Twelve years ago when my husband and I were still dating we sat in a Fazoli’s in Mishawaka, IN and wrote out on a napkin a list of all the things we couldn’t wait to do together. I don’t remember how long we’d been dating at time, but number 41 is “Have Dinner with each other’s Parents.” So it must have been pretty early in our relationship. Most of the things on our list are sappy and romantic, and they’re almost all about having fun. We came came up with over 60 activities.
Here’s a few examples:
13. Go on a picnic
24. Make dinner together
36. Take a trip out of state
51. Go horseback riding
62. Go to Niagara Falls
We must have had some subconscious inkling that we were going to last since we also included number 56, “Decorate a Christmas tree together,” and number 68, “Go camping together.”
So far we’ve checked off 40 items on our list including numbers 41, 13, 24, 36, 51 and 56. We haven’t been to Niagara Falls yet, but we’ve still got time. We haven’t been camping yet either. Mostly because my idea of roughing it is staying in a Motel 6. But I don’t think I can avoid it any longer now that our son keeps asking to go. Number 52 is, “Make a song together.” We haven’t done this yet either. My husband writes songs all the time, but I have no musical talent what-so-ever. Something my husband must not have yet been aware of at the time the list was written. I don’t know how that would work. Maybe I could color in the quarter notes.
We were still in college when we wrote this list. There wasn’t much of anything but having fun to concern ourselves with then. No house, no bills (well other than those enormous students loans looming in the future), no kids. If we wrote a list today I wonder what it would look like?
5. Fix the broken stair rail
17. Pay off the enourmous student loans
23. Open a 529 savings plan so our son won’t have an enormous student loan
39. Take our son kite flying
53. Take our son to Hawaii
61. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle
No longer so care-free, the list isn’t just all about fun and it isn’t just all about us.
Reading over the original list, most of the 40 items we checked off have been checked off for a long time. Maybe it’s time to get back to crossing things off. We can’t just run off to New York City, but we could go to the opera. River rafting may have to wait for our empty nest years, but we could get a couples’ massage.
A few years of marriage and the distraction of real life can make you forget about the fun you used to have together. Your list may not be written down on a napkin. But you can probably come up with a few things you always wanted to do, but put off. Get out a pen and write them down, then start marking them off. If your list is getting short like ours, maybe it’s time to add to it.
Someday that student loan will be paid off. In the meantime you can still go see the Texas Hill Country when the blue bonnets are in bloom and take ballroom dancing lessons.
I’d love to hear what’s on your list of things to do, or maybe something you already marked off. Leave a comment.