It was early afternoon on Sunday. Typical British weather – sunny but quite chilly at the same time. We were just entering stairs leading to the footpath bridge connecting two big shopping centres. We were tired, annoyed and indeed exhausted physically and mentally. In halfway through the bridge, my wife told me that she couldn’t carry on. I thought she meant physical exhaustion, but it was something much bigger.
A couple of months earlier, we completed the most significant financial transaction in our life. We had bought a house. Soon after, it turned out that we needed to do a bit of refurbishment. And “a bit” turned to “a big”. We cleared ourselves from savings, and now most of our weekends we were spending hunting every promotions, sales and occasions. Mostly, to buy stuff to make sure we could invite first guests, show people how awesome our new nest was and in general start living our new dream.
That Sunday, it was a culmination of last weeks stressful chasing of our dreams. To chill down a little bit we decided to drop our shopping plans and instead we would go for good coffee and cake. We didn’t know it was going to be the end.
We drove silently back to our place, where we found a cafe with the least amount of people. That was it. It was the end. The end of the unplanned, spontaneous acting to meet someone’s else expectations and impress other people. The conversation that we had that afternoon was the foundation of our new ritual for our relationship and later for our family.
Time to slow down 📉
I am writing about it to share some important discovery that we made on that Sunday. In Christian faith, there is a principle that we should not work on Sunday. The seventh day of the week should be a rest day. What we discovered that Sunday was refreshing and bold reminder – Sunday is for us, for you, for your spouse, for your family. It’s been years since our first coffee break described above, but we still cultivate our coffee journey ritual.
In our case, it looks like this: breakfast, church, a visit to our favourite cafe, then a walk and quality time at home. Of course, coffee is just an excuse and a good setup. I loved coffee before I met my wife, so for me it is hard to say who/what I love more 🙂
You can order tea, hot chocolate or any other drink of choice. What is important, it has to be authentic, deep conversation. We should say today; active listening. That kind of talk that doesn’t stop on intellectual part, but also touches the hearts of both people who decided to meet together for a reason.
Call it however you like: a date or a marriage council. I heard people just calling it a meeting and putting it into shared calendars.
It doesn’t matter what values you follow in your life. What are your thoughts about relations, family, and so on. I invite you to give it a go and celebrate Sunday together. We just call it “a coffee trip” and it has only a few simple rules.
Be caring 👩❤️👨
Firstly, we do not finish our coffee date until we both do not feel lifted. The point here is – we are not afraid of talking about import and sometimes difficult topics. It is not always possible to find a solution in 30-40 minutes that we usually have for coffee trip. However, even just the act of sharing difficult thing with a person who is genuinely listening and caring could already have a healing effect. It is important to clear our heads and hearts before we can talk about something else. We learnt how to support each other, and we learnt what to ask for to help the other side to be cheered up. However, sometimes, it just means that one party does not talk at all.
Be emphatic 🤲
Secondly, we also want to be up to date with our current things. It is such an important thing these days. Unfortunately, more and more couples and relationships fall to the trap of “old good couple routine”. We work, we have hobbies, later we have kids. Daily routine helps us to cope with the amount of things that we all need to take care of. Routine is useful for certain aspects, but also could be our enemy, especially in relationship. After some time, we don’t talk to each other; we just start to communicate. A talk, a conversation, a coffee trip – it is to go one step deeper to understand what is essential for the other person.
Be bold in planning 🏔
And the last point on my recipe – we plan a lot. This is what gives us the most excitement and what gives us the most thrill. These are our plans for holidays and for little projects that we try to run together. Sometimes we motivates each other start things individually. Sometimes we are just a sounding board for the wild ideas that popped out in our heads and needed feedback.
It was during our coffee dates when we decided to be involved in various non-profit organisations. I started this blog and my podcast as a result of our coffee sessions. For my wife, it was to step up and became a leader of Children’s’ liturgy group in our church and also to become an entrepreneur. The wilder and Magis the idea is – the better it motivates us to support each other and run with it. Often we come back from our coffee with first step ready to be actioned.
How about kids? 👨👩👧👦
It is all good, someone could say, but what if you have kids? It is easy to do “cafe crawling” until some time, but when you have your little ones, it all ends. Well, yes and no. It is more difficult but still doable. We have learned the hard way, and we knew that our coffee routine was important for us and was high on the priority list. That’s why we wanted to involve our kids as soon as possible.
We have seen the benefits of our time together and decided to make it our family routine. It was easier when our first kid was small and slept a lot. Later it was more difficult, especially with two kids. However, we wanted to give it a try. We wanted to make it essential for all of us and make this time to be this part of a week when everyone is waiting for. And it worked and is still working. To the point that “we going for a coffee” is a synonym of a good and quality family time.
Lessons learned during this coffee journey 🎓
Some people say that you can buy everything. It is just a matter of the price. What I know for sure is that you cannot buy time. This is the only currency that we can spend, and we are not able to save or earn. However, we can still lose it. The only thing you can truly give to another person is your time! Use it wisely. By making a spontaneous decision long time ago, we decided that we want to spend the most precious recourse – our time on Sunday afternoons – sipping coffee and planning how we are going to spend rest of our time in the best way possible.
Another lesson that I’ve learnt thanks to our coffee conversations is relevant for every relationship: talk about your passion! It is amazing what happens when you ask someone about their hobbies, recent fascinations, or book that they have read and it impacted them greatly. The conversations is immediately lifted to another stage. Sparks are lighted up in people’s eyes, and you instantly connect on whole new level.
Try it next time you feel like you are stuck with someone and conversation is going nowhere. Ask a question: What’s been your fascination recently?
And watch what happens.
Cover photo: Kraków, Poland 🇵🇱
I wonder if you have any family rituals? Maybe you also love coffee?