Thoughts & Reflection on the Seasons of Love
It’s been a while since I had time to really sit down and enjoy an evening on my own, just spending time doing the things I enjoy and reflecting on life.
I love family time and I enjoy nights out with my girlfriends, but being an introvert, I know I can only truly recharge when I spend time on my own.
So when Wayne told me he has a gathering to go to, I decided to let Grandpa and Grandma pick up Laurent (much to their delight) so he can check out his new car which just arrived at grandpa’s house.
I went home right after work, showered and had a quick dinner while watching a brush lettering video. I really cherish this hard to come by moments of tranquility so I prayed that God will bless this evening to be a fruitful and enjoyable one. I settled down at my cozy work space with my supplies and started writing out part of E. E. Cummings’ poem which came to mind. Pastor Rick Warren’s Daily Hope podcast was playing in the background and I was listening to the series about Fighting for an Awesome Marriage.
Pastor Rick and his wife, Kate, talked about the importance of a strong marriage, about making conscious efforts to fall in love and stay in love, about compatibility, about differences, about fights, about sacrifices and about not taking one another for granted.
It got me thinking about how our relationship has evolved over the years. From dating to married life and now, parenthood. From studying in the same school but different faculty, to working in the same company but different department, and now working closely together. From travelling a distance to one and others’ homes, to staying together and now spending almost 24/7 next to each other.
With closer proximity and more time together, you would probably think that we are emotionally closer than ever, right? I thought so too.
But when I started to take a close look at our relationship, I can’t help but notice that the closer we are, the less connected we have become. There was even a period where we only had the time and desire to talk about work and child and were not making effort to share intimately about our thoughts and emotions.
There are many components to a great and lasting relationship. And we both know that besides God’s gracious blessings, one very important component is having fruitful and thoughtful conversations about the relationship.
When we were dating and in the earlier part of our marriage, one of our favorite activities is to spend hours sitting at the bay of Esplanade, talking and sharing at lengths about our feelings, thoughts, hopes and aspirations. Very often we would chat all the way to the wee mornings and still felt like we have a ton of things to talk about. Both of us enjoyed such conversations which helped us to learn more about each other and how we can be better partners in our relationship.
But recently, most of our time and energy were spent on Laurent, our work, upkeeping the house, pursuing our own hobbies and trying to catch a breather or zone out in our own ways.
Pastor Rick talked about the different seasons of love and marriage. I feel like we are currently in the season of spring; busy and always doing something, with little time to truly invest in and enjoy our relationship as a couple.
And due to the lack of intimate conversations where we would readily open up our vulnerabilities and weaknesses to one another, we started to build up a wall and became less willing to express love openly. We started to do away with the hugs in the morning, the kisses before leaving the house, the I-love-yous before we sleep and the surprises that we used to give each other for no reasons.
When the podcast ended and I lifted my brush from my artwork, I suddenly felt like the house was too quiet and I missed Wayne a lot. I realized it has been a long time since we took a good look at each other and truly savor the words that we say to each other.
When he came home, I gave him the artwork, told him I missed him and we both shared a smile while looking into each other’s eyes. We spent some time talking, laughing and I actually told him I realized how good looking he is (and we both laughed again). It was late so we didn’t really have a proper conversation but said our I-love-yous before going to bed.
I felt like we’ve both just watered the flowerbed of our relationship again and I want us to continue doing so. To continue to water it, prune it, weed it and grow it. To work hard in guarding and protecting it in difficult times, so that we can enjoy it in good times.
Love is not just a feeling, but a decision to take action. When we choose to love, we choose to listen, to understand, to care, to sacrifice, to pray for one another and to take the time and effort to make the relationship work. This is a reminder not just for you who is reading this, but for myself too, because I always forget.
Have you taken the time to take a peek at your flowerbed recently? Does it need some watering, pruning or planting? Let’s take little steps to make it bloom beautifully again. Maybe a night out without the kids just to have some fruitful conversation, a day out at your favorite dating spot to relive those magical moments, or even a short weekend trip to relax and just enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes, a little kiss, a tight hug and an I-love-you is all you need, to let your flowerbed spring back to life again.