As I’ve mentioned in my last couple of posts, life has been difficult lately.
Along with the usual merry-go-round of work, family life and wedding planning, there has been grief and extra work pressure added to the mix.
I’ve also been away for two nights in the last week and overall, I’ve been feeling completely exhausted and as if I’m running on fumes.
Gary has always taken wonderful care of me when I feel down and the last few weeks have been no exception. He has been there to give cuddles, send supportive messages throughout the day and to take care of practical tasks, like housework and cooking, that I just don’t have the energy to tackle.
This weekend was one that we had earmarked as a quiet weekend. We try to make sure that we have at least one of these each month, although we don’t always manage it. Quiet weekends are for no visitors, no chores and no pressure. They are for pyjamas all day, long baths, film or boxset marathons and a chance to recharge.
We have worked hard from the very start of our relationship to make sure that we are equals in every way. We both put equal effort into communicating with each other and we both put equal effort into being romantic and thoughtful. This takes many forms, from leaving little notes in his lunch bag, to him bringing home a little token that he knows I’ll love, to us planning weekends away.
As tends to happen in life, there are times where this balance is slightly out of kilter and the this has been true in the last few weeks. My time, energy and focus has been on tackling the challenges in front of me and that hasn’t left much space for Gary.
As I was sat at my desk on Friday afternoon, frantically trying to clear everything down before my week off with the boys, I started to think about how much he had supported me through the last few weeks, quietly and without fuss. He never makes me feel guilty when I’m too tired to talk in the evenings or when I just want to crawl into bed and sleep. He loves and supports me, holds me when I feel crap and finds ways to make me laugh through the madness.
And I wanted to remind him of how much I appreciate him.
The Christmas before last, I had made him twelve envelopes, one for each month of the year. Inside each was a date idea for that month and we had so much fun, going on our little dates. We ate ice cream at the seaside, played mini golf, had a board game night, baked a cake (which was a TOTAL fail; it came out like a pancake!) and just had little breaks from the pressure of real life.
But I realised on Friday that it had been way too long since our last date.
So I text and asked him out.
And he said yes.
We – like a lot of people I’m sure – are guilty of falling into little routines and going to the same old places. And what I wanted from our date day was to get away from the usual haunts and to take a little break from everything that has been going on.
So, we jumped on the motorbike and headed to a town about an hour from us, called Marlborough.
He had been there before but I never had and it was lovely to just potter around, holding hands in the sunshine and talking about nothing. It was also enough of a ride to make it feel like we had travelled away from our usual patch and Marlborough is a really lovely little town.
I treated him to lunch in one of the pubs, which by pure chance turned out to only sell pies – so Gary was in heaven!
We also visited the local sweet shop (standard for me, I can’t walk past a cute sweet shop without popping in!) and a shop that had a whole range of Harry Potter goodies – although I resisted as my birthday is only two weeks away!
We came home happy and relaxed and spent the rest of the day just hanging out and watching films.
We pick Charlie up for the week on Monday and so it felt good to have a little time to ourselves before the chaos and noise of the next week.
And as we didn’t have dessert yesterday, we’re off to hunt for cake on the bike this afternoon!
Love is a verb and to me, it’s the most important one of all.