Remember the first few weeks or even months of your most recent relationship? The marathon dates where you never ran out of things to talk about, the continuous stream of texts in which he shared the most mundane details of his day in the cutest way, the way she always woke up smiling, her skin endearingly dewy? Not to mention the nonstop sex…
And then something shifted. You realized you knew exactly where his story was going or she emitted a sound you preferred to believe she, unlike all other women, didn’t emit. And you found yourself in new territory. Post-honeymoon.
A lot of people utterly freak out when they reach this point. Without the excitement of the honeymoon, what is there to look forward to?! Some head for the hills, while others just get bored. But the smart ones dig in because they know that’s when the real fun begins. Besides, most of life is post-honeymoon, right? So gird your loins, people!
We’ve all experienced the end of the honeymoon in relationships, but it happens just about everywhere else too. In my own life, I’ve reached this phase on many fronts: in running, blogging, not drinking, and even meditating. Getting to this point is both frustrating and revealing, so I’ve had to come up with a few tricks to keep things fresh, hot, and new(ish).
- Read: Like any good student, when things feel a bit stale, I often hit the books (or the web). Reading allows me to learn new things about my post-honeymoon fixation and discover a network of people with similar concerns and interests. Through reading others’ stories, I am reminded of what life was like when I was drinking. I am able to glean new morsels to mull over during sitting practice. I might pick up a few new songs to add to my running playlist. And I always discover new ideas to write about.
- Do a mini: Whether this means a 5-minute meditation, a 15-minute writing stint, or a 20-minute run, “doing a mini” gives me a taste of what I want so I don’t forego it completely. The added bonus is that I’m often left wanting more.
- Take a day off: If I’m simply feeling bored with something, I’ll take a day (or a few days) off. This can help relieve the feeling of doing something just because I feel I should. Plus, I get a chance to reflect, to miss whatever I’m taking a day off from, and approach it the next day with freshness. This is trickier when it comes to not drinking since I can’t take a day off from being sober. But I can take a day off from being abstemious in general, and maybe allow myself some other indulgence I typically eschew—a red velvet cupcake, a mani-pedi, a massage, or the veggie burger at Hillstone.
- Bring others into it: Whether it’s running, meditating, writing, or teetotaling, the presence of other people consistently increases my motivation and fosters a sense of community.
- Remind myself why I do it in the first place: When the novelty of something has worn off, I always remind myself why I do it in the first place. If something is beneficial to my life, it’s importance will extent far beyond the newness, whether that is health, fun, or the addition of richness to my life. If something was worth doing simply because it was new, then maybe it was just another distraction after all.