Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to keep a calendar when you're married

The tradition is to save the top of your wedding cake in the freezer and then celebrate your one-year with a (hopefully un-freezer burnt) slice. Well... almost two years later, John and I finally cut into the cake at the beach over the 4th of July. The top of our cake has been taking up a lot of space in my parents' freezer, so I think they were more than ready for us to finally finish it off!

It looked less than promising...

...especially after knowing what it looked like on our wedding day.

We were nervous to give it a try, but it was surprisingly still tasty!

Not quite as elegant as at our wedding!

Thankfully, as John said: Our marriage has held up a lot better than the cake did!

Recently, one of the things that we've been doing to keep our marriage strong is changing the way that we keep our calendar.

Although schedules are less than romantic, keeping our calendar in a new way has allowed us to keep our marriage adventurous. We are both "J" on Myers-Briggs (i.e. like to plan and schedule a lot), which meant that when we were first married we were setting plans over a month in advance.

Planning so far ahead, however, prevented us from accepting a lot of invitations and hanging out with friends on a whim.

But what really got our attention is when John was sick the first few months of this year. His illness prevented us from keeping a lot of our plans, so when he was well, we found our weeks slammed with one rescheduled commitment after another. This left not a whole lot of downtime or time for date nights.

And as someone who needs a little time alone in order to recharge, I was exhausted.

So we regrouped and came up with a way we could keep our calendar that still allowed us to plan ahead while protecting our down time. Here's our method:

  • At the beginning of each month, we sync up our calendars to make sure we're both aware of big events or other happenings that we are scheduled to attend that month (either together or separately).
  • Then we go week by week and schedule our nights according to three categories: (1) Night of rest (i.e. time alone together or a date night), (2) Outreach night (time with our neighbors, church community group, new people we want to reach out to, etc.), and (3) Friend night (time with our friends)
  • We don't have to set who we'll invite over or what we want to plan, we just ensure that each week has at least each of those categories per week. 
  • Then when someone invites us somewhere or we want to have someone over for dinner, we can use our scheduled night for that category.
  • We're also not rigid about it, so as long as we have one of those each category per week, we can switch nights around accordingly.

This practice has been helpful for us, so I thought I'd share it in case others could benefit from how to schedule yet still be flexible. Let me know if you have questions and happy planning!

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