Friday, June 15, 2018

Two Date Nights In A Week. What?!?!

I have a confession to make. As a Work at Home Dog Mom, I very seldom leave the house. During our Monday through Friday schedule, Lisa runs a few errands throughout the week because I'm still working when she gets home. On the weekends, we're both catching up on stuff we didn't get done during the week. The majority of that resides within our home or the yard.

To set the stage...

In August of 2012, when we adopted Coco, our lives changed. Coco was very sick. During that time, we had to cancel several plans. We did that without hesitation.

By the end of 2012, Coco was completely healed. In 2013, we did some traveling in state and out of state (driving) with Coco. The doors flung opened wide. One fur-kid. Not a problem.

In June of 2014, we adopted Sophie. Most friends and family didn't flinch. Two kids. That's okay. A lot of people have "2 dogs."

During late January of 2015, we fostered Lobo the day after his surgery to amputate one of his hind legs. His single hind leg had limited mobility. He was also diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Lobo's single hind leg tires out easily. If he runs across the yard, he's pretty much done.

A lot of friends and family questioned our decision to adopt a special needs kid. Why would we adopt "a dog" who couldn't be left home alone for more than 2-3 hours? Wouldn't that put a damper on our life? Embarking on weekend getaways? Taking weeklong vacations?

Sure, our decision to adopt Lobo did just that, but we didn't care.

Then, in March of 2017, we adopted Willa. I'm fairly certain that was the final straw with friends and family. Especially since the last invite to a family members house included, "You can bring one dog."

Um. Okay. Thanks for the invite, but we have FOUR kids. 

Needless to say, over the past few years, our life has changed drastically. We have no complaints. No regrets. We knew that we'd have to make changes and compromises and sacrifices with each kid that joined our family. So be it.

One of those sacrifices was Lisa and I enjoying afternoon or evening dates without having to worry about how long we'd be gone.

We used to do a lot of stuff. Often.

Now, date nights are spent at home, with the kids.

Lisa runs errands on her way home from work.

Once in a while, Lisa and I escape the confines of our home, together, for a few hours.

But, over the past couple of years, we've fallen into a stagnant routine. Lisa runs errands on her way home from work. On the weekends, we catch up on projects around the house. Amid all of that, we've assisted everyone with renovations, tackled our own renovations, and have continued with our strive towards the greater good. We're always helping people out.

Earlier this week, Lisa and I got in a bit of a tiff. I don't usually share our squabbles, but this time I am.

During this riff-raff, Lisa blurted out something that hit me like a wrecking ball.

"We used to go out and have fun even if it was just running errands. We did things spontaneously. It wasn't anything big or expensive, but our quick adventures were fun." 

I couldn't argue with her. She had a point.

The first thing that came to my head was a moment back in 2012. It was late. Lisa and I were both in our lounge clothes. We were craving pie. We didn't want to change our clothes. We certainly didn't want to put in the effort of making a pie. So, we got into our vehicle, pajamas and all, and drove to our local grocery store for pie.

It. Was. The. Best. Pie. Ever.

I shared that memory with Lisa. Then, we went back and forth reminiscing about those spontaneous moments that we'll never forget.

That memory inspired Lisa to send me a text to Lisa on Wednesday morning.

"How about I come home right after work. We'll make a pit stop at Hank's Dairy Bar for a seafood dinner and then go grocery shopping?"

I replied almost immediately.


That's what we did. And, we had a blast.

We had so much fun that earlier this evening, we went to Panera Bread for dinner and then ran errands afterward together.

Two date nights in one week. Yikes!

Yesterday, I posted this on my personal Facebook wall...

"Yesterday, prior to my wife arriving home from work, she asked me out on a date. I said yes. Hesitantly. It's not often we escape from home...together. ESPECIALLY mid-week. We enjoyed an early, scrumptious seafood dinner and then ran a couple of errands. We had a fucking blast!

I'm fairly certain I made an impression. Because my wife asked me out on another dinner and shopping date. Tomorrow night. Oh, I can only imagine the hysterical mischief we're going to conjure up.

But, I don't think it was my glossed lips, heightened sense of humor, curly sloppy bun, or polished nails that made an impression. I'm thinking it had a lot more to do with my new stance. OUR new stance.

Long story short, we're going to put up the proverbial Do Not Disturb sign on our doors more often. Embrace spontaneity. We're going to escape for a few hours here and there to enjoy US time. Blast the music. Sing out loud. Dance. Have LOTS more playtime with our kids.

Instead of preaching and teaching, which I have retired from, we're going to lead by example. Throw up our hands when necessary because "Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys." But also at the same time, we'll continue to speak firm and strong when something needs to be addressed. And have the confidence and wisdom to do so without fear of retribution. Because we're older. Wiser. Speak from experience. We melted our cheap, plastic rose-colored glasses a long time ago.

Life is short. We work so hard to earn a living and for what we have. As a realist, I know that one of these days, one of us is going to have to live without the other. We want to make the most of the time we have BEFORE then.

I hold my big chunk o' chalk in my hand. Drawing boundaries. I'm going to build my business. Finish my books. Get 'em published. Create more fabulous DIY Dog Mom Projects. Enjoy more date nights with my wife. Embrace the dinners and backyard fires with our tiny tribe. Not wasting my time trying to fit in. Doing my thing. Our thing. If anyone has a problem with that...not quite sure what to tell you."

It felt kind of good to get that off my chest. It felt great to get out of the house a couple of times this week.

More so, I felt a bit empowered. Not in a "power trip" sort of way. It's more along the lines of drawing those boundaries.

It's okay not to volunteer your time. It's okay to say, "No, I/we won't be able to do that for you this week." It's okay to mute the rest of the world while you escape the confines of your walls for a few hours to enjoy dinner out and run errands. It's okay to not answer non-urgent texts and emails.

We're all human.

We need to have those occasional moments of fun and being able to unwind.

You live. You learn.

And, the entire process of learning is a lifelong thing.

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