Our Annual Retreat

Things get busy. Coordinating two sets of business calendars, family obligations, and a shared social calendar can get pretty crazy. This year, we’re grabbing the bull by the horns.

The Year Past

We started our first year of marriage, our first sharing a home, believing we could continue our lives from where we left off as separate single people. The first few months were fine, but when a couple of unexpected things came up (family emergencies, business emergencies, health issues, etc.), things started getting away from us.

However, we were able to manage. It’s not the most romantic thing, but we used a few tools that people normally only use at work to get things under control at home. Yes – we started using shared calendars, to-do lists, and even regular “meetings” (separate from date night, of course) to keep things on track.

Those tools helped us get out of the hole in which we found ourselves. I’ll blog more about those tools in future posts. But our first priority this year is to avoid the hole altogether.

The Year Ahead

We decided to take stock and plan things out before the new year revved up. To achieve this, we scheduled time away from both of our families to conduct a retreat.

A Retreat

After we got back from our first annual Mammoth Mountain Christmas in January, we booked a room in a hotel on the other side of town. There, the two of us spent a night making plans for the year, discussing our budget, and telling each other what we hoped to accomplish.

Again, this doesn’t sound romantic at all! But I think doing this on a regular basis can do nothing but help our marriage. Our discussions brought out truths about each other’s goals that we could only have assumed, possibly never even have guessed.

When we drove back home the next afternoon, we both agreed that it was time and money well spent. We had discussed and planned for things like:

There were tough moments about some topics, but those were best broached when we did, before they grew into large scale problems. I’m glad we addressed them.

We now have a clear view of how our year should progress, if everything goes to plan. Of course, plans are meant to be broken. But now, we have a reference for getting back on course. We’re now ready for the year and to see what we can accomplish.

The Years Ahead

This year, we’ve established two new traditions that I hope continue into the future and help us form a strong family and build strong businesses.

We have an annual January trip with my family to go along with the annual September trip her family has always taken. We also initiated a separate retreat, for just the two of us, to help us take stock and plan ahead.

It’s just the beginning, but we have to start somewhere. I’m looking forward to many more years of this!