Monday, January 30, 2017

in search of quality time

A little over a month ago, Will and I set out to improve our marriage. Now, we don't, by any means, have a bad marriage - although we disagree and argue and frustrate each other just as much as any couple, 95% of the time we're good. But since there's always room for improvement we decided to try and change things up a little bit. One thing we've noticed over the years, especially after having kids, is that we end up putting each other last. We're needed at work or by the kids or by whatever volunteer position we're involved in, and since we know that we can each handle ourselves by ourselves, we end up putting each other on the back burner. Not all the time - it definitely happens in phases and seasons - but still it happens. We sit together to watch a show or a game or read but we don't have a lot of interaction, each tired and processing the day separately although we are, technically, together in the same room.

Now I know there are some people who consider this "being in the same room together but not actually interacting" thing as quality time. 

I am not one of those people.

For me to classify an interaction as "quality time," we have to actually look each other in the eye and have a conversation, or we need to do something that requires us to interact in some way. So for me, something like seeing a movie does not automatically count as quality time. We actually need to discuss the movie afterwards to get the quality time piece in. Picky? Maybe. But this is how I feel, for better or worse, and fortunately for me, my patient husband has tried to keep this in mind over our almost-thirteen-year-marriage.

So just before Christmas, when both of us were busy with different things and starting to do the "we're in the same room but not paying attention to each other" thing more often than not, Will suggested we try something new. Our solution to the quality time issue in this fast-paced, technology-ridden world that we live in was to take just one night a week, and completely unplug. No phones, no tv, no computer, no movies. Just us. And whatever we could come up with to do. We've only been doing it for a few weeks but I already look forward to it as a time for us to really check in with each other and just have fun.

Both of us are pretty low-key homebodies, so we pull out games and puzzles and remember what it was like when it was just the two of us and we hung out together every night after work. (Sometimes I look back at our lives before kids and wonder what did we do with all that TIME?! Seriously, what did we do?!)

He sunk my battleship.

Knowing that we wanted to spend more quality time together, Will got me a couple's cooking class for Christmas. We went one Friday night in January and had so much fun! We made steak and broccolini and polenta and gelato and enjoyed a few hours of good quality time. And bonus, we now know how to cook a good steak!

We're looking forward to seeing what else we can come up with to make sure we continue to spend quality time together each week. If you have any favorite activities you do with your spouse, please send them our way!

Wishing you a great start to your week!

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