There is something I find extremely romantic about commencing something at the beginning of the week, month or year. Call it mild OCD…. a few friends would argue my use of the term mild…. but I usually feel like I am setting myself up for failure if say I begin a project on a random Thursday, 22nd May!! Oh the horror of just thinking about it. Be it a new job, a fast, a diet and the list goes on. So it goes without saying that I usually am at my most hopeful of success on 1st of January every year and should it fall on a Monday…. joy oh joy! This makes me one of those New-Year’s-Resolution-making type since I also like having a plan and goals…. they motivate me. Last year, one of my resolutions was to become a ‘domestic goddess’, especially in my long time area of great struggle, the kitchen. Since then I have made great progress if the extra kilograms gained in our household is anything to go by. But then again, we are from the holidays. Everything about it is fattening, sometimes I believe people even gain weight merely by listening to Carols.
Still I think I have done well, that though was until recently when I decided to prepare a meal with green bananas. Now, this was not the first time. I had made ‘katogo’ several times before, though here in Kenya we erroneously borrowed the wrong term for it and called it matoke. While living in Uganda, I found out that matoke — actually matooke — were a specific species of green bananas boiled while covered with banana leaves (with no potatoes added like we do in Kenya) and then mashed with fingers while still hot, no mashers! So this day I went and bought bananas ready to prepare lunch. Hun noted that the bananas I had bought seemed as though they were to be consumed ripe rather than for cooking. I was not so sure I was ready to take cooking advice from someone who once, lovingly, made me breakfast and mistakenly seasoned the tea with chicken masala. So I went about cooking and about half an hour later, I realized something was not right, the bananas were taking too long to cook! They were totally unyielding to the heat. I decided to taste, just maybe they were hard but still tasty….. they were not. They tasted terrible. I had to bin the entire dish and begin afresh. Well, I suppose Hun is more mature than I am so he did not say I told you so. That though did not stop him from laughing at me. Guess I deserved it.
My challenge to be better in the kitchen continues. Hopefully there will not be any more disasters in future. This got me thinking though that many of us make resolutions to do with career, finances, spirituality, and wellness but forget to make relationship goals. We end up being reactive rather than proactive in living our relationships. I have often found that, it is way easier to discuss and agree about conflict areas when not in the middle of the conflicts. For example, it is easier to agree on boundaries with friends of the opposite sex, and or exes beforehand compared to when in the middle of a conflict due to boundary issues. The former is more rational devoid of high emotions.
Another area to consider could be rules that ensure the world of technology does not encroach on family time in this era of smart phones and social media. It is necessary to define when too much is too much but also more important is the commitment to adhere to the agreements you make for the well-being of the relationship. Couples can also plan for and schedule for regular date nights to give them time alone, a few hours away from the children and usual responsibilities. How often, what day of the week, time of the day etc?
As a married couple, you may also brainstorm and develop a joint purpose. A cause that you are both passionate about and that will outlive you. A legacy that spans beyond earning a living and providing for the family but also impacts the society in a positive way. So this year, considers doing things differently….. Set aside some time to sit down as a couple and plan for your relationship, pray over the plans and then commit to implementing them.
PS: This Article was originally posted on Arusi Guru Blog Page