I feel very lucky to have met and married my best friend. Not every moment together is sunshine and roses, of course, but the majority of the time we make a great team of love and support.
One area we seem to get stuck in is unproductive evenings, however. We seem to have fallen into a rut of post-baby-bedtime laziness. Actually, I can’t really blame our wee one. Before she was born these unproductive evenings often began as soon as we came home from work, if there wasn’t something immediately pressing that simply had to be done. It’s all too easy to check out of getting things done when the other is home and the path of least resistance leads to the cozy couch and a mind-numbing TV screen with Netflix ready to run show after show. Since the introduction of passive entertainment at our fingertips with smartphones, I’ve been part of too many evenings as mentioned, but we’re not even paying attention to what we’re “watching together”. Instead we play on our phones, looking up hockey scores and finding out what our friends are liking and sharing until we’re tired of all the laziness and head to bed.
Over the last week or so, we’ve really been making an effort to take back our evening hours and help each other make the most of our time. After all, we’re supposed to be motivating and supporting this partnership, not bringing each other down to the depths of unproductivity. Sometimes it can take a bit of a push from one of us (ahem… usually me), but when we’re finished coming together to tackle a project, I can see we’re both feeling more positive about our relaxing and being able to take pride in the fact that our time was actually put to something useful. Something that makes a noticeable difference in our lives.
In our recent life-improvement adventures we’ve joined forces to measure and make our first marks on our little one’s doorframe, setting it up to memorialize the years of growth to come. We’ve finally built a long-awaited cubby shelf to home the kiddie books and toys that keep accumulating in our living room. The clothes waiting in our room to be put away finally joined their material mates in drawers and the closet, and the box of I-don’t-know-what-to-do-withs that’s been sitting in our room since we moved into our new house last summer finally got (mostly) sorted. The fish tank received a much-needed cleaning, and the spare room was organized from “disaster zone” to “office” (although there’s still more to be done in there, a definite change can be seen). We even shared the task of completely taking apart and cleaning out our fridge. Sometimes what we’re doing is a combined and equal effort, and other times we’re working on different tasks next to each other, supporting when needed.
I can think of a million more things, big and small, that need to be built, fixed, cleaned, and organized, and taking these projects on together will help get them done faster, easier, and even more enjoyably. Instead of sitting quietly next to each other, mostly disconnected from what’s going on with the other, getting things done together has given us the opportunity to spend quality time together. We can chat and share our thoughts, not only about what it is we’re trying to accomplish, but about anything and everything that pops into mind while our brains aren’t being preoccupied with the current sports scores or the newest cat clips. We work, we laugh, we discuss, and we grow closer together.
If you’re stuck in a laziness routine, I hope you’ll put down your phones and remotes and get the accomplishment ball rolling by saying “Hey, you know that thing we’ve been meaning to do? Let’s power through it together and make it happen!” If you share your home and your life with someone else, take advantage of that partnership and you’ll likely see that it’s so much easier to tackle the to-do’s with a helping and encouraging hand. Even if it does take a bit of a push to get your counterpart on board, once you get in the swing of it, everything will move along smoother.