I don’t like the term “busy” it implies things like “busy body” or someone who keeps themselves “busy doing nothing” because they simply can’t sit still. Though Joe and I certainly have a little bit of “simply can’t sit still” in us, neither of us are good at being busy just for the sake of being busy. Instead I’m more inclined to say that our “days are full” and though this is usually a very good thing that satisfies us both sometimes it can be hard on us as a couple. When we have nothing left to give each other at the end of the day except a silent presence on the other side of the couch for an hour before bed then perhaps our days have become a bit too “full” and it’s time to start making time with each other.
(In the last month our farm has transformed from spring blossoms to early summer beauties in from choke cherry trees, crab apple trees, honey suckles, iris, lilacs and, finally, just yesterday, our first Peony bud bloomed! I just can’t help myself so this post is full of almost nothing but flowers!)
I have had to restrain myself when it comes to the projects that “need” to get done on the house this summer because, in fact, nothing “needs” to get done. No one will care except for me if the front porch gets painted, or the deck railing gets finished. We already fixed the roof on the one building that really actually did “need” it. Finding time with each other is something I have had to force myself to focus on more lately because Joe and I fixing a roof together is not the same as spending time together. I never thought in a child free home we’d need to start scheduling time for each other! However, both Joe and I are working toward a debt free, sustainable life and that means a lot more hours working then the typical forty hours a week.
And we are also not a completely child free home as we do have Joe’s eleven year old son every other weekend. As a child free person myself I’ve learned how to not only share Joe’s time but to adjust my own thinking and somehow find ways to look forward to the “boys” weekends. It’s their time to spend together to do really whatever those two want to do so I realized something: I get to do whatever I want to do too! Granted that usually means I’m out “working” in the garage but sometimes I take the opportunity to go enjoy our master suite, pour myself a glass of wine, run a bath and take just some girl time to be alone. These boys’ weekends I have given myself the objective to learn how to relax: Take some time off from the blog, the projects, the farm, the horses, the phone, the house, the email, the basement renovation, the day job, the web design job, the graphic design job and the other million things I want/need/should be doing and just relax even if it is only for a couple of hours. (Wish me luck so far I’ve managed a total of one and a half hours unplugged lol.)
Every other weekend means that Joe and I only have half our free time every month to spend with each other so it is definitely something I need to be more conscious of. And I also have to learn to give Joe his own space and time alone to regroup after being a parent then having to go back to our day to day operations. It is hard (as anyone with shared custody will tell you) and I need to have more grace with the time he needs to be alone too. In other words I am NOT going to schedule a single other thing on our weekends this summer – not even house projects. Between June 1st and mid September we have only FOUR weekends where we have nothing planned and we’re alone together *face-plant on desk* Good grief! Quite frankly time together is literally why we do everything that we do. It is the most important thing in our lives. It is time for me to start prioritizing it better.
This last weekend I think we almost managed the right balance. Saturday we went our separate ways to do whatever it was we both wanted to do that day. Of course I was in the garage (shocking, right?) starting the black rocking chair project and Joe went trout fishing. By the time evening came around we were both happily exhausted and ready for dinner and bed. Then Sunday we spent entirely together with the marching orders that we could not do anything that resembled “work” So first we golfed, then we went to town for basic shopping and supplies and just being lazy and browsing, then we took each other to dinner at our favorite restaurant. It was the first time in over two months that he and I spent a day alone (not working) together and I am determined to never let it go that long again! We won’t be able to do it very often (considering we only have every other weekend) but I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, we can make this happen ONE day a month! Ironically, because I have so many projects I want to work on every weekend, it is literally going to have to be me making sure I’m available to him to make this happen. Life goals.
I’m sure as couples we all cope differently – how do you guys manage it or is finding time with each other always something you have to work at?