Amy and I created a tradition about a decade ago we call “four minutes in the morning.” We try to – fully clothed – spend four minutes together every morning 100% focused on each other.
I’m an early bird – usually getting up around 5am regardless of the time zone I’m in (except on the weekends – then I sleep until I wake up – sometimes 1pm.) Amy sleeps a little later (usually 6:30am). So – I often have around 90 minutes alone every morning, which I treasure. I have a well defined morning routine that includes a cup of coffee and 85 or so minutes in front of my computer.
When Amy gets up, I try to remember to jump up from my computer and start our four minutes. Sometimes I forget and notice it when she thumps me on my head or clears her throat loudly. But I eventually remember. We then leave the office area, go to our living room, or outside on our porch, and spend our “four minutes” together.
Of course, the “four minutes” is metaphorical. Sometimes it’s 15 minutes. A few times a year it turns into an hour when we end up in a discussion about something. But it’s always 100% bi-directional attention, except for our dogs who often want in on the discussion.
I travel a lot so this often translates into a phone call in the morning. We recently started using Skype instead and it makes an amazing difference. This morning, as Amy was in Keystone and I was in Boulder, we caught up with each other in our un-showered goodness. Now, if we only had smell-o-vision, the experience would have been complete.
I miss Amy a lot whenever we aren’t together. We’re lucky that we get to travel together a lot and that each of our work experiences have lots of location flexibility. Skype has helped in a surprisingly nice way with one of our routines.
My recommendation to all my guy friends out there – try the “four minutes in the morning” routine with your significant other. It’ll pay many dividends.