Happy Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras season always reminds me of this great Parks and Rec Episode where Donna and Tom get together once a year to celebrate Treat Yo' Self Day. They treat themselves to all sorts of elaborate items and encourage each other not to feel bad about any of it. What a great holiday, right?
Lately, Jason and I have been trying harder to treat each other. It kind of started with Valentine's Day, but we have continued by trying to find little ways to treat each other here and there. A favorite take-out meal. Treat yo spouse! A bubble bath with candles and wine. Treat yo spouse! An elaborate home-made meal. Treat yo spouse! Taking on the other's household chore. Treat yo spouse! Clothes. Fragrances. Massages. Mimosas. Treat yo spouse! And let me tell you, treating yo spouse is so much better than treating yo self. I feel like it has revitalized our relationship so much that I almost feel like I've gone back eleven years to when we were first dating.
Truth be told, over the last year, we've been through a lot of stress--learning how to be new parents, going from two incomes to one--and I had started to harbor some resentment toward Jason about frivolous things like he got to sleep in later than me two days a week and the trash always seemed to be full. Jason also pointed out that when I seemed to have a bad day with Will, I would take it out on him, and I resented him pointing that out. No matter how many times I rationalized that I really got to sleep later than him five days a week, and Will and I were the ones making most of the trash, and that I should not take out my bad day on the people I love, I still felt anger and resentment that was putting a strain on our relationship.
Then, one day I was reading notes on Matthew 14:13-15 that pointed out that when Jesus tried to get away for some rest after teaching and serving so many, there was a crowd eagerly waiting for Him. He could have been irritated with the demanding crowd and reacted with resentment, but instead, He reacted by serving the people even more. It was just a small paragraph in four or five pages of notes, but it really rocked the little world of resentment that I had built up around myself. Our lives have changed so much in the last year, and for a few months, Jason and I had to go into survival mode, just trying to keep Will healthy and all of us fed and cleaned and clothed. The problem was that I kept treating Jason as my survival partner even though we are no longer in survival mode. And so, after prayer and reflection, I decided to get over myself and try to start treating Jason like the love of my life again. I started small by taking out some of the trash myself and getting him his favorite meal from one of his favorite restaurants, and it made me feel good to do nice things for him even though they were really small. Then, I thought of more things I could do to treat him. And without even talking about it, he did the same for me, and we haven't stopped treating each other special. And I hope we never stop. (But I know myself better than that, so just in case, I keep those notes underlined on my bedside table.) Do you have any advice or tips that help you and your spouse stay connected for better or for worse? I'd love to hear it!
Also, I think it really is more of the thought (and feeling) that counts than the actual treat. I tried my darnedest to get Jason sushi on Friday for dinner and then Saturday for lunch, and that freakin' sushi restaurant has the oddest hours. So even though he had to go pick up the sushi himself while I stayed home with Will, I know it still made Jason happy that I tried.