By Davida Brown
The first year of a relationship is nothing short of exciting. You want to know absolutely everything about him or her, and every new thing you learn makes you want to know more. Because you're in learning mode, you haven't quite figured out each other's comfort zone. You haven't quite figured out what works for you as a couple. What's your role, what's his or hers. Each day, week or month is like a new adventure.
Fast forward 8 years. You have a great relationship and you hopefully still experience excitement and adventure together. Even so, let's be honest, it's not at a 10 like it was that first year, but that's okay. There's something special about "knowing" your spouse that's beautiful and comforting. That said, even the most seasoned couples need to shake things up a bit. Periodically, each of us needs to step out of our role and comfort zone to light that fire in the relationship. Yesterday, I did.
My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years. We've settled quite nicely into our roles in the home. I'm the primary caretaker for the kids and I handle most of the cooking and cleaning. My husband takes out the trash, fixes everything that's breaks around the house, takes care of the cars, walks the dog and shovels any snow. Yes, we'll pitch in and help the other from time to time with tasks, but we generally stick pretty firmly to our roles.
Well, last weekend the DC area was hit with snowmaggedon. I'm talking 28 inches of snow. We never thought it'd stop. The city came to a screeching halt. Well you know what happens after it snows. It's time to dig out. Now, shoveling snow is my husband's responsibility. And, luckily my hubby embraced his responsibility without complaint. After all, I had to take care of the kids (two and five), cook, and clean while we were snowed in for four days. I actually think he may have gotten the better end of the deal. Being a planner, my husband shoveled in waves during the snow storm. It took him three times, but he finally cleared the front steps, walkway and sidewalk in front of our home, and the walkway to our detached garage.
On day four, my husband and I went back to work. My office was closed and the kids' schools were closed. That meant I had to work from home, while entertaining the kids, cooking, and keeping the house in decent shape. Talk about cabin fever!
Well yesterday, I'd had enough. The snow plows hadn't hit our street or alleyway, so you guessed it, our cars were stuck in the garage. I decided that it was time to get the neighbors involved so we could collectively shovel the alley. So I did, unbeknownst to my husband. After that herculean effort, I was so proud of myself. I NEVER shovel snow, so to not only make the effort to shovel snow, but shovel 2 feet deep snow is AMAZING if I must say so. I couldn't wait to tell my husband.
When he got home, the first thing out of his mouth was, "I'm tired of the cars being stuck in the garage. I'm going to go out there, do an assessment and see if I can get some folks in the neighborhood to pitch in so we can dig it out." I responded, "That's a great idea, babe."
He took his sweet time before heading to the garage. I thought I was going to burst. As soon as he stepped out the house and began the walk to our garage, I ran to the door and started my signature,"Gotcha" dance. When he raised the garage door and saw that not only was the alley clear, but our entrance area to the garage was clear, I thought he was going to pass out from the shock. He turned and looked at me in total amazement. "You did this, babe?" he asked. "I sure did. How you like that," I said.
It was an incredible moment. I had completely stepped out of my normal, "our normal", and doing so had an impact, a very positive impact, on my husband. It was so refreshing, because at that moment, he saw me in a new light. He hadn't looked at me with that sense of incredulity in forever. I was once again the lady full of surprises. I showed him and myself that I'm still capable of shaking things up, that I can still do the unexpected, that there is still so much excitement in store for us. Needless to say, we had an awesome night.
So what about you? When was the last time you shook things up?