Daf and I have never been particularly good at “date night”. Early on the pressure to do something super original and fun or ensure we had a great time was too much. We now often struggle to think of something to do, forget, put other things first, don’t want to do what the other wants, or lose enthusiasm. I am definitely not an evening person either so the thought of doing anything creative or that involves using my brain much past 19:30 is an effort. However, when we do spend quality time together doing something out of the ordinary, the day-to-dayness of life and general communication improves.
As the days of lockdown increased so did our (or maybe I should say my) frustration towards one another. The intensity of living with the same person 24/7 becomes more apparent when they are the only other adult you are with all day every day with nothing (such as work) to break up the time. Things which might slip on a normal working week become glaringly obvious and smaller, sometimes less noticeable habits feel huge when you can’t get away from them. Before long, and after many cross or upset words, Daf and I decided we needed to start communicating and trying to make the most of this time rather than allow it to drive us not only insane but apart.
More and more I think this lockdown is giving us the opportunity to be creative and think outside the box. We are in such a unique situation that it is impossible to do things ordinarily. Relationships aren’t going to happen as they “normally” do because this is not a “normal” time. Therefore, it only seems sensical to make changes to the way things might normally happen in order for them to still happen well. So Daf and I (inspired by a lovely friend) created a date jar. Within this jar are 16 scraps of paper with ideas of activities. These range hugely from things like gardening to a creative project, reading a book to recreating a restaurant experience, watching our current favourite TV programme (Escape to the Chateau DIY – don’t judge us (each to their own, right?)) to baking. Last week we picked out two which worked well together; create a recipe followed by candlelit dinner for two. So we set about creating a starter recipe (which I will share with you in next week’s blog) and then enjoying it later that evening with a child-free chat. We tend to eat as a family most days so it is a rarity for Daf and me to sit down together. I have to admit as we were serving up Poppi’s dinner I did say how tired and hungry I was and should we just scrap it and eat all together now? But, Daf reminded me of a motto I have stuck by for most of our married life: stick to the original plan. And I’m glad we did.
However you might be finding these strange days I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for us to be making changes for survival. As humans, we have been blessed with the skills of creativity so I challenge and encourage you all to dig deep and pull out the stops. Let creativity flow. Make memories. In a time when we cannot get out into the world let’s bring the world to us. Our minds are our oysters. What can you come up with? What changes do you need to make?