Like many people, our social lives moved online. We didn’t discover this until the very tail end of the year, but it became our go-to place to play online games with friends. The UX for the site is poor at times and we’ve spent 15+ minutes with multiple parties trying to get a second game started, but if you can get past that, it’s been a great way to connect with friends. Our favorite games so far: Can’t Stop and 6 Nimmt.
Free online codenames.
Used this pomade for my hair and the two boys hair all year long. Both boys love how it smells and it does a great job of holding hair in place but not being sticky.
Early in the year, Jane and I felt like Saturdays were a bit of a drag. Too much sitting around being present in an effort to have family time. To combat this, we decided to try a 3-week rotation where each Saturday was dedicated to a different target: family, projects, and mental health.
Family Saturdays were meant for getting out and exploring as a family. This was supposed to include weekend getaways but didn’t really get off the ground with COVID. On project Saturdays, we tackled our list of household projects during the morning and afternoon and by 3-5pm we were ready to stop working and enjoy the rest of day together as a family.
Mental health Saturdays were a brand new concept and not one we’d seen implemented anywhere else. We imagined these days as a day in which Jane or I would be completely fancy-free and could do whatever we wanted with as few responsibilities as possible. That meant the other parent would pick up the slack and have a full day with the kids and household responsibilities, but we felt like the tradeoff might be worth it. The “off” parent also had a $35 budget that they could use for the day. The “on” parent also was given the option to get takeout for dinner.
I don’t remember why, but I was given the first mental health Saturday (pre-covid). I spent 40% of it working on Hey Habit at Panera’s, 40% working on Hey Habit at Barnes & Noble, grabbed dinner at a burrito restaurant, and played some League in the basement when I returned home. To be honest, it was beyond refreshing. On a different mental health day, I spent 10 hours playing video games. That was at the end of a brutal week of late nights so the mental break was nice, but honestly, when comparing the two, I much prefer working on a project on my day. Jane has equally enjoyed her mental health Saturday’s and tends to spend them working on a crafting project, reading a good book, and eating delicious food.
A big part of having a mental health Saturday is knowing that the next one is already scheduled. It’s also nice to serve Jane on her mental health Saturday and spend some quality time with the boys knowing she’s getting a break. At one point we discussed increasing the number of mental health Saturday’s, but every 3 weeks feels like the right balance.
I listened to a lot of different podcasts this year which is how I discovered Jordan Peterson. Some of his stuff goes over my head, but some of his messages have struck a chord with me. Some of his advice I’ve liked: make something of yourself, stop blaming others, have difficult conversations.
I first learned about Dr. Finalyson-Fife and her work because her in-laws, Norris & Mary Finlayson, were in our ward at Stanford. Norris was/is actually the stake patriarch. Norris & Mary brought a lot to our ward and stake and I really admired them. But back to Jennifer. She is a relationship and sexuality coach that works primarily with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She has a podcast on Spotify that provides an introduction to her work and I’ve probably listened to ~15+ episodes. Her work has been extremely enlightening and helped me understand both sex and relationships better.
A couple of my favorite episodes:
Jane and I have signed up for her Enhancing Sexual Intimacy course and thus far have really loved it. For something so critical in a marriage, we’ve become more self-aware of how little we’ve been prepared and are grateful to have such a great resource in Dr. Finlayson-Fife’s research.