Ever feel like you’re in a rut when it comes to having fun things to do? It can be hard to live life fully, especially when we’re bogged down with work and family obligations or suffer from poor health or stress overload. Sometimes we just want to stay in our comfort zone, sit on the couch and scroll through our feed or watch Netflix, and that’s perfectly ok…until it’s not. There are amazing things to see and do around us, and amazing people to do them with…and let’s face it, we have a limited amount of time in which to do them. That’s why this month’s blog series is all about making memories and spending more quality time with the people we cherish in our lives. While we don’t have to go filling every day of our calendar with events, there are so many ways to hit refresh on fun – and to strengthen relationships while we’re at it. Not next week, or next year, but today; let’s start right now.
Quality over quantity
Making memories is all about sharing special moments and being present. While we may see a lot of the people in our lives, there’s a distinct difference between quality and quantity of time spent together. Sometimes we’ll ‘save up’ our fun for when we’re on vacation or at a party, but there’s so much living and enjoyment to experience every single day. So, how do we go about shaking things up and taking things up a notch or two? Let’s start with a very important relationship – our spouses, partners, boyfriends or girlfriends.
Making your significant other more significant
Have you ever been to a restaurant and watched a couple who were on their phones or just eating in silence looking bored to tears? How do we avoid that from happening to our relationships, or fixing it if it already has? It’s easier than you think! Just start by committing to bringing your best to the relationship and communicating your desire to do more, share more and laugh more, it’s completely contagious! I can’t think of anyone who would turn down a loved one who said “Hey, time with you is so important, let’s have more fun together”.
The life of a parent
For anyone with small children, your relationship will occasionally take a back seat to the kids, which is normal. However, it’s important to remember why you connected with one another in the first place, and work to keep that spark alive. I once heard an interesting comment, that “kids pass through your marriage”. Taking time to nurture your romantic relationship throughout those years of child-rearing is essential. Book that babysitter, put the kids to bed early on a Friday, or find other ways to carve out one-on-one time; it’s the best investment you can make. Your kids will see for themselves what a solid, loving relationship looks like.
Choose fun over romantic
Sometimes it’s just too much pressure to plan a romantic dinner, date or getaway. Often what couples need is just plain, old fashioned silliness and spontaneity. The romance part sorts itself out when we’re relaxed and happy, not when it’s a designated time slot. Candles and soft music may be lovely, but they aren’t nearly as sexy as a partner who just wants to laugh with you. Beyond making a nice meal together or watching a favourite show or a movie, here suggestions to bond a bit closer:
- Try something new – go axe throwing, sing karaoke, take up a new sport or hobby such as golf, curling, skiing, scuba diving, Polynesian food, or anything you may be remotely interested in. Just say yes.
- Play games – enjoy a coffee or glass of wine together and break out a deck of cards, a board game or your iPad and see what clever games are available.
- Be a tourist in your own community. Go to the fair, theme park, zoo, festivals, concerts, farmer’s market, art exhibits, and more. Re-do some of your first dates!
Getting outside does wonders for the heart, soul, mind and body. There are endless activities to take advantage of that you can do just with each other or bring the kids along too. Here are just a few to get started:
- Walks, hikes, bike rides – any time of day, at whatever level of intensity, being active outdoors bonds you closer. Make it better by holding hands or planning a picnic.
- Be with nature – say yes to a back-yard bonfire, camping (or ‘glamping’), stargazing, a visit to the beach, a walk in the forest and making snow angels.
- Do the chores together – shovel, rake, stain the deck, garden – it’s not just one person’s ‘job’; sharing household responsibilities makes it less of a burden and a lot more enjoyable.
Whether you’ve been in a relationship for one month or 30 years, it’s important to seize those moments together and make lasting memories. When couples grow apart, it’s often because they didn’t put in the time needed to make it work. Today’s the day to bust out of that relationship rut and start fresh; fun and frolicking are the easiest ways to rekindle the fire.
“The best time to love with your whole heart is always now, in this moment, because no breath beyond the current is promised.” – Fawn Weaver