By the time Friday evening rolls around, I have one mission: date night.

Not with Scott.

With the bed. By the time the end of the week hits, all I want to do is curl up in a cozy blanket, listen to music or watch a mindless sitcom and sleep, preferably before 9 p.m.

I have a sneaking suspicion he thinks the same way, except he’s usually snoring by 8:30.

Date night, as we know it, has significantly changed since we began dating a dozen years ago.

Friday nights used to include high school volleyball and football, a trip to the local steakhouse and boxed wine.

Then came marriage and grandkids and career changes and before we knew it, date night morphed into family time or a quick dinner and maybe a hint of television.

Over time, those evenings filled with minimal conversation, punctuated by reading “The Foot Book” or “Pete the Cat” to grandkids or Friday evening dance parties in the kitchen, teaching the grandsons how to pretzel and country swing.

Eventually the grandkids and their mom moved out on their own and Friday evenings quieted down, signifying the culmination of long and stressful weeks.

Now, with the exception of Husker football season - our annual vacation spread out over home game weekends - date night is a thing of the past.

Should it be?

An article in the Chicago Tribune outlined a year-long resolution set by an Illinois couple, who decided to have one date night a week for a year.

“We got more time to spend with each other,” Sarah Breen said in the article.

She and husband Justin, parents to two children, determined they needed time with each other. So, they made the date night commitment, usually consisting of dinner at a different restaurant in the Windy City.

Time together, it seems, has opened communication lines and reminded the couple why they fell in love.

You always have time for things you put first.

I don’t believe in making resolutions; history proves they are too easily broken.

But I could get behind the idea of a weekly date night, a chance to get away for a few hours, time to de-stress, a chance to reconnect and share what’s important.

It wouldn’t have to be dinner and a movie.

For years, I’ve been asking Scott to teach me how to box. Seems he had a pretty mean upper cut during his days in the ring.

Or, we could take country dance lessons or a painting class or finally start that YouTube cooking show we’ve laughed about making for the past five years.

The idea of date night is important.

Heck, before Mom was diagnosed with cancer and left her earthly life, my parents still went on date night. Maybe that was the secret to their 58-year marriage.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our careers and family demands we overlook what’s important.

There will always be cows that need fed and manure to be hauled.

There will always be deadlines and demands that seem to rotate through an endless 24-hour cycle.

I wrote it earlier and I’ll write it again.

“You always have time for things you put first.”

Date night is a reminder to get priorities straight and make the most of time shared with a loved one.

A new goal for a new year.


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