I find my life goes through cycles. I get overwhelmed by everything, struggle to function, and end up way behind, and then I try to get re-focused, sort out my priorities, and start catching back up.
During the time of trying to beat the overwhelm is often when I do the most soul searching, and attempting to work out what my purpose in life is and why it even matters whether I’m productive or not. This time around, in trying to stay afloat in the overwhelm, I realised that one of the things I need to keep me from losing the plot (or other, slightly more essential, things) is to spend time with my husband. I knew I married him for a reason 😉
I did already know I needed to spend time with him, but now I realise just how huge the negative impact is if I fail to take the time to do so. And just chilling in the same space as him is enough; it’s not about doing anything special. In retrospect, all those evenings I felt like we weren’t even being together cos he was doing one thing on one side of the room, and I was working on the other side of the room, and it felt like we weren’t spending time together, it was in fact keeping my sanity in check. Because I never really saw the value in those evenings I didn’t think it would matter when I started promising those evenings to other people.
All of a sudden it was really huge that I hadn’t spent an evening with Dale for four nights in a row. I cancelled the fifth night, and we curled up together to be thoroughly entertained by Stephen Fry on QI. It was nice to not feel guilty for not being productive. I need that time with my husband. It’s nice to know even those evenings I spend typing away or crafting while in the same space as him, available for any conversation that does arise, is enough to keep me going.
I’m going to very selfishly say no to evening engagements beyond my four booked evenings a week (and one Monday a month for the Writers’ Guild meeting) unless I really think it will benefit me more than spending time at home just chilling will. I think I need to drop one of those evenings as it is, but I’m very torn about which one! I will also ensure that those booked evenings end early enough that my husband is not going to bed without me (he’s normally ready for bed far far later than I am, so this isn’t going to be difficult, it will just be a matter of being more assertive about saying goodnight, especially when talking to my sister in Brisbane cos she doesn’t realise it’s 11:30pm in my world and that sleep is past being needed).
There are, of course, a very few people, if more than one, that could infringe on that time without triggering any resentment on my part, and if you think you are one of those people, well, you’re probably not. Ha. 😉
I’m working on appreciating how I chose to spend my time, and reminding myself that it is my choice.
Keep smiling 🙂