When we signed the “Project 52: Date Nights” pledge, we added a couple of lines about having at least one date a month that was purely recreational, but also at least one that was would get us to interact on an intentionally relational level. As my prince and I were talking recently, I noted that it’s been a while since we had a “relational” date.
With that in mind, I switched plans again (which means I have another pre-planned date in the wings when I need one–yay 😉 ).
A number of things had been coming together in my reading/pondering/journaling over the past few weeks, and I wanted a way to share them with my prince. I wanted him to know, I wanted his input and I wanted to to be receptive to anything he might want to share along the same lines.
Part of what made this date significant is that I’m not a talker. I’m a listener. I’ve developed the art of asking leading questions & adding just enough commentary to keep a conversation going–about the other person and/or their interests. I haven’t developed the art of verbally sharing myself. I don’t know how to start, or I get stuck & gape like a goldfish (so I almost never even try). The closest I come is talking about things–projects or ideas that interest me–at which point I tend to monopolize the conversation by being overly thorough. That makes relationships lopsided, and stifles the growth of intimacy.
At any rate, now that I had something to say, I needed a setting in which to convey it.
Here’s what I came up with:
The date started later than usual. My prince had lots of grading & students coming in for tutoring (when he would otherwise have gotten the grading done), so he got home later than usual & then had a few things he needed to get done at home. Finally we settled in on the couch with a bowl of popcorn & I explained the background that went into my proposal–reading I’d done, realizations I’d come to, hopes I was developing.
I had a list I’d thought through from asking, “Who do I really want to be? If I were a saint, how would I be different? What current limitations have been weighing on me?” Some things were relatively minor–things that I think would be beneficial, but not earth-shattering. Others had me feeling like a failure. I started with “I want…” and filled in everything I could think of about how I want to be different. Just making the list was therapeutic. I felt like a load had been lifted off of my shoulders.
I wasn’t looking for immediate answers–these aren’t the sorts of things that can be solved overnight. I mainly wanted my prince to know where I was coming from so we could work together and so that he could give me a reality check (I “want it all,” but some things have to give way before what’s most important- “Mary has chosen the better part” -Luke 10:42).
I was hoping my prince could share his own dreams, but it didn’t work out that way (since he talks more easily than I do, I may well hear some of his answers during the coming weeks). We went a little past bedtime as it was, just talking through my list.
My prince, of course, wanted to help. There were a number of things on my list that he hadn’t expected. One of my “dream list” items was the ability to make an audio recording that can be played anywhere by anyone–which I used to do with cassette tapes, but which is more complicated with cds. I want to be able to leave an audio love message for my auditory Sweetie (yes, I could record an audio message on the computer, but I wanted something he could listen to in the car–he has an hour commute each way).
Anyway, my prince suggested that for our next date, he could step me through the process of recording audio, getting it onto the computer & burning cds (he does that regularly with our RCIA presentations–he’s the expert 🙂 ).
He also asked me to email my list to his web account so he can access it from school or from his laptop (I did that this morning).
I get the idea that this date is going to continue bearing fruit for months, if not years, to come…