I don’t often write about my personal life on this blog, but recently I learnt a valuable relationship lesson and wanted to share it with you…
As many of you know, my wife Bec and I recently had our first baby – a little boy named Luke. Those of you who are parents will also know that the first 10 weeks with a new born at home are both wonderful and challenging :-)
Having reached our 10 week milestone, I wanted to do something special for Bec, so I made reservations at a local French restaurant, and organised to drop Luke off at his Grandma’s place for 2 hours.
When we arrived at the restaurant it was very formal, and a bit stuffy, and while the food was good, by the end of the evening we didn’t really feel refreshed or relaxed as I had hoped – we just felt tired.
That night I lay in bed and thought about our night out, and realised that fancy restaurants really weren’t ‘our thing’. I then asked myself a very valuable question which was:
“What reenergises us as a couple?”
For Bec and I, the answer was ‘dancing’. We first got to know each other through swing dancing, so dancing has always been a special part of our life. However, I suddenly realised that we hadn’t danced for over a year! So I made the decision to start looking into dance classes.
The next morning I jumped online and looked up dance classes in our local area. Unfortunately the only suitable class was on Thursday nights at 9pm. This just wouldn’t work with Luke’s evening routine so it looked like a dead-end.
At this point it would have been really easy to say, “Oh well, we’ll just have to wait a few years”, but something told me not to give up.
I then did a Google search for ‘Swing dancing DVD’ thinking we might be able to teach ourselves. This led me to a site called iDance.net which offers over 1000 dance lessons from some of the best teachers in the world – I was SO excited!
I purchased a pack of lessons for $20 and downloaded them to my computer. Now all we needed was somewhere to dance…
Our floor at home is on a concrete slab so we needed to find somewhere with a wooden floor. After a bit more online sleuthing, I discovered that we could rent a local hall, but when I said we wanted to dance, I was told we’d need personal indemnity insurance which would cost over $1000!
Not wanting to give up, I typed ‘portable dance floor’ into Google and to my surprise I discovered that they did in fact exist.
I phoned one company but found they only catered for restaurants and large venues. My next stop was eBay, where to my delight, I found a small portable dance floor!
With our portable dance floor on the way, I called our local church and booked the parish community center for an hour on Sunday afternoon.
Last Sunday afternoon, we arranged for Luke’s aunty to take him for a walk in his pram, while Bec and I “went dancing” for the first time in a long time.
We set up our portable dance floor, had our personal instructors on my iPad and had an absolute ball learning a dance called the Collegiate Shag.
Here’s a picure of our ‘private dance studio’ :-)
The valuable relationship lesson I learnt from this experience was that as life gets busier and more complicated it is important to:
“Work Hard At Having Fun”
It would have been really easy to put dancing in the ‘too hard’ basket at the moment, but it was definitely worth pushing through the initial roadblocks and making fun a priority.
So today I’d like to encourage you to ask yourself the question, “What reenergises us as a couple?”, and take a moment to identify the activities that really recharge your batteries. (If you get stuck, think about the activities you used to do when you first met)
Then make the decision to ‘Work Hard At Having Fun’ and push through the roadblocks in your way to find at least an hour a week that is just for you as a couple.
But What If I’m Single?
If you’re single, just change the question to, “What reenergises me as a person?”, and once you’ve written down a list of activities that make you feel alive, make the decision to ‘Work Hard At Having Fun’ and push through the roadblocks you meet to find a little time for yourself.
For Bec and I, the simple act of identifying the activity that reenergises us as a couple, combined with the decision to work hard at having fun has brought the joy of dancing back into our lives.
I hope you find this idea useful and that you have as much fun as we now do on Sunday afternoons!
Until next time,
Dare To Dream!