So, since it is Monday and we are all thinking a little slowly today (man, that alarm went off early!), I'm going to state the obvious.
Graduate school is hard.
Last semester pales in comparison to this semester, which honestly isn't saying a lot as I rarely had to work on weekends last semester. Not the case this time. But not only is it difficult in terms of school work, it is seriously hurting my life. It severely cuts into my quality time with my husband, I have next to no social life (unless you count office hours with the other grad students), and it isn't letting me go anywhere for spring break. Boo, woe is me, I know.
I just have a hard time shutting off my brain once I get home from class, making it very hard to have a good conversation with Matt in the evenings. When I put an article down after reading it, it's a very similar thing. Grad school basically makes it harder to have a good marriage.
But not impossible. We just have to make the effort to do fun things, to carve out that quality time with one another, to ignore email/phones for 60 minutes to have a conversation. And that would be true with any relationship where someone's job can't be 8-5 and then they're done (which seems to be more and more jobs).
One of the little things Matt & I do is something we started while dating- we alternate planning dates. That used to include paying, but obviously that doesn't matter anymore. Every other Friday, I get to plan our evening together, starting from about 4:30 onward. The only requirement is that food be involved in some manner. We also occasionally challenge ourselves to keep it as cheap but as healthy as possible (harder than one would think!).
Some of our dates have included:
-Take out Pakistani food that we eat at home, then go out later for dessert and coffee. This one is definitely fantastic for quality time and trying new things!
-Getting Freebird's burritos and eating it at a park where we can watch the big commercial airliners take off and land. We're into aviation, if you didn't know. Come home and have game night with Yahtzee or something similar.
-Driving into one of the big cities and eating someplace new then end the night with drinks or something.
-Dinner & a movie is of course always a classic.
You get the idea. I share this because it is a huge part of my life. Both of us so look forward to these Fridays-- we know that no matter how hard the week was, how busy it was, how demanding school/work was, we will have this guaranteed time together where it is just us. So needed and so crucial for a marriage.
What do you do with your significant other to help keep the relationship strong? Any fun date ideas you want to share?