I don’t usually think of what I want for my birthday each year until someone asks me. And even then I say, “Uh, I don’t know. I haven’t thought of it.”
This year I’ve thought of it. The Smartmarriages conference is in nearby Dallas this year, and the pre-conference institutes start on my birthday, July 6th.
The one I want to attend is the one where you learn to teach PREP, a relationship enhancement course based on scientific research into couple communication. Attending the institute is a bit of an investment, especially when you add the cost of course materials, babysitting, etc. But we’d be licensed to teach the course to couples here in Houston, providing what I believe would be a community service and what could be a modest income stream for us in the future. It has been my long term goal to make my income sources align with my values and passions and this is another potential step in that direction.
All this comes to mind as our sixteenth anniversary approaches, speaking of passions. For the past few years I’ve been thinking that a relationship-education-focused getaway might be nice for Heidi and I. We did Marriage Encounter thirteen years ago and have been giving Engaged Encounter weekends for over ten years. We could stand to spread our wings a little.
When I think about the benefits that being marriage educators has brought to our own marriage — revisitng the basics on a regular basis is good no matter how long you’ve been together — the idea of adding to our repertoire sounds like an idea that fits. Just have to figure out the time off, the babysitting, the travel, and the money. Oy, the money.