My wife and I are incredibly lucky. We have a phenomenal babysitter who is regularly willing to give us a night (or two) each month for us to have some adult time. This is important time for any parent, if for no other reason than to have an opportunity to reframe and readjust thinking.
Despite looking forward to these opportunities monthly, we always seem to end up asking each other, “What Are We Doing Tonight?”
It’s a funny thing, right? Sometimes, the events we look forward to with such gusto are also the events we are least prepared for.
There are two key lessons to learn from this, in my opinion. First, it pays to always think forward. This makes it easier for us to project what we might do in certain situations, and it prevents us from entering any given situation with “no idea” on our plates. I am aware, however, that this constant thinking forward is a bit at odds with the value of mindfulness, the need to be “in the moment” and be aware of where we are, when we are, why we are. I’ll admit this is something that I struggle with, as I often find myself living in the future as much as the present. I do believe I have made growth in this area, but it is rare for me to have a “ton” of time to just “be.” This is certainly an area of growth, for me.
The other lesson we take from the “What are We Doing Tonight?” scenario is that our relationships are what propel us through these “idealess” situations. Despite the fact that my wife and I often end up in this spot, which is really quite humorous, we always find a way to make it work (though, in fairness, the degree of “working” does depend). There is much here that connects with our work. When we problem solve with those who we’ve worked hard to build relationships with, even if we don’t end up with what we consider the “best” solution, we end up with one that is infinitely better than what could have been.
As I write this, we’re still unsure of what we’ll be doing tonight (I’m writing this on Saturday morning), but we’re committed to doing something. And often, that commitment to taking action is precisely what we need to make sure that we change, and that we change for the better.
By the way, we ended up going to the movies and dinner. We say Florence Foster Jenkins (great movie), and had an amazing dinner at a joint called Village Social (see banner pic).