It’s “Together Tuesday” and, ironically, I spent most of the day away from my love, but felt more connected to her than some of the days we’ve been attached at the hip.
I’m a night owl so whenever I get the rare chance to sleep in, I run with it….or, technically, lie with it. This morning was one of those opportunities as our daughter spent the night with my parents and my wife had to be out of the house early for a work event. Last night she was already starting to panic about being able to get everything together, find the perfect outfit, leave on time and drive to a location she’s never been before. Anxiety is her default setting and it’s only worse when you add a timeline to it. I, of course, was up much later than she was and knew I would not be awake before she left, so the wheels started turning as to how I could be present without actually being present.
In my newly cleaned desk (which you’ll read about on Thursday), a stack of post-its sparked an idea. I thought about her racing around in the morning and all the times and places I would normally insert a positive word in the midst of her personal chaos.
On her vanity mirror: You are beautiful!
On the kitchen cabinet: I ♥ U
Inside the kitchen cabinet: Breathe.
On the door out to the garage: Don’t forget a journal. (we always forget journals)
In her car: You got this!
Now, before you start rolling your eyes at the sappy sweet couple, let me speak some truth. I am not typically this husband. I used to be. I was the guy that was always doing something to make my wife and her friends respond with, “awwwwww,” at least once a week. I was a romantic who loved grand gestures. It was a sort of validation that I was doing this whole marriage thing right. Fast forward 15 years and while some things have matured, others have spoiled. My grand gestures became smaller to make room for all of the baggage married couples tend to carry around. Add a child to the mix and suddenly you have someone else who needs your attention too….so much so that you forget you need to be a husband and wife as much as you need to be a father and mother. Who has the time or energy for that? After today, I can honestly say …everybody!
My 5 minute note writing last night set the tone for the whole day today. I didn’t get to see the Mrs. before she walked out the door (because: sleep), but mid-morning I received the following text:
Suddenly, I was the younger version of me – the one who felt reassured he was doing something right. And when we finally connected later in the day, we were once again the sappy couple that made people “awww” (or roll their eyes – it’s usually one or the other). We ended the evening hand-in-hand in the middle of the couch watching tv, instead of camped out at our opposite ends as usual. And when our show ended, we talked and laughed before kissing goodnight. A pleasant change from the usual distant “Goodnight” that gets mumbled as she passes through the room zombie-like from a stressful day.
As much as I enjoyed making her happy with such a simple gesture, I equally enjoyed the way it made me feel to know I was the reason. And it was SO easy. So easy. The hardest part is being mindful enough to do it.
So, here’s your chance. Make a SIMPLE gesture to show someone you care about them TODAY. Leave a comment and let me know how it goes!