| SIMPLIFY | CLARIFY | BEAUTIFY |
#TheEverydaySpruce isn’t just about things to do around the house. Last week, Sarah-Lou focused on making little improvements to your bedtime routine – life always feels so much better when you’ve had a decent night’s sleep – and this week I’ve been looking at my relationships.
Obviously romance is a hot topic this month. Valentines is pretty low key in our house, but it did get me thinking about my relationship, and how easy it is to fall into a pattern where you actually don’t make a lot of time for your other half. I’m definitely guilty of this – we spend far too many evenings zoned out in front of the TV, and not enough time actually talking or doing something different together.
Now the twins are at school, we actually have more free time on our hands because my husband doesn’t work a standard 9-5 job and I’m freelance. So far we’ve directed our energy towards all those DIY jobs that we never got round to before, but I think we need to be more mindful of our time together. With this in mind, I’ve created a box of 12 things we can do together this year. There’s a card for each month, with a simple idea written on the back. Some people might call them ‘date nights’ I suppose but I have a irrationally strong aversion to the term! I can’t really put my finger on what it is exactly that drives me batshit crazy about it – maybe the pressure it implies or the overt sentimentality? Either way, there will no ‘date nights’ in my house, but I do think we could do with a gentle push each month to break out of our everyday routine and reconnect.
For us, I’ve actually identified a specific day each month for us to do something. I have my husband’s shift pattern a year in advance so this is possible, and I think we’re more likely to stick to it if the dates are written onto our calendar. The activities are fairly ordinary – for example every time we drive through a local village we talk about how we should park up and go for coffee one day, but we’ve never actually done it. We’ve got into the habit of eating our dinner on our laps in front of the TV – I’d like to cook and eat together more often. We’re lucky in that we have some daytime free together, but I have also included a few evening adventures, even if it’s just a couple of drinks in our local pub, or a walk on a summer evening.
Of course you could give the box as a gift for a special occasion, but I don’t reckon it has to be a big deal, presented with a flourish. It would work just as well introduced quietly into your daily life without a lot of fuss – you could both put ideas in for things you’d like to do so that it’s a joint effort.
I think it would also be a great idea to do for a good friend that you wish you saw more often, or for your mum or dad. Or if you’re stuck in a rut with the things you do with your children, then use it to help identify some different things you can do together. There are so many possibilities!