If you’ve been following for a while, you’ve heard me talk about That #PrimaryFoodThing on the blog before. Primary Food is one the the main health premises taught at IIN (where I went to school for nutrition coaching). This premise is: you could eat all the kale in the world, or any other extra healthy diet, but if your relationships are awful or abusive, your job is something that you dread going back to on Monday, or you’re completely out of touch with yourself and your spirituality, you will not be able to thrive. And if you are mired in all these things, you won’t be healthy overall.
Primary Food is divided into 4 main categories: Career, Relationships, Spirituality, and Physical Activity. Every now and then, it’s a good idea to pause and think about how you would rate each of these areas in your life, so you can adjust where you would like to spend your focus to keep everything balanced. (If you’re interested in assessing your own Primary Food needs, you can use this tool.) I’ve been working on the Career area for the last year and a half, so when I took a moment to think about where I was with my own Primary Food at the end of last year, I realized that it was time to shift my focus to building (and maintaining) stronger relationships in my life. And voila! 2019: The Year of the Relationship was born.
One of the first things I wanted to do in this area was to build a stronger relationship with the hubs. I’m sure many of you can relate to the ships-passing-in-the-night feeling that we get when our kids, toddlers, and babies are young. At first, we’re in survival mode. After that, it morphs into juggling 2 full-time jobs, kids extra curricular activities, the groceries, the errands, household chores, and all of that. If we don’t intentionally create the time to reconnect as a couple without all that noise, we can go months with out really knowing how our other half is doing.
I always see the suggestion to schedule a date night once a month. Great idea! BUT when like us, you don’t have grandparents or other family and friends who can help out with the kids, a once a month date night can be cost prohibitive. The next suggestion is “ok, schedule your date night at home after the kids are asleep.” Also a great idea! We went with this route, but then found that sitting together on the couch in front of a movie wasn’t exactly giving us the opportunity to reconnect. And we found that we often skipped these dates due to being flat-out exhausted.
This year, my word is intention, and that is exactly how we needed to be with these monthly dates, more intentional. In December, I began to work on planning out 12 dates for us to do each month of 2019. And of course, work and life got in the way and I wasn’t making much progress, especially since I wanted these to be really fun but also be AT HOME as much as possible (and you can only play board games so many times, amirite?) Then I stumbled across Date Night In, a monthly subscription box to create dates for us at home. You mean, I didn’t have to plan it all myself? I could be just as surprised as hubs when we went on our date? Perfect.
I bought a subscription for Christmas, and we got our first box in the mail Friday. Each moth has a theme for the date and I nearly died laughing because the theme for this month was engineering, and hubs and I are both engineers. This made the box a perfect “ice breaker” for us since the topic wasn’t too far out of our comfort zone. We had our Date Night In date last night. The short story is that it was actually really fun!
The booklet gives you recipes for a nice dinner, activities, and talking points to go over. We made the mixed drink (which is one we would have never tried but both ended up liking a lot) and the appetizer since we already ate a light dinner with the kids earlier.
The relationship questions and talking points provided were actually really great as well (I was worried they would be cheesy). They were the kind of deeper questions that you may not normally ask or discuss with your partner, especially when you are caught up in the business of day-to-day life with young kids. They led us to some good conversation tangents, working out a few issues (WOW), and laughing.
The activities were all fun to do, especially for us as engineers. We built a candle holder/lantern out of popsicle sticks, a truss/platform out of toothpicks and jelly beans, and the “tallest tower possible” out of straws (really, we didn’t go as high as we could because it was late by then and we were like – meh, we know we could make this higher but we wanna go to bed). Each of the activities had discussion that related back to the intro questions we had talked about at the beginning. So it kept our focus on the date theme: Why having a strong foundation is important, which was great.
Overall, it was fun and a great way to spend time together actually doing something to make our relationship stronger. I’m looking forward to the box coming next month! If you are thinking about working on the relationship area of your Primary Food, I highly recommend you try it out. It seems like the perfect fit for us in this stage of life.