Better Together: Family, Health, then Food (get your priorities straight!).

written by Nathan & Kelli

Better Together: a weekly newsletter with ideas on how to improve your marriage and how to live a happy and productive life.

From Our Lives

We recently started watching a new TV show, “Blue Bloods”. (Yes, we realize we are 11 years late, but it’s still going.) As we were burning through the first season, Kelli commented, “they sure do eat a lot in this show.” It’s true, there is a lot of eating in the show. The interesting part is that food isn’t the focus, the food is the set, the focus is the discussion that is happening while eating.

During these scenes, there are usually 2 to 3, sometimes 4, generations of family members sitting around a dinner table talking about relationships, ethics, or whatever topic is apropos for the day. They are seldomly staring at their food, or quickly shoveling food into their mouths between sentences. They are heads up, listening, validating, and engaging in the discussion.

This is similar to what we have been working on over the last year. Making food part of the set, not the focus. When the food shows up on the table is that your focus, or is connecting with your children and spouse the focus? When you take a bite, are you already thinking about your next bite or are you focused on what a family member is saying? If at the end of the meal you missed out on one of the dishes is that okay? What if you missed something funny or meaningful your child said?

Mealtime, like the rest of our lives, comes down to priorities. If we can make food about health instead of entertainment, we will have a healthier body. If we can make dinnertime about family discussions instead of getting full, we will have a healthier family. Be clear about what is truly important in your life. Keep your focus on those things, stop telling yourself you can do both.

The Couple Project

“Learning about executive functions has changed our lives. How would you feel if you couldn’t understand your spouse’s point of view, even in relatively simple situations? What if the TV or phone was always the most interesting thing in the room? What if you were always losing things? What if you struggled to control your emotions, especially anger?”

— This is from a previously published article: Our Battle With Executive Functioning Challenges

What We Have Been Reading

“From now on, you make a move, you check with me first. That’s what partners do.”

— Jamie Reagan, “Blue Bloods”, Episode 304

“Jillette attacked the notion that ‘shutting up about what you believe is showing tolerance to other people.’ On the contrary, he said, ‘I believe shutting up about what you believe is a way to stay close-minded, a way not to be busted. If you have some crazy thought and keep it in your head, there is much less chance that someone will say, ‘what are you, fucking nuts?’ In other words, he argued, “One of the quickest ways to find out if you are wrong is to state what you believe.’”

— Penn Jillette quoted by Kathryn Schultz in “Being Wrong”

“People have such a need to resolve ambiguity and uncertainty that they often act quicker than they need to because they are dealing with their own need to make the uncertainty go away.”

“The Knowledge Project Podcast” featuring Jim Collins

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Written and published by Nathan & Kelli.


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The purpose of “The Couple Project” is to learn more about what makes a strong marriage or relationship. We share what we are learning, which ideas we are trying, and which ideas helped improve our relationship. We realize not everything that works for us will work for you, but we still hope you will find our journey valuable.

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