Last week Patrick seemed dispirited and I glanced away from my iPhone long enough to ask if everything was okay. He responded, ‘Yes, but I’m in a bit of a rut.’
We’ve had to adopt a strict routine now that we both work full-time jobs Monday through Friday and I thought about how our lives resemble Sheldon’s on The Big Bang Theory, where he can only sit on one end of the sofa and goes into a crisis if someone suggests eating Thai food on pizza night.
I knew we had to do something to disrupt the status quo.
Breakfast in London: One morning when I cooked eggs for breakfast, I fried some bacon and sausage, added a grilled tomato and poured boiling water over P.G. Tips tea bags nestled in our coffee mugs. After enjoying the meal and the memory of breakfast in London, we were certain we heard the chime of Big Ben as we dashed to the loo.
Learning a new skill: We researched ‘hotel toilet paper-folding’ and realized there are many variations besides the simple ‘V’ shape. Did you know there is an art called ‘toilet paper origami’ AKA ‘toilegami?’ By reviewing photos and YouTube videos we were able to learn a new skill while simultaneously creating the illusion of a spotless hotel bathroom.
Spontaneity: I suggested dinner out on a Thursday night, but Patrick reminded me we have choir practice every Thursday, so we settled on next Monday. I have butterflies in my stomach imagining how I will feel when I awaken Monday morning, knowing we’ll be eating a spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy’s that evening.
Spending time outside: It’s difficult to spend time outside during a Maine winter when frigid air triggers an asthma attack, but that didn’t stop us from having coffee on the patio. The sun was a brilliant backdrop for us but immediately disappeared behind a spiteful cloud as we settled into our lawn chairs. When violent shivering caused coffee spatters we moved inside freeing the sun to once again reveal its elusive rays.
Adventure in the bedroom: Spending time inside doesn’t have to be boring, especially if you get creative in the bedroom. I suggested we switch sides of the bed and it was going well until I slammed into the bureau during a middle of the night bathroom trip, nearly prompting a 911 call. On a positive note, I’m confident the scar will fade by the time I don a pair of shorts next July.
Surprise in the bedroom: One evening when I got home before Patrick, I hid under the bed and when he entered to change his clothes I reached out and grabbed his ankle. By his reaction I believe this was as thrilling as a trip to Universal Studios during Halloween week.
Out of town trip: Too lazy to traipse across time zones, we began to explore options for foreign travel while staying in our home state. With numerous Maine towns named after countries, we narrowed down the choices to Denmark, Paris, Naples, Sweden, Poland, China, Peru or Mexico. In the end, even that was too much effort, and we piled into our salt-encrusted car, cruised to south Brewer (the next town over), and ate foreign cuisine at Pepino’s Taco Stand.
Now that we’ve implemented these simple strategies into our everyday lives, we’ve seen a boost in our household morale. With another week of practice I’m convinced we’ll be ready to sit in an alien section of the couch.
What strategies have you tried to pluck yourself out of a rut? Do share!