Bringing a Family Tradition Into Our Marriage

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It’s 7Am and I’m writing to you while watching the hubs work his way up a 55 foot rock wall at his gym with one of his new buddies. The rain is thumping quite rhythmically on the window sill next to me and the sound of Black & Decker drills are ever-so-present as new routes are being set.

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts this week about the outpour of growth in Brandon and I individually. Until recently, I hadn’t really thought of what that would mean for us a couple.

We’ve had the type of dynamic that some consider nauseatingly attached at the hip. There hasn’t been much over the last 9 years that wasn’t done side by side.

Lately though, we’re finding ourselves in a new dynamic.

With growth comes change and that’s not always easy, even the good kind of change. For the first time in his life, my husband has a hobby. A literal passion to learn and grow in something for no other purpose than for the simple joy of it.

Rock climbing is a whole new world for him and while it’s full of possibilities, new adventures, & lots of new friends, it’s also full of changes with us. I’m finding myself more alone than I’m accustomed to. His new thirst for the outdoors takes him away to the mountains every opportunity he can get, and I seem to be reaching for more quality time together, than ever before. Hence, why I decided to work from his gym cafe this morning and watch him in his element, while working in mine.

Change is upon us, and while I absolutely love what’s happening to and forhim, I find it challenging at times to settle into a new normal.

Luckily – I’m the proud owner of a SLEW of tools and methods to help pull me through uncomfortable, but necessary phases such as these.

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite and most joyous “strategies” that we resurrected from my childhood.


FAMILY-PICKS

Growing up we had a coveted standing-family-date every Sunday after Sunday School.

There were 4 of us, so every week (about once a month) we took turns picking a fun activity we would do as a family, and rest of the group HAD to accept (within reason… I mean I’m sure I suggested Disney Land a few times, but hey, you don’t know if you don’t ask, right?🤷🏻‍♀️).

A typical month looked like this: mom would pick shopping at the mall, dad would pick bowling, my brother would pick the batting cages, and I would pick the movies.

There was only 1 ground rule: Nobody comes in, and nobody goes out! For my parents, this was sacred family time that I now understand as an adult the true value of.

We maintained our weekly family date for years before life started to pull us kids in different directions with various activities, but I always LOVED and appreciated this tradition so much.

Last January, unbeknownst to him, Brandon managed to bring Family-Picks BACK!

One Saturday morning, he surprised me with a date to attend a Bunny-Yoga class at a community center. YES – BUNNY! YOGA! (the way cuter and cuddlier version of the popular goat-yoga trend).

This was combining two of my top-five-favorite-things-ever into ONE event… AND it ended with mimosas and extra play time with the bun-buns!!

This sparked so much happiness and joy in me that, over our post-workout beers, I declared we bring Family-Picks back!

So now, once a month we trade off being totally responsible for fully planning and executing a fun activity. It doesn’t have to be something new or even a surprise. The only rule is that we aren’t allowed to drop the ball when it’s our month!

This forced-monthly-date has become something that, like my parents, I cherish and protect deeply. Until we incorporated this into our lives (and applied some pressure onto each other to actually follow through), you would be appalled by how little FUN we used to build into our schedule as a couple.

We made excuses like “well we play music for a living, so that’s fun enough” or “we can’t afford a frivolous play-date, plus we hang out with each other all the time!”

But with a little preplanning, and a new line item in our budget, it fits right into our life, and has proven to add MASSIVE value when it comes to our overall happiness and quality time.

If this sounds intriguing to you, STEAL IT! Whether you’re living the single life, a family of 2 like us, or have kids, if it’s something you think could benefit and strengthen your relationship, run with it!

I made a list of random ideas to help get you started!

Just remember, before you jump in, set some agreed-upon ground rules so that no one feels let down, resentful, or stressed! That’s no fun at all, and SO not the point!  ☺️

25 FAMILY-PICKS IDEAS:
Studio Movie Grill
Ice-skating
iFly
Go-kart Racing
A Message
Going on a Hike
Indoor Rock Climbing
Family 5k
Float Spa
Ropes Course
Laser Tag
Acro-Yoga
Escape Room
Cooking Class
Soap Making Class
Sushi Making Class
Dance Class
Naked-Life Drawing Class (oh yeah👩🏻‍🎨)
Game night
Drive-In Movie
Segway Riding Tour
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
Comedy Club
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
See Live Music!!! 


Hope that got the juices flowing! Thanks for reading, see you next week!

❤️Jackie Gibbons

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