20 Feb That time I forced my husband to do nothing
I’m spending the weekend at a country inn with my husband. We haven’t been away alone together for seven or eight years. I don’t even know the last time we went on a “date.” We both enjoy being home, we don’t like to spend money, and we don’t like to ask other people to watch our kids – so we end up not going out much. (We’re so interesting. Envy us.)
In early January I was invited to speak at a silent retreat. Have you ever heard of a better gig? I kicked off the weekend on Friday evening with a 45-minute session where I shared my testimony and some virtues of a life of solitude and silence. These virtues came from books, not from my own life. I’m aspiring to a more meditative existence, but mainly spend my days putting out fires all around me rather than stoking the flames of a contemplative soul.
The 40-some attendees were to be silent from Friday evening at 10 p.m. until Sunday morning when we gathered together again to share what we did/learned/experienced during our quiet time.
I shared some here about my time of silence. I also came away with a sense that my husband would benefit from a silent retreat. He works nonstop taking care of all of us and when not doing real work, he throws himself into projects for the kids like playing music (here’s a song from last spring: Down on the Corner by our family band) and making videos (his most recent: Portal Panic and my favorite memory from last summer: Shark Patrol) and handling Boy Scout paperwork. He doesn’t like to say no when asked for help (this is not an invitation to call and ask for help!).
There were five or six men at the retreat, but the majority were women. Though I saw benefits in a silent retreat, I couldn’t picture Lee paying money to do nothing and not talk for two days.
I asked him to choose a weekend; then I made sure our children were cared for and forced him (he came willingly) to a romantic country inn two hours away from home. I told him it would be a weekend to accomplish nothing.
We’ve currently been here almost 24 hours and we haven’t left the property yet. I gotta tell you, I am so proud of us! Two people who normally cannot be off have managed to do a whole lot of nothing! Walking, reading, sleeping, talking, sitting in silence.
A status of “married with children” is a gift, but from time to time I forget the married part because the children part occupies so much of my heart and mind. This man is the one I wanted to spend my life with, the one who chose me – before we knew who our kids would be, or if we’d even have a family.
Because we get along so well (read: he puts up with my crazy and doesn’t take the bait when I try to pick fights), we don’t often put effort into the marriage.
I’m thankful for this time alone, this bit of effort put into our wellbeing.
Obviously, I’m “working” by writing this blog, but since writing is my hobby not my job, it’s okay! I’m trying to stay out of Lee’s way for a few hours because for the first time in ages, he is relaxing and reading a book.
What do you do to relax, to step away from life? If you’re married, do you go on dates?
Image courtesy of moggara12 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net