Work life balance is hard for many people; I’ve still yet to master it.
Last week Ms. Coco talked about a mission statement. I’ve been thinking about the question she asked last week. I don’t have many answers yet, but I’m working figuring out the answers.
I recently attended a conference for work. But this conference was quite exceptional in that, you could bring your family, and made time each day for a group/family activity. The family time not only helped the attendees bond, but it also gave folks time to bond in a new way.
Ms. Coco had to work this week and could not attend with me. I missed our time together and wished she could have joined me. But I feel like this period apart was also valuable in that it made me appreciate our time together so much more!
The habit of taking a break a once a year to reevaluate work and family priorities is important to me.
How does one make sure they are a good husband, father, and person? This issue that was presented to me this week; by a colleague. I’ve found that asking better questions is a valuable skill.
So my plan this week is to take some time to try to answer some important inquiries. How am I going to do this? I don’t fully know. But I’m sure it will start with reading and research.
This month of rituals and traditions have shaped our relationship in a different way than I imagined. I believe the Gentleman Farmer and I have always observed various rituals and traditions but have never talked about why we do what we do. I think it is always important to know why we do what we do, whether that is personally or together. The Gentleman Farmer and I have discussed this for the past couple of weeks. For example, each night we give each other a kiss before saying goodnight. I think that is important and it lets me know we care about each other and are acknowledging each other before bed. If we miss a night my feelings are slightly hurt. (Don’t judge…we all have our things.)
For the last week or so the GF and I have discussed writing a mission statment for our relationship. I listen to many podcasts and at least three of them last week mentioned mission statements within their relationships. The couples who discussed them relayed how this mission statment was a tradition or ritual based on where they were in their lives. One couple just got married, another just had their third child, and another had been together for two years. I thought this concept of creating a mission statment was great! It directly impacts the work I do on a daily basis with families, but also it is a great thing to do with my honey. This exercise is ongoing and flexible and can be modified whenever we need.
So we started with a few questions. What is the purpose of our relationship? What type of life do we want to live? What does being right and wrong mean to us? What legacy do we want to leave together? Where do we want to raise our future kids? I asked the GF many questions that I found on the internet. I started with Cooperative Extension websites first because I wanted to see research based information. Then I looked at other samples and websites. I am always curious to see great examples of how others showcase their real realtionships. The GF and I both have our faults but I do believe, and hope, that we care about our relationship enough that we will foster intimacy in various ways other than just the physical.
We haven’t actually written the mission statement yet. And like the couples in the podcasts, this is a working “document” if you will. Maybe one day we will share it with the world. I wouldn’t mind.
We did go to the Juneteenth celebration this weekend in Lexington. It was pretty interesting. We didn’t stay long enough to hear or see the other informational acts that day but it was in a park after an African-American jockey from the late 19th century. I also signed up to volunteer with a coalition in the city. I believe community is important and I am trying to join communities in which we share similar interests. We’ll see how this goes!
Right now I’m planning for Sunday dinner. A new Tradition we are working on adopting. For some reason most of my new habits and traditions revolve around food.
I also have some new personal habits, like being active an hour a day, writing, and reading for at least 30 minutes a day. We also have our relationship goals, like celebrating accomplishments, new holidays, and planning out at least one meal a day for the whole week.
I’ve been writing a lot this last week. I was attending a writers conference and trying to improve my ability to put pen to paper. I learned a lot from several very good writers, about their habits, and how they keep themselves productive. Haveing a routines like taking a walk befor and after working for several hours, making tea, or finding a inspiring place to work like your front poarch of writing cubby helps keep you motivated.
Makeing small adjustments has made it easy and seems more effortless to adopt these habits. I’ve also been careful about how I add or take way thing. I know I’m busy on Fridays and I kept out date night their so we wouldn’t have to worry about cooking on Friday which is usually a busy day for us both. Sunday dinner is also good because it give me a chance to shop for the week ahead and make a little extra for Lunch on Monday and Tuesday.
Ms. Coco want to celebrate more holidays, so I’m talking it upon my self to learn more about the holidays and traditions associated with them. My family was never big on celebrations but I do enjoy them and I know she does too. I’m going to be learning a lot this week about June-teenth, wish me luck and you can help me out by commenting about June-teenth traditions.
Well, the month of May has come to a close and the Gentleman Farmer and I have made it out alive! I never had a doubt whether our relationship would still be in tact after 31 days of cohabitation, I just wondered how our mental state would be…or more so, my own mental capability after this month’s challenge. I think it was much easier than I anticipated overall. The Gentleman Farmer would tell you he is an excellent “roommate” and I would have to agree with him. He is courteous of others, he does his share of chores – even though we never verbally discussed chores this month – and he prepares breakfast more times than I do! I am not a huge fan of breakfast but I fully understand why we are more productive and healthier if we do. However, I am a pretty good “roommate” if I say so myself. I cook dinner most nights (that we are at my house), I have snacks that he prefers (and La Croix water), and he always has lunch for the next day! I realize all of this revolves around food…but hey, I know what I know! I think it was a tie for this challenge.
The month of June is when we discover, explore, and create traditions that will last a lifetime. We certainly already have a few rituals or traditions that we observe. The Gentleman Farmer prepares dinner on Sunday nights. We celebrate accomplishments! Not every family celebrate birthdays, holidays, graduations, or other milestones. However, we do this together and make a big deal of them, or at least I do and drag the GF along with me. June brings celebrations of African-American Music Month and the Juneteenth Celebration. I have grown up celebrating Juneteenth and would like to see how Lexington does so, if at all. We used to have community events at the park where I grew up. This included some type of learning program and lots of food. We usually celebrated other African-American holidays such as Black History Month and Kwanzaa. My mother was serious about her children learning the history of our people. She, and Nas (the rapper), always said “they” never teach you came from kings and queens. I am a Zimbabwean princess afterall…from the Shona tribe. 🙂
I look forward to starting and continuing traditions or rituals with the GF. He is my favorite person and I like being as spontaneous with him…or as predictable with him. All of these things set a strong foundation for how we choose to live our lives. And I like the way we are going. Every year I feel you should ask that person you like and love if you’re still going in the right direction. Since I asked him this a few months back I will have to ask another time…but for now we are both on the same page. I like that very much.