Simply Adventurous Dates: Local Music

IMG_9568.JPGZach and I have been pretty good about date nights for a long time now. Prior to having kids old enough to babysit, we had a built-in babysitter in my Dad, so it’s always been something that was easier for us than for most parents, in spite of our larger than average family. Yet even when we lived in the city, with it’s dizzying array of options for date nights, we usually opted for half price appetizers at various restaurant happy hours. This isn’t so much because we really love eating out, although I do enjoy that, but because happy hour is cheap, and, at the end of a long day, doesn’t require a lot of brain power.
One of the things I have been thinking about a lot as I am embarking on my Year of Goodness project, is the balance between rituals and routines, which bring about a sense of safety, comfort and reliability, and the need for adventure, which feeds our human need for novelty. Ever since I went back to work full time, I have been really dependent on my rituals and routines. In most ways that has been wonderful. As an ADHD adult, with several ADHD kids, I really thrive on routines. It’s easy for things to get chaotic and out of hand when I don’t have the regularity of a daily schedule, and, as the point of dates with my husband is the time spent together, what we are actually doing is, most of the time, not all that important.
I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home on Audible, and really enjoying it. In the book, she gives herself a few resolutions each month that help her to boost the happiness of her family life. One of the resolutions, which never came to fruition, was to have monthly adventures with her husband. For them, as natural homebodies, the decision to forgo that resolution was a positive one, but spontaneity and a sense of adventure were part of what attracted Zach and me to each other. I decided that it would be fun to ask Zach if we could adopt a monthly adventure date as a tradition.
Amery has a pretty thriving arts community for a small town in rural Wisconsin, and my work at a memory care center, has, strangely, put me in touch with a lot of really creative people. We often have musicians, artists, dramatists, and other creatives come in to do activities with our residents, and many of them had suggested that I check out the music offerings at the Apple River Opry. I decided we might as well try it. It was a night well spent. The Amery Classic Theater is a fun little place, and the music was very good. It was fun to have a reason to get a little dressed up, and have somewhere new to go. Having grown up in a family that highly values the arts, I think it’s time that I start supporting the kinds of things I want to continue to exist in my area. I felt like I got a better value for my $20 than I did back in the days of half price appetizers at Applebees, and it benefited my community as well as my husband and myself.

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