Dreaming together for the new year
The beginning of a new year can be a testy time for couples. She's on a new diet; he's polishing off leftover holiday cookies and eyeing the Valentines chocolates. She's waiting for the white sales; he's shredding credit cards after opening the bills from their holiday purchases.
Counsellors - and our own experience - say much marital conflict stems from competing expectations and priorities. Though often unspoken, expectations drive each spouses agenda, leading to a wreck when they aren't aligned.
Start the Year Off Right
Get the year off to a good start by taking a retreat together. We started retreating eight years ago; now we depend on it. Our partnership deepens each year as we re-evaluate priorities and dream together about Gods plan for our lives in the year ahead.
For several years, we went to a family-owned cottage on a lake. Other times, weve hired a babysitter and gone to a coffee shop for several hours. The important thing is getting uninterrupted time - as a couple - to focus on shared expectations and priorities for the year.
Partnership and Priorities
That first retreat, we tackled really big plans, including building a house and getting pregnant. Fulfilling those dreams motivated us to dream more - till we found ourselves making long lists of resolutions that proved tough to keep.
An insight we read from C.S. Lewis challenged our approach. When it comes to prioritizing, he wrote that there are only three things to be done:
- the ought-to-dos
- the have-to-dos; and
- the like-to-dos