One thing I’ve learned–of the many things I’ve learned–in my 3-ish years of marriage is that I tend to act, give, forgive and love in ways that I would want in return.
Not rocket science: I know. But it is something easier said, than done.
When it came to planning Andy’s birthday, I made plans according to what I would want.
Table for two.
Get out the tie.
Press the shirt.
Kacia takes a shower and actually puts on make up: check. check.
But as the day got closer, and Andy’s work load was increasing exponentially as deadlines approached, I realized that I had been going about plans for his birthday without really thinking about something that would bless him.
I was mostly thinking of me.
So that morning, I shifted gears.
I started at the back door, leaving notes and directions. Taping, placing, balancing: whatever the location required, so that he would see each sign along the way. I woke Harlow up from her nap, so we could scoot on out of the house before he got home.
He followed his instructions – whether it was reading a note from me, or leading him to the next step. So after knowing that he’d had a chance to relax and be alone, I came home to join him. No, I didn’t forget about Harlow. She was playing at Kyndal’s house–my saint-of-a-friend who, with Harlow, had 4, under 4 that evening.
We sat in our guest room: eating sushi, watching Faceoff, drinking sangria and stuffing our faces with cupcakes.
We are strange and don’t have a television in our living room. I sort of love it.
My phone was downstairs. I didn’t mention work or tasks or projects. Distractions were left at the door. The list that so often consumes my mind was, for a time, ignored completely.
And celebrating my best friend’s birthday couldn’t have been more perfect. Sure, it could have lasted longer–if we could have escaped from reality, the lists, the tasks, for just a few minutes more.
But I got to spend it with him. And taking time to create a special evening–simple yes, but special too–that wasn’t just full of things I would want to do made it even more special. It forced me to look outside of myself.
And that is always a good thing.