Challenge #1 A Surprise Meal

Last week I had the privilege of enjoying a talk at the local Dreambank.  Dreambank is an American Family Insurance sponsored place where they encourage you to live out your dreams.  If you have not been to one of these and you have a local one I highly urge you to check it out.  The talk was called “Secrets for Sweethearts” and it was given by Kim and Jason Kotecki who on their own have created a whole culture called Escaping Adulthood.  Again, another google search I urge you to take.  In their speech they gave a variety of ideas on how to bring childhood fun into your relationship.  With my husband’s and my second child on the way (our first is currently 19 months), we felt like we needed some helpful reminders on how to have fun and not just get caught up in being mom and dad (i.e. waking up, taking 1st child to daycare, going to work, picking up child from daycare, eating a very fast/thrown together meal, giving child a bath and going to bed).  So, last night I decided to take on my first challenge after attending the class last week to see if I could start incorporating some “fun” items into my life.  My first challenge was to take a cookbook, randomly open it up and make that meal for dinner.  I admit I was a bit nervous about this because what if I got something that required hours of my attention or a food that I disliked, but I decided to get over my fear and just go for it and this is what I opened up to…Spaghetti with Artichokes!

Challenge #1 A Surprise Meal - Spaghetti with Artichokes
Challenge #1 A Surprise Meal – Spaghetti with Artichokes

Now I could go into detail of the whole cooking experience, but instead I thought I would share what I took from this experience.

  1. I have way too many cookbooks that have just sat on my shelves for years.  My husband and I got married almost 9 years ago and we got a variety of cookbooks for our wedding shower.  Here most of them had sat without even a page being looked at, and I thought to myself how sad that was that all this great information had gone to waste for so long.  It felt really good to crack open a cookbook.
  2. I got excited to make a meal.  Because my husband and I share the cooking duties and both work full time with a child and one on the way, I especially tend to pick meals that are quick, easy and I have made a million times before.  Though this strategy has worked for us, it left little excitement when it came to the grocery shopping and actual prep.  Yesterday I actually felt a rush as I walked into the grocery store to pick up my items and then as I cooked I put some music on and really enjoyed the process.
  3. My husband was impressed that I stepped out of my comfort zone.  For those who know me, I love to only do things that I know FOR SURE will provide a positive outcome.  My husband says that playing Euchre with me is only fun when I have really good hands because otherwise I refuse to call anything.  I will only make a call when I know I will win the hand.  Essentially I don’t like to gamble.  Well last night I took a gamble and it turned out great!
  4. My family enjoyed the meal.  As always my family sat down together for dinner, but this time there was something special added to it.  We weren’t just eating to eat, we were eating and enjoying, and I felt accomplished.  It was an amazing feeling and though it wasn’t something that changed everything, it did change something.

My final take away from my first challenge is that achieving total body Wellness doesn’t solely reside in the common things (breathing, receiving services, sleep), it can also be found in very small things like this.  It pushes me to take on more challenges and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager and Group Fitness Instructor