Last week, Debbie and I realized we needed to get out of town. She had just finished a long school year and I’d been nonstop on several fronts. Our individual styles sometime push the healthy boundaries of balance. And when the pace gets too hectic, you can only keep your edge for so long. Then, your work–and your life–begin to suffer. When balance in life is challenged, particularly as a married couple, trouble can crop up in a variety of ways. Fatigue can cause patience to wear thin. Other chores and delightful activities go unattended. And tunnel vision can threaten one’s ability to see beyond day-to-day living or the task at hand, where new and exciting life experiences and deeper intimacy await. It was time to break the routine.
We all need a break from time to time. Our batteries weaken and our creative juices wane. A fresh perspective can do wonders. As a single adult, I had already developed strategies to manage stress and juggle priorities, some better than others. Of course, it was easier with only one schedule to coordinate! But as a married person, my single life merged into one life as a couple with my sweet Debbie. Reconciling our individual identities and interests while discovering our collective identity and mission has been a labor of love.
This past weekend, we were reminded that a “time out” from life can be reinvigorating. We diverted to the western portion of the State, and into Connecticut, for a change of scenery and a change of pace. A bicycle ride on new turf, a concert at a theme park, and a visit to a museum were refreshing. And I made it through a roller coaster ride without incident! The changes helped us refocus on enjoying one another’s company. A gift like that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Setting aside time to reconnect with our common interests without other responsibilities vying for our time and attention was sweet music to both of us.
When you break the routine, you can reengage life with a fresh perspective. Although it is so easy to get sucked back onto life’s nonstop treadmill, we weren’t designed for it. God even set aside one day a week so that we could recharge on a regular basis. It’s part of His grand design.
If you’re married, I encourage you and your spouse to come back to those activities and passions that drew you to one another in the first place. Although it may be hard to rediscover them amongst the clutter of life and the passage of time, if you take the time and put in the effort, you’ll find those magnets still longing to pull you closer together. Engage them. You’ll be glad you did.
If you have other ideas for refocusing and reengaging in life, whether married or single, please share your thoughts by commenting below. I’ll leave you with a brief portion of a ride that we enjoyed recently. We plan on having a few more of these together times before the summer is out!