I have been married to my husband for almost 9 years and I still love thinking about the days when we first met and were falling in love. Those were the days. Talking for hours on the phone, telling my girlfriends how amazing he was, getting butterflies in my stomach when I’d see him, you know, all that young love stuff. I love taking trips down memory lane, it reminds me of what first attracted me to him and made me realize he was the only one for me.
I love my husband so much more now than I did during those first few months, but as love matures and you get to know a person for a long period of time, it’s much easier to let your mind dwell more on their faults than their positive attributes. A book called “The Love Dare” by Alex and Stephen Kendrick describes this exactly. The authors use an illustration of there being two rooms in our minds that we can choose to spend time in. The first is the “Appreciation Room” and the second is the “Depreciation Room”. Often during the new stages of a relationship we spend almost all our time in the “appreciation room” and then as the relationship progresses and we get more and more comfortable with each other, it’s easier to find ourselves in the second room. Though both rooms always existed, we had more grace for the other person’s faults at the beginning when we were on our best behavior, trying to make good impressions for each other. Now, years later, you’ve gotten to really know each other and sometimes it’s not always as easy to put up with each other’s quirks and habits. Being intentional and choosing to dwell in the “Appreciation Room” helps to foster a relationship that grows in love rather than withers over time. It doesn’t mean living in denial relative to the things that bother or irritate me, but rather deciding in my mind that it’s not helpful to our relationship to spend any time focusing on them.
A couple years ago, I was in the middle of reading “The Love Dare” and the concept of these two rooms in my mind was something I’d never thought about before. I realized how much time I was spending being irriated or dissapointed with little things my husband would do or say, instead of choosing to focus on the considerable number of things he did well. I started imaging what my “appreciation room” might look like, and this lyric came to me: “Judging from the cobwebs on the windows and dust on every shelf, it’s been a while and there’s no one to blame but myself… All I want to do is get back to the girl that you once knew…” I scratched out a few other lyric ideas, and while I loved the idea for a song, I just tucked it away in my journal with all my other song ideas.
A few months later I found myself sitting across the piano from writer/producer Chris Caswell for our very first co-writing session. (How I came to be working with Chris in the first place is a whole other story, but that will have to wait for another post!) He asked me if I had any lyrics we could work from and as I flipped through my journal of half finished songs I came across those lyrics. I sang him the few lines I had and explained the full story behind the inspiration. Right away he got where I was coming from and saw how it related to his relationships as well. It was a magical experience as the song came together. Within the next hour or so “This Room” was born.
“This Room” holds a special place in my heart, not only because it’s the first song Chris and I wrote together, but also because I feel that every time I sing it, I’m reminded and challenged once again to be intential in my thoughts. May I never forget the reasons for writing it, nor the message it carries. “All I want to do is get back to the girl that you once knew, where the fairytale can weather what the day to day can do. Our tomorrows need the yesterdays we spend, in this Room.” (From “This Room”)