Shoulda Coulda Woulda

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A while ago, I read an article about a couple who had been married over 70 years, and the interviewer asked how their marriage survived that long. They said that they had an indoor and an outdoor thing that they did together, and those activities changed in summer and winter. I don’t remember what the things were – indoor might have been playing cards or ballroom dancing, outdoor might have been lawn bowling or tennis. That seemed like a pretty great way to continue to do things together throughout a lengthy marriage. You could change it up as often as you wanted, or not. And it still left plenty of time to do the things apart that each of you liked. So after I mulled on this for a while (and bought a deck of Scopa cards and researched the local curling club), Mike and I (but mostly me) decided that we should resurrect the long-deceased ritual of Date Night. We’ve been married over 20 years, and we’ve gotten lazy at tending to our relationship. So I would plan one week, and he would plan the next. That lasted about 1 and a half weeks, and then we sank back into our silently-watching-syndicated-sitcoms-in-proximity-to-each-other routine. Boooo.

So, this weekend, on the way to Chicken Soup Night at my parents’ house, the conversation went like this:

Me: When we’re retired, would you like to just get an RV and wander around?
Him: Maybe. Sure.
Me: Where would you want to go?
Him: East. To the east coast.
Me: And what would we do there?
Him: Whatever there was to do.
Me: Like what?
Him: Like advertised events, or antique markets

Me: So why don’t we do that stuff here?
Him: We’ve done that. We did it twice last year.

Normally, his answers when I start this kind of conversation (which I think he views as a “line of questioning”) is some variation of, “I never thought about it”, as if I’m going to hold him to his answer to my frivolous and whimsical questions like canon. *sigh*. It’s not an interrogation, for Pete’s sake.

But it planted the seed. On that drive to Stoney Creek, we passed 2 or 3 antique markets (or signs with arrows showing us how to get to them). Why *don’t* we do these things together. There are lots of both “advertised events” and antique markets in Southern Ontario – So it totally sounds like what’s holding us back is lack of RV. What I’m hearing is that if we just get a Winnebago, we’ll be all about the daytrips. That’s totally what yous guys get from that conversation too, right? Right?? Of course, we’d need to airbrush Shenanigans, Ahoy! on the back of it.

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. That escalated quickly, huh? I know, this is your surprised face.

I’m disappointed that the thing that seems to be holding us back from more fully experiencing new and interesting things is the trap of “should”. We should do a thing. We totally should. And some hand-wavey distant vacation or retirement plan when we can finally get around to doing the thing we should do seems more theoretical than practical. There are things as close as 30 minutes away from my driveway that we should and could reasonably do. Probably even closer. So why aren’t we doing them?

Now that we’ve flipped over into the new fiscal year at work, there’s a new pile of vacation for me to start scheduling into fun adventurous long weekends. When I started this blog, it was to make the most of the dash. Time to level up. Time for me to gather up  whole (literal) bagful of adventures, and then just reach in and grab one and do it. Because it’s Wednesday, or because it’s a sunny Saturday or because it’s a rainy Saturday. Because there were adventures to be had, so we had them. I mean, he’s right, we did have some adventures last year – the Sunflower Farm (before the tours got shut down because entitled people are jerks);  the Golden Horseshoe Adventure Weekend; the Autumn Day-drinking-with-the-parents Brewery/cidery tour; the Stratford Bacon and Ale tour. And all of these except the Bacon and Ale tour were of the choose-your-own-adventure variety, so we could tailor to what we wanted to do (or stray from that if a fun new diversion presented itself). These trips started with a common interest – I don’t like beer, and Mike doesn’t like wine, but the overlap is Cider. So that’s where we started.

The thing that keeps relationships strong is that everyone needs to know their role. I plan like a boss; Mike executes those plans like a champ.

When we were doing the Day-drinking-with-the-parents tour along the lower Niagara Escarpment, my dad remarked that he had no idea what was right there in his backyard. I feel like it’s time for us to figure out what’s in ours, too. And if we just happen to stop at the winery where they make my favourite Baco Noir, Mike won’t mind that. And if the next stop is an interesting looking microbrewery, I don’t mind either. Navigating the intersection of planning and SQUIRRELL! is an excellent way to while away the time.



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