I want to talk a little bit about my relationship with my wife. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too mushy, I have a point to make.
A lot of people refer to their spouse as their best friend, and for many it seems an exaggeration, but for me, it is not. If you take out the physical attraction to her (and the returned attraction from her) I’d still have someone who makes me laugh harder than any other person. When she makes me laugh uncontrollably, she calls it ‘dragon tongue’ because the face I make resembles a fire-breathing dragon. Well, I rarely hit ‘dragon tongue’ level with anyone else in my life, but Sarah makes me do often.
It’s tough when I’m trying hard to launch Chocolate Diamond Media, and editing books as a second job, and working my regular job, and we’re raising a 2 year old (who is great, but has so much energy) to find time for each other. There are days where we spend hours together, only to realize we miss each other, because there wasn’t twenty full minutes of just us talking, uninterrupted.
It can be a struggle to find any kind of real connection time, anything that stimulates our brains in more than an “aww, isn’t he cute” kind of way. So, we went looking for something, some dedicated ‘us time,’ to feel like adults again. Then, on a road-trip back from Massachusetts to North Carolina, Sarah found the joys of podcasts, and said “we should do a podcast together!” The podcasts she enjoyed, and the ones I listen too, are vastly different, but she finally got what I’d been talking about for a couple years.
We started brainstorming for a podcast concept that worked for both of us. We didn’t want one where we felt the need to talk about relationships, or babies, or any of that, we wanted one that engaged us more intellectually and less emotionally, to give us a different direction from the rest of our life together.
After much discussion, and a bit debate about what ‘list’ of movies to watch, we decided upon, and launched “Mike and Sarah’s Best Picture Podcast.” We’ve done 21 episodes so far, and it’s really difficult for us to find the time to record, and we haven’t been able to maintain the release schedule of one episode per week, but we’re doing our best. What we have found though, is that it’s really fun, and that it brings us something that was definitely missing the last year or so. The podcast wasn’t just an excuse for us to watch a different movie every week and talk about it, but in the better situations (the most recent episode about 1948’s Gentleman’s Agreement for example) it served as a spring board for a larger conversation, and exchange of ideas.
Throughout the process, as has always been the case with Sarah, I’ve been surprised. I’ve been a major movie buff my whole life, and took “Language of Film” kinds of classes, and so I knew I was going in well prepared, but I’ve been stunned at how well versed she’s been in all of it. I stupidly thought this would be me giving her a film education, but it hasn’t (and I’m glad for that).
The point that I wanted to make in writing this, is that finding something fun and different and new for us has been the thing that keeps our relationship feeling vibrant and not like work. We’ve always made a concerted effort to do things together, whether it was planning trips, or our wedding (I participated more than most grooms). We know that a little effort to stay connected will beat the effort it will take to reconnect.
Sorry if this was too mushy, but I hope I got my point across.