My poor husband is starting his PhD program and it is so difficult to witness the ridiculous expectation placed upon him by the professors. He is a very hard worker and takes his commitment to his education very seriously (which is of course why he is doing a PhD and why he ultimately wants to be a professor) so he is the kind of student that if you tell him to read three books by tomorrow, he will probably try to do it! Mostly it is challenging to see him struggle with trying to balance his life. My natural tendency is to want to help relieve his stress by giving him the time he needs to work so I find ways to entertain myself (which isn’t hard!).
We are a pretty mushy couple! Always cuddling, saying the kinds of sickly sweet things we would deny in public and even after more than 6 years of marriage, we love each other more deeply and passionately than ever. What we have found to be a big component of this success is spending time together that is meaningful and soulful. I can tell if we haven’t done this enough because we start to get snippy with each other and feel disconnected or distant. It really doesn’t take long for life to get in the way and create this separation. Worst of all, it can happen so gradually and easily go unnoticed that without an intervention I can almost imagine the chasm becoming so great one day that we could wake up and realize that our former intimacy is irretrievable. Having this forethought is not a bad thing. I believe the legitimate fear of this possibility keeps us from allowing the distance to last and thus are able to step in and re-evaluate our lifestyle when needed.
We had one of these moments this past weekend. John and I decided we needed some extended time together and decided to have a day out in Dallas. My family being Greek, and having lived in Cyprus when we first got married, we got tickets to the Greek Food Festival and then planned to kill some time in the Knox Street area until time for dinner at Cafe Toulouse. The one rule was no ‘shop talk’ about work or studies and that complete freedom from our every day life was all we needed to begin spilling our thoughts about faith, our relationship, our past and future, within the first 30 miles out of Waco. The festival reminded us of our early days. We reminisced, giggled at the old man who kept commenting about how the Greeks invented everything as we looked around the exhibition room, enjoyed all the great quality food we had missed, and we found a renewed respect for Christian history as we toured the Orthodox church.
(Unfortunately we were having so much fun, I forgot to take any pictures so I have taken a few from their website www.greekfestivalofdallas.com to help you get an idea of all the fun things to see…
and of course eat like Loukanika – Greek seasoned sausages, as well as real deal Gyro with Tzatziki, and Loukomades- fried balls of dough in cinnamon syrup!)
We then proceeded to Knox Street and played a couple of rounds of SKIP BO at Starbucks. We took a long walk on the Katy Trail making a new commitment about how we want our date nights to be more intentional than just going out to eat and watching movies and TV episodes on Netflix. It was wonderful and we continued our conversation into dinner at Toulouse Cafe and Bar. During our delicious adventures through their Green Room Mussels (Jalapeño, Ginger, Shiitake Mushrooms, Champagne & Garlic)
and the unbelievable chocolate souffle (which was seriously about 7 cm above the top of the ramekin!)
(again we were too busy to actually stop and take photos as we were living in the moment so I have borrowed the ones from their website to help entice you to visit! www.toulousecafeandbar.com)
we made some practical suggestion for ways to keep our romantic deep connection alive during the days when we can’t just fly away from life. Needless to say, it was a perfect day and we drove home that evening feeling so refreshed, all gooey eyed and at peace.