is that I find myself doing it with my own family! My husband and children have all had to endure my ‘phone-checking’ and ‘iPad scrolling’ while they wait (sometimes) patiently for me to focus back on them. In my defence, I am always apologetic when I realise this has happened but what is it I think I am going to find on my phone or iPad that could possibly be more important than whatever they have to tell me?! So, you read it here, I am going to STOP.
So, does anyone feel like joining me in making a little bit of an effort here and there to feel the looove?! Is anyone out there celebrating an anniversary and being more mindful about their relationship? I would love to hear about it. Til next week…..xoxo