To be interesting you must be interested

Dan and I are in a bit of a rut.  It began innocently enough one Saturday night, when we were too tired to leave the house to go to the restaurant with live music that we had chosen for our date that weekend.  We decided to say home and watch a few episodes from one of our favorite TV series instead. 

But then the same thing happened again a few Saturdays later.  And again.  And again.  With increasing frequency, when our time off rolled around, we were opting out of opportunities to explore our new city and pursue our interests and enhance our skills. 


We were--are--tired.  Tired of the terrible traffic and battling crowds.  Tired of heading back out into the car frenzy after a long week of work, knowing that the interstate, at any time of day other than the rare off hours, will essentially be a parking lot.  Tired of fooling with parking or Metro-ing.  Tired of the ridiculous effort of it all.

Recently, however, we decided that we could not let the traffic or our exhaustion win.  We realized that succumbing to our tiredness has only made us more drained.  Those activities that could energize and refresh us--seeing a movie or perusing our favorite Smithsonian exhibit--we have been avoiding.  Laziness only begets laziness.  We do not want to turn intothat couple that has nothing interesting to say when asked the question: "So what did you do this weekend?" 

Whether or not we choose to go outside of our comfort zone on a Saturday or Wednesday does not really matter, nor does it matter that we impress other people with fascinating answers to their questions about our weekend.  Rather, it matters that we stretch ourselves to try new things and experience new places.  We grow as individuals and as a couple when we encounter and wade our way through the unknown.

Our goals for the coming months range from lofty to mundane.  We have signed up for dancing lessons (an entire package, so we can't cancel--we have learned that money is a big motivator when it comes to keeping plans) and have an ongoing list of new-to-us restaurants to try.  Every so often, we want to pick a heady or political issue or topic to discuss at dinner in detail, delving beyond our usual perfunctory initial responses.  Since doing this, we have learned some surprising things about one another, an occurrence that becomes more and more rare with each year of marriage.

The important thing is that we are choosing to be interested in engaging the world during our free time again.  The same intensity that we bring to our jobs and home improvement projects and ten year plans we intend to bring to our "me" and "us" time also.  Instead of letting free time happen to us, we are attempting to be deliberate about making it count and pursuing our passions and curiosities. 

We're ready now.  Go ahead, ask us: "What did you do this weekend?"