Category Archives: Resolutions

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The Lovers’ Diet – Week 2 – Tea Buddy Challenge

Week 1 of The Lovers’ Diet is done and dusted, and I have seven lovely complements to show for it.

Sure, my man may have forgotten his task (ahem, twice), but he made up for it in typical fashion by giving me three complements on one piece of paper, ensuring he met his prescribed quota and didn’t end up in the doghouse. Nicely played, sir.

Last week’s challenge was all about reminding ourselves – and our partners – of how lucky we are to have found each other. I’ve been reading ‘The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work’ and this paragraph stuck with me: 

“At first, this may all seem obvious to the point of being ridiculous: People who are happily married like each other. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be happily married. But fondness and admiration can be fragile unless you remain aware of how crucial they are to the friendship that is the core of any good marriage. By simply reminding yourself of your spouse’s positive qualities – even as you grapple with each other’s flaws – you can prevent a happy marriage from deteriorating. The simple reason is that fondness and admiration are antidotes to contempt.”

WEEK 2

This week’s challenge is about talking. Talking and really SAYING something. Rather than reeling off shopping list of priority admin items like we normally do.

Does this sound familiar?

Me – The baby’s sick and needs more Nurofen. Can you pick up some tomorrow for me?
Him- Can you remember to pay the energy bill?
Me – I think we need to buy an outdoor rug. Now that we’ve got the new BBQ, the back courtyard is getting filthy.
Him – Are we free on the 22nd? We’ve been invited to Josh and Anna’s place for a play-date?

We ask about each other’s days, but it’s not like we are really, really interested. Most of the time, it’s a habitual question asked as a matter of course, while our brain keeps prattling on with whatever we have been thinking about before we asked the question. We don’t really expect a different answer to the one we got yesterday. Or the day before. Sometimes we’re surprised by the outcome; like the days when my physio hubby tells me he has treated a celebrity (I know, I sound like a teenager, but I find it sooo cool!) but these responses are one-offs, and a far cry from the auto-pilot answer “my day was OK”.

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I know for a fact that I used to reveal more about myself – my hopes, dreams, failures, fears – to my tea buddy at work. We’d talk about books we had read, movies we’d seen; politics; our elderly grandparents, and heaps of interesting stuff that I’m just too tired at the end of the day to bring up with my own man at home. In fairness, we tend to spend the majority of our waking hours  in the office, so perhaps this isn’t surprising. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t sad.

For this reason, I’ve decided to call Week 2’s challenge the TEA BUDDY CHALLENGE.

YOUR TASK

Set aside 15-20minutes every day for tea with your loved one. Put on the kettle, sit down, and talk.

This is a real challenge for me. I have a 3 year old and a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, and I’m usually knackered at both the beginning and end of a day.  This task is going to require me to either wake up early, or go to bed late, and I am dreading both options. But the truth is, there’s simply no other time. So sleep-sacrifice is a must.

There are some ground rules.

(1) I want you to cover the following topics, and

(2) I you aren’t allowed to talk about ADMIN. (This includes kids, if you have them).

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TOPICS:

Day 1: Think about how far you’ve come together as a couple, and talk about it. Talk about everything you’ve accomplished as a team.

Day 2: Think about everything that’s interesting you at the moment: politics, fashion, new products, news, the book you’re reading… and share it.

Day 3:  Look over this list of 36 psychologist-approved questions you should ask someone on your first date, to determine compatibility.  It’s quite a hoot – I’d  have been MORTIFIED to ask a guy a handful of these upon meeting, like …squirm….”How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?” Tackle a few of them, and have a laugh over how you would have responded to them back in the year that the two of you first met, versus now. What – if anything – has changed?

Day 4: What’s your heart’s greatest desire…. currently? how has this changed over time?

Day 5: Bring out the photo albums. Talk about the memories that crop up. (And the fashion faux pas, of course!)

Day 6: Try to make each other laugh. Any way you can. What are the funny things you can remember from over the years? Like the time when my fella took me to Scotland’s BEST fish’n’chips shop in Pittenweem and I promptly burst into tears (a STREAM of tears) when he squirted brown sauce all over my chips. RUINED. We’d been dating for 3 months, and he didn’t drop me straight away. I knew he was a keeper.

If you see something funny on facebook, keep hold of it and share it over tea. Let’s lighten the load of marriage – forget about kids, mortgages, bills, and all that background noise for a while. Let’s have a giggle.

Day 7: Plan a date night. Spend the whole 20 minutes working out how you can find/afford a babysitter, where you’ll go, what you’ll wear and BOOK IT IN.

Good luck, and don’t forget to share how you’re getting on! Post pictures of your teapot, or a selfie of you sipping on your chamomiles to Instagram and remember #theloversdiet @stresslessjessie 

Awesome stress-busting resolutions.

I’m fed up with making excuses. Tired of being tired. Frustrated by the fact that I’m one of those people who is “full of potential”…. unrealised potential. It’s high time to shake things up! And because I’m far too impatient to wait for January to arrive, I’m setting myself some end-of-year resolutions instead.

These resolutions will put me on a pathway towards positivity faster than a genetically-modified speeding rabbit, bred with a panther, and strapped to turbines. What does this look like? See for yourself…

Tonight is a turning point. It’s not a fancy date in the calendar, granted. But it is important to me. Tonight I am chatting with the inspirational Rebecca Campbell. In time, I’m hoping she’ll be my soul-mentor. I know that this conversation is going to kickstart some good things. Someday soon I’m going to get back to my roots – my spiritual ones.  I have lost my mojo, but now it’s time to send out the search party.

Here is a list of my awesome end-of year-resolutions. 

Writing projects

I have two of these. The first, to get my brilliant book ‘Terri’s Favourite Things’ published (ahem, self-promotion is so cool. PS. If you want a copy and happen to be an international publishing house, just drop me a line!)

My book 'Terri's Favourite Things' (Illustrations, Valentina Cavallini)
1st page of my book ‘Terri’s Favourite Things’ (Illustrations, Valentina Cavallini – Designs, Sam Armstrong)

The second is to grow this thing. This blog thing that you are reading right now and undoubtedly loving. Don’t deny it. Instead, SHARE IT. Tell your friends. Subscribe. Give me some cyber loving, people!

Soul project

This is my meditation/affirmations/soul section. This is where I need Rebecca’s professional guidance and advice. Stay tuned; following our call I will share her pearls wisdom, and set myself a project accordingly.

Physical Health project

It’s oh-so-simple. I must exercise for 4 hours a week. This might sound easy. But it isn’t. I am a mother of two. I have meals to cook, children to raise, a house to clean, rah rah rah. Fitting in some Pilates and cycling and running and weights isn’t going to be easy. This is the toughest of my list so far. But I’m going give it a darn good shot.

Part of my health project includes a gut-health component. Researchers are starting to find links between the billions of gut micro biome inside us and our overall health. Said to influence everything from our inflammatory responses, right through to our mental health, these teeny tiny microscopic gut thingees seem more powerful than I would have ever imagined. So I’m going to try something like the Supercharged Foods diet to “heal my gut” and, by default (I hope), ease my anxiety.

 

Wife project

Stay tuned! I’m going to publish my Merry Marriage project very soon (just in time for Xmas)

Mental health project

All of the above is a mental health project of sorts.  These tasks are not about me as a mother; they are about ME and what makes ME tick. Selfish? Maybe. But about time I get a little into myself again. Turns out I’m a much happier person to be around when I am happy on the inside, and that benefits all of my family.

 I am estimating these tasks will require 10-12 solid hours of investment. That’s a tiny 1/14th of my week. Surely, even sleep-deprived, cranky old me can manage to find that much time to myself?! 

So why wait until January? Come up with a list of your own awesome end-of-year resolutions and share them with me. Let’s end 2014 the way we wished it had begun.