How To Do Life

Fresh ideas about career and personal issues

An Intimation

An alternative to a vacation and a staycation.

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We’re reaching the end of vacation season. If you still haven’t gone, perhaps it’s that nothing appealed enough to endure the hassle. Neither beach nor museum nor cathedral quite pushes you over the edge to buy that 8-day-7-night package that costs (Gulp!) and that would require you to scramble for a day to get ready to go and another day when you return.

Sure you could take a staycation but seeing more movies, eating out more, and visiting that tourist attraction you’ve never been to doesn’t feel different enough from regular life. 

There’s a third option: an intimation. I’m not referring to hinting. I’m talking about a truly intimate vacation with your special someone. You can spend even a lifetime with someone without such deep intimacy.

Of course, such intimacy could be dangerous. Sometimes, it's best to let sleeping dogs lie. But a few-day intimation is at least worth considering. Here are some activities it might include. They can be done at home, at a restaurant, or outdoor location that has special significance for the two of you. Of course, these activities could also be incorporated into a vacation or staycation.

Intimation activities

Question. You each take turns asking each other a question. And you must answer completely honestly. If you can’t, the game ends.

Inventory: Each of you write what you like and don’t like about your sexual and non-sexual relationship, career, money, children, household, and recreational life. Then show each other what you wrote. Use that as a springboard for a conversation that ends with each of you promising to work on one or more things and that you’ll reconvene over a nice dinner on a specified date to rate yourself on how you’ve been doing.

Into each others’ eyes. For five minutes, sit opposite each other holding hands and simply look into each other’s eyes.

Your future. Ask each other what you hope your life will be like in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

Dream. If you allowed yourself to be unrealistic, what would your dream life be now? In five years? Twenty?  Any practical implications of that?

Poetry. Write a poem about your partner or your relationship. It can be as short as a haiku. Read it aloud to each other while recording it.

Your ending.  Ask each other what you’d want said about you at your funeral, what kind of celebration of your life you’d want, and what epitaph you’d want on your tombstone.

Other: Specify: Perhaps the most meaningful activities are those you develop.

After an intimation

Of course, intimations can yield not only pleasures but issues. Which should you deal with? Which should you sweep under the rug, at least for now? No matter what, an intimation will likely remind you of the good in your relationship. To avoid forgetting about them when you return to regular life, consider getting a plaque made celebrating what you love about each other.

Marty Nemko's bio is in Wikipedia.

Marty Nemko is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, Ca. and the author of 7 books. 
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