Date Day

Today is my 18th wedding anniversary and I must say that I am proud. Because as many of us know, being married (to the same person!) for 18 years is no small feat. Especially when this isn’t your first marriage. The stats are definitely stacked against you.

The challenges can be many. Two careers. Too many kids … or too many pets! Financial decisions, vacation decisions, home remodels while living in the garage. Schools, sports, commitments. Relatives. Tragedies. Poor communication.

So, what helps keep it together? And fresh? Especially as we enter the looming eventuality that we will soon be childless on a daily basis?

For us, it’s our Date Day. And although a silly name, that’s what we call it and it works for us. It represents one day each week that we single out to spend together. Not doing chores or “life administration,” but something that we enjoy, together.

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This week, we hiked from Westward/Zuma Beach to Point Dume and almost to Paradise Cove and back. Although we’ve lived in Los Angeles for decades, neither of us had been to this part of Zuma Beach before nor taken this hike. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

In addition to the gorgeous beach, there were stunning rock formations as well as active tidepools, majestic trees and plant life. There were also some homes visible on the tops of the cliffs with interesting staircases and even a funicular to get down to the beach.

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After our 5 mile hike, we stopped in at The Sunset Restaurant for a lovely bite of ahi tuna tartare paired with a glass of sauvignon blanc. A nice day full of natural beauty, good conversation and healthy activity.

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The previous week we had lunch at The Federal Bar, a gastropub in North Hollywood and then saw the adorable movie, “Chef” at the Laemmle Theater. The week before that we hiked Eaton Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains, to this beautiful waterfall. The highlight of the day was sitting on some rocks, staring at the beauty around us and listening to the meditative sounds of the water falling.

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We’ve been to museums, restaurants, gardens and parks. We’ve shopped, eaten and gabbed along the way. Mostly we’ve made this regular time for each other to just have fun.

The genesis for this day came from my husband’s retirement. This was our effort to navigate the fear of “too much togetherness.” We spend the better part of one day each week together, and the other six we maintain our independence. And it has worked for us. Now honestly, there were a few bumps at first …  like trying to agree on what to do … but we have resolved that. By learning to agree? No, of course not. We alternate who plans the day.

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