I keep myself in pretty good shape. I work out 3 – 4 times a week including a90-minute hot yoga class at least once a week . So I go about my day and my life feeling good…fit, toned, healthy and generally content with how I am. The effort I put into working out for an hour a few times a week lets me feel good about the rest of the time without having to put much thought into. I can coast.
All this was true until I woke up one day this fall and realized I hadn’t worked out properly or been to a yoga class in… wait for it… FIVE months. Holy CRAP! Summer was busy and stressful and there just didn’t seem to be time for myself. Despite not working out for all this time I felt okay. The scale only registered 2 new pounds (not insurmountable to get rid of)… I didn’t seem to have any more aches and pains then normal.. in fact I started to think that if I could go 5 months without working out and feel this ‘okay’ then why on earth was I working out so much in the first place. And then I went to my first Hot Yoga class since May. Again.. HOLY CRAP!
During those 90 minutes parts of my body I had forgotten about began to come alive and I don’t think they were too pleased to be yanked from their slumber. I felt pulls and tugs everywhere – tops and bottoms of my feet (really?) collarbone, backs of the knees. From my fingers to my toes I realized so much of my body had been asleep for 5 months and the tightness and tenderness I felt during and after the class made me realize that I had gotten into the dreaded ‘comfortable slump’. I had become so used to the stagnant state of my body I didn’t realize important parts of it were being neglected.
Then I started to think about how this idea could be applied to our relationships. We start out intense and in tune but as the years go by and life gets busy we start to neglect aspects of our relationship like intimacy both verbal and physical. As time passes and we drift further away from those romantic early days… it becomes natural to through our day and our lives feeling just ‘okay’. We think everything is fine but somehow evenings after the kids are in bed are a bit too quite (didn’t we used to talk about everything?) and you can’t remember the last time you had date night. Like all the muscles in my body that suddenly woke up in yoga class after five months of neglect there might be a side of your relationship that’s a bit neglected too. That may be okay for a short time but longer term it can’t be good.
When was the last time you looked at your partner and told them how much you value them? Or how happy you are that they are the one sharing your life with you? We bend over backwards to tell our kids we love them – daily, hourly sometimes – because we know that it will help them to grow up secure and confident. When was the last time you told your partner how much you love them and how much you appreciate them. Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we don’t need to hear it too. Thinking to your self ‘they know’ isn’t really the point. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t but they need to hear it.
Now, not everyone is the same. Some people need validation and confirmation of their worth and lovability on a daily (dare I say hourly) basis and some only every once and a while. Where does your partner fall on the spectrum? Where do YOU fall? Do you even know?
Our relationships, like our bodies need care. The atrophy that occurs over the long term by neglecting certain aspects of our physical health may not become evident until it’s too late (in my case I’m happy to say I survived the yoga class and was able to finish it and walk away with out limping!) and I think this can be applied to our relationships as well.
So… think of something, anything big or small that you can do or say TODAY to let the person in your life know they are valued. It may make a long under used muscle twinge but I promise you the benefits will out weight the momentary uncomfortable feeling.
As for me, I tell my partner every day (sometimes every hour) how much I love him and how sexy he is. My body, on the other hand, needs a little attention and love too. I’m heading back to yoga next week…and the next… and the next!
A boudoir photography session might be just the thing to get you out of your comfortable slump!