Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Happiness Project: My Relationship

It's time to shift my focus from organization to my February focus:  my relationship with Phil. Don't get me wrong, things are wonderful between us but in my opinion, there is always room for improvement. January was super busy for me and I was gone a lot.  And things really pile up when you are away, like mail, bills, laundry, cleaning, etc.  So when I was home, I was focused on keeping up with my adulting tasks. And, of course, I've been very busy with wedding planning.  The to do list is so dang long so I spend a lot of time on my computer in the evenings.  

In February, I'd like to work on being less distracted and more present in my relationship.  I don't want us to get into the habit of sitting side-by-side on the couch, staring at our computer screens.  So here are some goals I am setting for the month.

1. One meal at the dining room table each week.  I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but most of our meals are eaten on the couch while we watch the news or a show on netflix.  Part of this is because we are often heating up leftovers or doing our own things for dinner so it doesn't always make sense to sit at the dining room table.  But when we eat on the couch, we aren't facing each other, nor are we all that focused on talking to each other.  So once a week I would like to make a point to eat dinner at the dining room table.  Ideally I'd like to have 2 meals/week at the dining room table, but I'm starting with baby steps!

2.  No screen time after 8 pm. I'm terrible about being on my phone or laptop right up until the point that we go to bed.  Phil is far less reliant on his phone (which is typical for men, I think) so he checks it far less often than I do and rarely texts or emails people.  I'm the opposite as I will have long back and forth text message or whatsapp conversations with friends, and I will scroll through facebook at times.  I deleted the Facebook ap off my phone this week, though, so that will help. But in February, I will put my phone out of sight at 8 pm and leave it alone until we go to bed around 10. 

3.  Relax more.  On the weekends, Phil is often asking me to please relax.  For example, he will often make brunch for us on Saturdays but while he's making brunch, I'm in the kitchen doing meal prep or dishes.  He will tell me repeatedly to please go sit down on the couch and relax and he will bring me brunch but I usually power through what I am doing.  I know I need to find ways to relax more, and when he's making me a meal, I should relax and enjoy it.  Phil usually goes to his mom's for the whole day on Sunday so my goal is to try to do more of my meal planning on Sundays when he's gone so that I can relax more with him on Saturdays.  That doesn't mean I will spend the entire day on the couch next to him. But I recognize that I need to work on taking more time to relax and spend some quiet time with him.

It helps that we have a long weekend getaway to look forward to next week as that getaway will be all about relaxing and enjoying time together doing things we love to do.  We've also agreed that we won't discuss the wedding at all as we both need a break (especially me!) from thinking and talking about wedding plans!

Is there a goal or intention you plan to focus on in February? Are you the 'busier' person in your relationship?  Do you have a hard time relaxing like I do?  


Charbelle4 said...

I try really hard not to get involved in text conversations when I'm with Michael. I am guilty of being attached to my phone. This morning I was contemplating deleting FB due to the serious toxicity of it right now. I really appreciate being to keep up with family and friends and since everyone is so scattered it allows me to do this but I'm beginning to question if I need to do this... I think it's great that you are getting away together for a few days!!! It's easy to take the one you love for granted but I think since we're older we understand the need to be intentional with relationships.

Abby said...

I have that same problem about relaxing. Evenings, especially. I just get unsettled easily.

That is a good goal to do the face to face meals. Ryan and I get bad about that with him working weird hours. And sometimes he would come home from work and work on homework all night.

Right now our struggle is being in a long distance marriage lol. There is so much to talk about with all the upcoming changes, we are in different time zones and sometimes it is hard to find a time to talk. And then ill forget what I needed to talk about. So now I've started emailing him things we need to talk about as they come in my mind during the day. This sounds kind of crazy as I type this - ha! It's a challenge!! I'm sure you can relate just with how much your travel!!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

We used to have the same "dinner table" goal when I was growing up. I don't know if my parents had an actual goal in mind, but I know we tried to sit down together more nights than not, even if it was just for a half an hour, or even if one person was missing / at work. I think it's important, as we do often get busy and forget to interact with each other. Also, with kids, I think it's a great time to learn about what your kids are doing all day, what they like and don't like and to take time to be a part of their lives. I guess that also holds true with relationships!

I am probably the "busier" person in my relationship. However, I actually schedule down days. I NEED to have alone time / quiet time to recharge and I make an effort to have at least one evening a week for that. However, the guy I am currently seeing likes to go out and about in the evenings, so that is a challenge, as I am always cutting it short early since I have to get up so early in the morning! And I would rather hang at home in my PJs anyway!

katielookingforward said...

Lately I've been making Monday nights my "cook all the things" night. Its great to have meals ready to go for the busy week, but I wish I would do it on Sunday nights instead. I don't have a specific goal for february, just the ever continuing goal of managing my stress, eating good, and getting exercise. Thankfully I'll be in mexico starting next weekend for a whole week. I cannot wait to get away!

Marlys Dotzenrod said...

I grew up with family meal time at least twice a day, and have continued that throughout my life. Breakfasts not so much because of time frame and different schedules, but we rarely do not seat at the table together for lunch and dinner. But, we do have the TV on so sometimes it distracts us from talking so a goal for me is to shut it off while eating meals! There are simple ways that people can do to make quality time for each other if we put our mind to the task!
Also, working full time is tough as we need to get our "home chores" done in a scant amount of time that is left in the day, so I do find myself rarely sitting down until after 9 PM! It is a task to decide what not do to, but I find that very difficult!
Have a great retreat, and a grand idea to put wedding plans away for a few days!

Carolina John said...

it's always hard to carve out the right amount of time for each other. Even after 20 years together we still struggle with it. I usually have the laptop open for social media during our evening tv hanging out time, and that really bothers Kelley sometimes.

Especially with the amount of Drumpf antics going around now, I'm really trying to shut off and disconnect at the right time. Too much of that is really depressing.

Jeanie said...

Listen to Phil and relax! Oscar will appreciate it too.

Rick and I tend to eat in our own spaces most weeknights and together on the weekends. It's only on the rare occasion (take out and a movie) that we aren't at the table. I try to set it nicely (he's not so good at that on a regular basis though for special occasions does a great job) and make it as lovely as possible.


Gracie said...

I find it so easy to get into the habit of eating in front of TV: it's the only time we watch TV, so at least one weeknight a week David suggests we watch TopGear or Portlandia. But we already have a little tradition of having takeout while watching either football or a mystery or documentary on Sunday nights - so suddenly that's 2/7 nights glued to the tube! Good idea to cut back on that. It's probably easier for me than for you, because I always cook and serve dinner that we eat together, since neither of us has food intolerances or allergies, so really I just need to be more mindful.

Stephany said...

I do not struggle with relaxing at all! (Humble brag?!) In fact, it's something I am such a huge proponent of that I've helped busy friends slow down and relax because being on the go and constantly busy all the time isn't good for ANYONE. We all need time to relax. I'm glad you are making that a focus for February - and that you have a partner who encourages you to do so. :)

I'm trying to work toward getting to bed at a decent hour (9:30) this month. I've never struggled before with going to bed early, but lately, I've been up until 11 or later, which means I never feel fully rested when I wake up.

Sandra Bond said...

We definitely have the same dynamic with technology... I check much more often and interact more on my phone than J does. I have definitely cut back in January and opted for a book more often.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I used to be a very busy person, but when Christopher came along all that changed. He is so relaxed by nature, and he really helped me to be the same, which has reduced my stress, and made me happier in general.

He'll often make breakfast on the weekends, and I'll relax on the couch while he cooks, and visit with him from the living room, or hang out with him in the kitchen while he cooks. We'll meal prep together while making supper in the evening.

Amber said...

I think those are such great goals. I could honestly use all these goals in my life. Eric's new work shift makes things difficult for us, because he doesn't get home until 7:30pm on weekdays so normally i just eat dinner on my own before he gets here. But I definitely could do with being on my phone a lot less and relaxing more on the weekends. Relaxing more has been a huge focus for me in 2017 and I'm slowly but surely getting better at it! But I definitely still feel guilty about doing it a lot of the time..

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

We didn't consistently eat the table for dinner until Isla was like 5 months old ha. We would sit in the living room and watch the news or Gilmore girls together. Now we pretty much sit in our chairs and watch our mutual shows and use our laptops/phones. He works and I connect with people. I think we'd go insane if we did no screen time after 8pm. Especially since that is when Isla goes to bed and usually when I get on my screens. And plus Anthony has work for his business that he needs to do so that would be a no go. Especially since we go to bed at 11!!! We have gotten better on the weekends lately and have been playing more games and hanging out downstairs at our bar.

Linda said...

We used to be better about eating at the dining room table but I've taken over it with my computer/camera, journals so lately we've defaulted to the couch with netflix. thanks for the reminder that it's worth the trouble to clear the dining room!

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