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This month, the topic for Marriage Monday is Recreation.
The early days of our courtship and marriage would find one of asking one question each Saturday morning, "North, south, east or west?" The question was simply determining which direction were we going to go. Were we going north into Canada, south to the Palouse, East to Lake Coeur d'Alene, or West toward the Cascades. Those days of getting in the car, seeing what the road would reveal, getting out to hike or picnic or just sit and enjoy nature, were crucial in our development as a couple. We learned how the other saw the world. We took pictures of the same things that looked entirely different due to our perspective--something that still makes us laugh. Lots of time in the car meant lots of time to talk, and get to know each other even better. A drive was non-threatening and relaxing (well except for a fateful trip to Silver Mountain ID, but that is a story best left untold).
One thing I quickly learned about German as we became friends was that cars were important to him. He loves cars. Admiring them and driving them. So our early recreation revolved around cars. If we weren't on a drive somewhere, we were probably at a car show somewhere. Usually a car show meant showing our car--with all the loving care that goes into that--but sometimes it was just going to see other people's cars. Now here is a little secret, I really couldn't care less about what we drive or how it looks. If it gets me from point A to point B, I'm happy. Spending hours at a car show in and of itself would not be appealing. BUT, spending hours with German at a car show was always appealing. I love watching him enjoy himself. I love watching him beam when someone comments on his car. I love watching him deep in conversation with another car enthusiast about all the details of their respected "babies." For me, the joy of the weekend was that I got to see him in his element, totally relaxed from the pressures of work. And you want to know something really funny, now that we are in Europe and our show cars are in storage in the US, I actually miss car meetings, car rallies and car shows. I learned to love what he loved. (And he does occasionally take me to an antique show or quilt show and share my loves.)
In the early days as we were learning about each other and likes/dislikes we really did have divergent tastes. Compromise became a key thing. (Someday I'll share the symphony vs NASCAR story.) But driving and seeing the country was always a common ground. Travel still remains our favorite recreation as a family. Whether it is getting on an airplane to explore Europe or just driving up the road an hour to explore the Dales, we find ourselves the most relaxed and the most able to share our lives in that setting.
We have found that when we are most stressed, with work or as a family, it is a clear indicator that we are needing to have some fun together. That's when we schedule a day for a drive. Just finding time to unwind together leads to a more content marriage and family. And that is reward in and of itself.
Please join Chrysalis today as others share how recreation has made a difference in their marriage.