Quote of the day

There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.
~Pearl S. Buck

Dinner time

Here at the homestead, the roomies have started scheduling "At the Dinner Table" nights. On (some/most) Wednesdays and Saturdays, we eat dinner at the dinner table instead of in front of the tv. We also try to keep the tv off completely on both of those nights, and read, write or chat instead.  If there is a movie we want to see, we have bent the rules, but we don't turn on the tv blindly looking for something to entertain us.

On the surface, it seems kind of silly to have to schedule these sorts of things. I mean, why don't we eat wherever we feel like each night. But you get in ruts without really thinking about it, or even noticing it happening. The tv gets turned on without any particular show in mind, and just sitting down and enjoying a meal with each other's company seems like it needs some sort of special occasion.

This happened with J and I. We ate in front of the tv nearly every night, quite often with a laptop open nearby. We did it unthinkingly, and it was both a symptom and a cause of our dwindling communication. For my part, I wasn't actively avoiding conversation when I flipped on the tv, but that is what ended up happening.

"Date Night" also sounds a little silly for a married couple, but if you don't make an effort to schedule a night out, it won't just happen on its own. Of course it is that much more difficult, and less likely to happen, when you have children. It is always easier just to stay home, but easier doesn't mean better.

The dinner-table nights have been very nice so far. Turns out we have plenty to talk about, and leaving the tv off a couple nights a week is certainly no hardship. I have a stack of reading and writing that needs to get done, and with the tv off there are plenty of hours in the evening to get it done.

As clumsy and forced as it may seem sometimes, it often takes scheduling to make the simple but important things happen.