With it being January and everyone still making, talking about, or working on their resolutions, I thought I’d share one resolution that I made last year that actually stuck.
This time last year, I was working outside the home full time as a graphic designer for a large arts and crafts company, with an hour commute every morning and evening, 8:30-5:00, five days a week. My husband was going to school part time for his degree and working four 10-hour shifts a week as a police officer. Mind you, he works the evening shift, so he was getting home at 1:30am-ish every night and sleeping in until 10:00am, unless he had class at 8:00am. Our weekends didn’t match up, (mine was Saturday and Sunday, while his were Monday through Wednesday) so we were like ships passing in the night and hardly saw each other. We would mostly see each other asleep or spend a few hours together on each other’s weekends before the other would head out to work. We were both exhausted and it was wearing us thin. Our communication, schedules, and budget seemed all out of whack. We finally decided to do something about it.
We decided to make a point to go on a date once a month, preferably within the first week of the month, to sit down together and go over the upcoming weeks. We tried this for one month, then two, then six, and I’m proud to say that we were able to meet for eleven months last year! We tried to meet in December, but it was just a bit crazy with the holidays.
Now, it’s a date that we look forward to and thankfully is a little easier to schedule, now that I’m home full time. I’m now on his sleep schedule and we see each other a lot more now, but we still look forward to sitting down and making a point to discuss the upcoming month.
When we meet, we both bring our planners or calendars. I bring notes on our finances and a laptop. If there’s anything else either of us want to talk about with the other, we bring that too. We will usually go to a coffee shop or some place where we can get some lunch or dinner and stay for a while. We look over our schedules and note any events, appointments, meetings, holidays, birthdays, etc. that may be coming up. We talk through our budget and savings goals so that we both are on the same page with our finances. I am our bookkeeper and manage our bill pay, but it’s important to both be aware of how our money is being spent and agree on mutual goals.
Our dates also allow us some time away from the house and distractions to really enable us to focus together and talk about what’s going on or what we want to do in the upcoming months. Even though I’m home full time now, there are still so many tasks both at home and with our schedules that we can get busy and caught up in. It’s nice to take a break, relax, and focus together. We still plan on having these monthly planning dates this year!
Since last year, a lot has changed and thankfully we are no longer ships in the night. But we still value making time to spend with one another and work through life together. Our dates have not only helped us get on the same page schedule-wise, but have helped our marriage stay strong. We’re not perfect by any means. This past year has brought a lot of change into our lives and has given us a few bumps in the road. However, by dedicating some time to talk and work together, we are able to take on the curves and bumps in the road a little easier.
What are your favorite things to plan with your spouse?