Click the link below to view the challenge calendar. Print it out to try with your partner, or make your own like we did. See what you learn about yourself and your partner in the process.
“Always strive to give your partner the very best of yourself; Not what is left over after giving your very best to everyone else.”
With two kids, building a business, friends and family – it’s not easy. When life gets chaotic, your partner can become more like a glorified roommate. Unintentionally, we go through the movements of life and forget to LIVE it. We flip the switch and fall asleep at the wheel. You can’t seem to find time to keep the romance alive anymore. You’re lucky if you get the bed to yourselves for a full night of sleep.
I always hear; “The trick in all good + healthy relationships – Never stop dating your partner… Never stop flirting with your partner.”
During the times where I can’t shower or go to the bathroom without an audience, I ponder on that quote; “How do people do it? How do you be a half decent parent and human being, then be your best self with the person you chose to spend your life with?”
Fresh eyes – that’s what I want us both to have. I wanted us to look at one another like the first time. Isn’t that every girls dream? For that honeymoon phase to never fade away. Realistically, life settles into the lovebirds world and with kids and work you both look at each other at the end of the day with love, but exhaustion as well. You turn on the tv or take out your phone and quickly fall asleep. It’s so easy now to drown out the people that surround you without realizing it. We’re both guilty of it. I was determined to change that with this 30 day challenge. I found out it wasn’t easy.
It’s taken us well over 30 days and we’re still not done yet. We’re days away from the finish line. Even though it took us longer and we haven’t finished, Ive still seen the Kyle I first fell in love with – the 24 year kid in the baseball uniform, cracking jokes… Wanting to woo me.
There were moments where my blinders weren’t on and I really saw him or heard him for the first time. I’d go out of my way to get him lunch, bring home his favorite snack or drink to be waiting for him when he got home – or make his favorite dinner. The little gestures become big ones.
I realized that time with the kids or time helping him with the business is time I have to soak in as “alone time” for us. Taking the kids to a dinner + movie can still be a date night. Or stay in, order take out and watch a movie together. Show the kids that they’re parents still love each other – cuddle + kiss + laugh. Or when you have to sit at the dinner table at 10pm helping with design plans – I have to tell myself that he does everything to better us as a family and that in those times that I’m helping with the business – count some of that as alone time.
Compromise. Compromise. Compromise. Progress is progress. Don’t let the fresh eyes fade away for good. Even without a 30+ day challenge, continue to surprise each other and do the “little gestures” for your partner.
I asked Kyle to write about his experience as a way to include him on this blog post. Here’s what he wrote:
When Spencer first asked me to guest write a piece about my experiences around the 30 day challenge, I said “I’d love to”. It’s not often that I find the time anymore to actually sit down and put pen to paper and write something more substantial than just design plans. Something more meaningful than business emails. Something… real. So yeah, I got excited when she asked me to write for her. But here’s the kicker: She asked me for this favor a week ago.
At first, I pondered what I would talk about. About which challenge was my favorite. Which challenge made my eyes roll. Which one was easier (pathetic, I know) and which one actually challenged me. But the more time I took to think about it, the less time I had to actually write about it. So now that I’m finally doing it, I’m realizing the real experience that hit home hardest for me, was that I prioritize almost everything BEFORE the woman I call the love of my life. Do you know how many challenges we actually completed? I don’t know either, but I know it took us more than 30 days. I mean the objective is to complete 30 challenges in 30 days.
The underlining factor for never finishing… was me. I always had some excuse. I don’t like that one. We don’t have enough time. How can we do that one? We have kids to take care of. That one costs too much money. Blah blah blah. The whole point of this challenge, was to strengthen our relationship and learn something new about our partner. In retrospect, the only thing she learned about me was that I don’t give a shit. But that’s not true. I have jobs to bid. Clients to email. Walkthroughs to schedule. On-the-site jobs to complete. Materials and supplies and go shopping for. Kids to take to daycare. Kids to put to bed. Dinner to eat. Toilet bowls to piss in. Stupid youtube videos to binge watch. Noses to pick and boogers to flick. I mean literally EVERYTHING got prioritized before her, but only through reflection am I realizing that.
Like I said earlier; I took over a week to finally complete this piece for her. The consequence she now has because of my lack of urgency is just unfair. She promised her bloggers she was going to post this over the weekend. That didn’t happen, and I feel terrible about it. But it’s through experiences like these that allow me to grow.
If she hadn’t asked me to write about the 30 day challenge, I may not have ever had this realization come to fruition. So the most important thing I learned about this challenge, is not about the activities themselves. It’s about how important I make my significant other feel.
I’ve pushed her wants and needs back for too long now. It’s 2:26am right now, but the excuse “it’s too late” isn’t going to work anymore. Because if I continue down this road without rearranging my priorities, it won’t be me who’s saying “it’s too late”. I’m not ready to let go of all the good things in life that I worked hard for. I love you Spencer. Thank you for asking me to write this so I could learn something new about myself. Don’t just stop to smell the roses…. Put them in a bouquet and offer them to the one you love.
I think I’ve got some flowers to go hunt down.
When life gets real and you fall asleep at the wheel – You need someone riding shot-gun to wake you up and remind you life is worth being awake for. I love you, Kyle. Ps; I still want to celebrate with bonfire + smores.