Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Since we all love making lists so much

Meet my new best friend: the RM planner.

Yes, I know, I'm not really a returned missionary (although according to your average life-long Utahn I've spent most of my life in the mission field... so eat that you wimpy two-year varieties!) but this little planner is the best thing that's happened to me in a while. It was Andrew's spontaneous gift the other day (hmm, maybe this gift had little to do with spontaneity or undying love...) and it was exactly what I needed.

Let me illustrate:

Incidentally... gotta love the picture-perfect caricature of the RM--Omniture? 5K? Church calling? Spot on.

Anyway. This thing is perfect. I can fill out my weekly goals and there are only a few lines for each category which forces me to not write ridiculously long and unrealistic lists. Plus I always forget things and I feel so much more stable now. Today, I finished my to-do list before 11 am. Booyah! I feel so... in control. Agh! I'm a control freak!

I like the whole "balance" aspect of it, with a little spot to write a scripture study topic and exercise goals. Note that it's a little spot, meaning it's short and sweet, helps you make realistic attainable plans. I thought I didn't need silly things like planners anymore, but clearly that hasn't worked out so well. Thank you chéri-chou.

On another somewhat related topic, when we were engaged I bought this cool-looking book (yes, I have been known to buy books based solely on how cool their cover looks) called "300 questions LDS couples should ask before marriage," and I thought it was fantastic. There were a lot of obvious questions, but also a lot of thought-provoking ones and good conversation starters. For example:

How do you define tithing? (based on net? gross? do you pay tithing on interest?) Believe it or not, there are a lot of ways to pay tithing!

How will you react if one of your children tells you they are gay? 

Have you ever seen a psychologist? Been diagnosed with anxiety or depression? Has it been resolved?

How often do you expect intimacy? (incidentally, it's called "sex." I find it bizarre that we call it "intimacy" in mormonland, but whatever... I guess nobody wants to drop the s-bomb in church)

And so on. Lots of important topics that we don't always necessarily think of. And some of those questions can be downright scary. I think people should start asking some of these even before engagement, although it could be potentially awkward to pull out the marriage questionnaire after two months of dating :) But honestly, I highly recommend it, if for no other reason than that it gets you talking about very important subjects. 

And the reason I'm talking about this is they've come out with a new book! 300 questions couples should ask for a more vibrant marriage. I just got it, and can't wait to get started on it! (I'm not saying that my marriage is boring, by the way, just needed to clear that up, but there's always room for improvement, and of course diagnosing problems before they become huge is important as well) Some of the topics are for more mature couples (disciplining children, going on a mission etc) but that's ok, it can just sit on our shelf until it's time to pull it back out again. It's nice to sit down and just analyze where you are sometimes.

Incidentally, this is a great FHE activity, just a few questions, and a spiritual message. That and filling out your little planners together for the week :)