My wife Heidi and I realized we weren’t talking that much. We were becoming parents wrapped up in logistics, forgetting how to hang out with each other. So this is what we did about a year ago.
We agreed to meet up for 20 minutes, twice a day. Once in the morning with coffee, once in the evening when I come in from the studio. Just one question: What’s on your mind?
What’s on your mind? is my favorite question because it gives the person permission to get right to it. You can actually just say whatever it is without having to “circle the runway.” It’s not exhausting. Sometimes conversation can be exhausting. “What’s on your mind?” isn’t.
Sometimes nothing is on her mind. Sometimes nothing’s on my mind. But the important part has been the habit of hanging out. Getting reacquainted with my best friend.
If I can make Heidi laugh at least once a day, I’m golden. The rest is icing on the cake. But when Heidi and I aren’t good, nothing’s good. I can’t create. I mope. I get all irritable. So, our 20-minute hangs have been the foundation for everything.
I hesitate to write all this because marriage is hard. Maybe you’re reading this and wanting to barf. Maybe your marriage sucks right now and you want out. Well, I’m not saying Heidi and I have it all figured out. We don’t. And I can’t tell you what to do. All I know is this is something I wish I would’ve started earlier in my marriage.
Try it out.
Twenty minutes. What’s on your mind?