It's funny how being with someone for a long time can make it both easier and harder to find things to talk about. There's a kind of shorthand that persists and makes conversation a bit stunted, but that is a part of knowing someone so well that you can predict their reaction with relative ease. You know how they think and you have so much shared history that conversations are Cliff's notes. You are in the know...
So, how do you keep talking about things without it becoming rote? How do you keep the conversation from being stale and boring?
Shockingly, the answer is that you have to keep yourself from being stale and boring. When you stop growing, you have nothing new to offer, and no new ways of offering yourself. You have to be able to meet one another from new angles and with new experiences.
When my husband began teaching just as I stopped, I found myself having more understanding of his job and how he dealt with it, and the stress, and the actual work, in a totally different way. When he was working in a PR agency, I really didn't understand what he did all day. I'd had limited experience writing press releases and calling newspapers, but the culture of his office, the way he spent his time, how he dealt with clients... they were all mysteries to me.
Grading. I might just as well have typed, Poop. It's the part of teaching that I hated the most and I'm pretty sure that Josh feels the same way.
Students. I might just as well have typed, Monkeys. Okay, that's not the most accurate way to put it, but I can say for sure that Josh and I are equally amused by students, though we don't always see them the same way.
My point is that we have a new way of interacting, new things to talk about and news ways to talk about them. It's kind of weird having an understanding of his job, that (at first) he did not. It's even weirder now that I'm teaching and he has an understanding of my job that I do not.
But it's nice.
So, I keep thinking about the ways that I need to keep myself from becoming stagnant. You could call it my to-do list to shake things up between us and keep myself growing.