Challenging. That describes the feeling of trying to execute our date night within My January Rest boundaries. My husband suggested several galleries, but they were closed. No eating out and even though I love coffee dates, the idea of paying for coffee, without adding cream and sugar was unappetizing. So, what were we going to do?
Our tradition of date night became a reality early on in our marriage. We agreed that putting each other first was a priority, so we instituted a once per month Date Night to ensure we had some good one-on-one time together. In the beginning it was easy. And, it was easier before having a child too. Good ideas and best intentions only get you so far. After a few years, I realized that monthly date nights, disappointingly, didn’t just happen. I, being the spontaneous one, started scheduling our dates.
I’m older and wiser now and less idyllic. When something is important, it IS important and that means you make time for it, even if it isn’t your romantic-fantasy version. I also learned that being with other people doesn’t count. While I love double-dates, they don’t qualify for our date night. I’ve learned that I NEED undivided attention. I also learned that I meet my husband needs in a different way than I need him to meet mine. While he enjoys dates with me, he doesn’t require them in the same way I do. And, that is ok. We both know that I am the higher maintenance one in many categories and he is usually more than willing to please me. Since they are more important to me, I make sure they happen. Last night was one of those nights.
As frustration began to set in, no eating out, no coffee out, no shopping, no time for a movie….what could we do?! Then, I had the revelation that I didn’t say no hot chocolate. Cha-ching and game on! I had a card to The Coffeehouse in Normal, Illinois. We ordered hot chocolates for two–Mexican for me and straight up for him.
False start number one—they couldn’t use the gift card because their machine was down. BUT, they were already making our drinks, so yes, we purchased them. UGH! So much for honorable intentions.
How was my experience? It was hot and delicious with whipped cream on top. My husband loves to be with me. He listened to me and encouraged me. It was a good date, even if a short one. Our date night served its purpose and I not only know I am loved, I feel loved.
False start number two—tonight I went to make a cobbler with my mother-in-law’s homemade apple pie filling. It was an experiment to make cobbler with pie filling, but I think it would have been a tasty one. When I opened the jar, it smelled a little funky to me, sorry Mom. My husband said it smelled like apples. So my husband will eat them and I made berry cobbler instead.
As another frigid day ends, spicy taco soup followed by a freshly baked triple berry cobbler warmed our kitchen and pleased our palates. MJR reminds me of how much I have, bounty upon bounty, of so many things. And that sometimes doing without—or re-engaging how you do things—can make you grateful for the ordinary.