We Do Our Best Thinking Past Midnight...

My husband and I have the frequent habit of meeting together past midnight at Denny's. It started very early in our relationship, before we were dating and we were just goofing off with our friends, fully aware that we had 8 a.m. classes. And then in no time, we were dating and it became our station, an anchor to ground our friendship and our support for each other in our creative endeavors. My best friend even said at our wedding reception, "If it weren't for those late nights at Denny's, we might not be here today." She speaks truth.

Once again, it is well past midnight, and my husband and I have just returned from Denny's. It's the third time in a week that we've been to the Lake Street Denny's, or LSD as we so fondly refer to it. You can imagine what an eyebrow raiser the nickname can be in any given conversation, which makes it all the more dear to our hearts considering the effect that the char-flavored coffee can have on our thought processes at 2 a.m. At times it is the black hole, when we intended to be in a very different place, like IHOP, but we magically find ourselves there of all places, and we leave laughing hysterically and deeply satisfied that we came.

Tonight, once again, we sat sipping our piping hot, charred brew and discussing our future. What does he need to do to build his music career? What does he need to do to promote his guitar-teaching business? How will my phone interview go this week for that copy-editing job? Will I ever write, edit, or publish a book? Our conversation turns to our sources of inspiration, everyone from the Beatles to mewithoutyou to Unwed Sailor, from Shauna Niequist to Audrey Niffenegger to Sue Monk Kidd. How did they do it? How does it translate to my career?

Our answers to those questions, our ideas and inspirations, are always changing and evolving. It is in those moments, when we are staring at each other across the booth, that my heart lightens and I find the fuel to keep going. The insecurity associated with identifying myself as an artist- a struggling artist- somehow becomes insignificant and I discover with renewed hope and assurance the necessity for discussion, accountability, and coffee in our creative processes.

To My Hubs: may we live to be 87 years young and still meet at Denny's to mull over our future.


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