I should be smarter.
I should be thinner.
I should wear trendy clothes.
I should wear expensive make-up.
I should vacuum more.
I should work harder.
(And equally so) I should rest more.
I should have lots of amazing sex with my husband.
The list could go on and on, it is an exhaustive list of shoulds and pressures, must-do’s and begrudgingly fine-I’ll-do-its. And where is the joy in that? LOST! Lost and overtaken by an ocean of duty with little ‘ole me stuck out there bobbing uncontrollably in the deep, waiting for the shark of exhaustion to bite me.
I am excellent at stacking so many things on my plate of life. And, by the way, I accomplish them all come shark or high water. But, often times though completed, my tasks get done with less enthusiasm and vigor than initially expected. Including sex. Even on a sex streak. And, no, it is not because we are on day 1065. There were many nights at the onset of this marital streak of intimacy that were less than wall shattering and roof shaking. There were and still continue to be those nights of sex that one or both of us really couldn’t care less about doing it, but we do it because we should.
We should for the streak. We should because we want to accomplish a weird contest we participate in every day with no prize at the end except knowing we did it. Which is pretty cool. Making sex with Nathaniel a negative SHOULD, a task to be checked off, or a chore sets me (and him) off on the wrong foot. With the mindset I’m already feeling unwilling to make the night interesting or exciting, I’d rather just go to sleep. But, if I let it, that blah mindset will take over the next day and the next and the next. I know it would because it is so much easier to be lazy and unproductive and blah in nature than it is to be an energetic, participating person in the world and in the bedroom.
So, how do I go from a night of the living dead to sex in the bed?
I change my mindset just a degree to the right. Instead of accepting the blah, I re-frame my dulled interest in the activity and look at WHAT IS.
When I notice WHAT IS, I notice I’m tired or I notice I am stressed out or not into it for a thousand other reasons. Then I start acknowledging that I’d rather do something else. This acknowledgement leads to me wondering what I’d rather do and, here’s the kicker, WHY!
I wonder why I’d rather sleep a few minutes longer or watch another episode of FRIENDS over an energizing and connecting time with my husband. When I sit with what is true for me in the moment I am no longer dwelling on the desire to be elsewhere or the feeling I “should” be sleeping with my husband. I become less guarded and cranky about my loss of sleep or T.V. or whatever and more apt to communicate with Nathaniel what I’m feeling. And then this connection happens, where he tells me he’s not feeling it either, but we’re here and so let’s press on anyway (in a fun ear nibbling kind of way) and then KABOOM—we are in the mood and forgetting about extra sleep and FRIENDS, because we are focusing on each other, now, in the moment. And that perspective changes everything!
(Okay, maybe it is still not always kaboom, but nonetheless it does get more exciting.)