How was your day?
It's such a basic question, one so many of us toss around countless times a day. We ask our mailman, the barista at the coffee shop, or the random person we pass at work. It's a question that seems to carry so little weight.
However, these days, that question carries a lot of weight in my relationship because, in many ways, it's been a chance for my husband and me to stay connected.
For the past few months, we've endured vastly differing work schedules that only afford us a limited amount of time together a week. I won't lie--it's been crazy hard.
I know there are so many other couples out there dealing with worse schedules: traveling jobs, military positions, and other circumstances probably keep other couples apart more than we are. Still, he's my absolute best friend, and the plain truth is: I miss all of our time together.
I miss our random, Monday trips to Target. I miss our hour rants about our days right when I would get home. I miss our dinners together and our Lunchables on nights we didn't feel like cooking. I miss the constant companionship, the simple moments, the shared laughs.
I miss him.
Over the past few months, though, we've learned that to make love work, you have to choose to invest in it.
Even though we don't have a lot of time together, the simple fact is we make time. He gets up at the crack of dawn with me to see me off to work, and I stay up super late to talk to him when he gets home. We both are running on "E" in many ways, our sleep schedules totally dysfunctional and lacking. But we do it, not because we're okay without our eight hours (we both are super grouchy without sleep), but because our time together is more important than a few extra hours.
Sacrifice. It's something we've learned over the past few months.
And we also stay in touch through texting. We make a point to send each other messages, to chat when we get a free moment.
And, every single day, I get this text: How are you?
It's a simple phrase, just a few words, but it's really become symbolic of who we are.
He's not around for my day now. He's not here for me to vent or to share in the joys with. Still, even when he's not here, he still wants to know how my day was.
He still takes the time to check in, to find out what's going on in my life, even if it has to be reduced to the words on a phone screen.
These past few months have sucked in a lot of ways, but they've also reinforced the fact that keeping love alive is a choice--and it's not always about grand gestures. Keeping love alive is about simple moments, small gestures of sacrifice that go a long way.
It's about choosing to find any and every way possible to stay connected. It's about showing care for the other person even when you can't physically be there.
Most of all, it's about truly wanting to know how the other person is and caring enough to ask.
How do you keep love alive throughout the drudgery of the work week? Have you ever dealt with different schedules? How did you keep the connection going?
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