Let me be brutally clear–time has not been friendly lately. I have been swamped in a way that is even heavy for someone who can usually handle a busy life. I knew it was coming, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. And what I need more than anything is the ability to pause time a la Zack Morris and just sleep for ten days, waking only for meals.
But we all know that isn’t happening.
Nonetheless, that has made it hard to do anything but what absolutely has to happen. This makes for a difficult life, but things could be worse. I could be digging ditches for a living. I could be working in a public official’s constituent services office answering calls about ebola. I could be Shia LaBeouf’s PR person. But I am not. So I refrain from complaining too much. I know it could be worse, but when you start daydreaming about your bed regularly, you know shit got real.
A few weeks ago The Mister had to go out of town for a conference. I conned my parents into watching the girls one night (it’s an easy con job) so I could get some rest. Before I knew it, I had scheduled hanging out with three different groups of friends. Suddenly, a leisurely weekend seemed task and schedule driven. But after a three hour conversation in my van with Ms. MEPS on Friday night (that was post-hanging out for about three hours and was, honestly, one of the best conversations we’ve ever had), a parade with my college roommate and our kids the next morning and dinner and a baseball game with Ms. TC (dinner being joined by Mr. RMB and Mr. CVD), I knew I did the right thing. It invigorated me to have spent my energy in that way. Sure, I could have used a nap or twelve, but it was exactly what I needed.
And yet, I forgot that lesson all too quickly.
When The Mister got back, he bought us tickets to see Ben Folds for our anniversary. He was playing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. It was on a Wednesday night–the only night other than Friday that I get home early during the week. I cringed. Sure, it would be nice in an ideal world, but my life has been far from ideal. I’ve been staying up late nights just to do the bare minimum of what is required from me. I sucked it up and had some extra caffeine. As he played, a familiar song came on…
“The Luckiest” was the first song we danced to at our wedding. We each picked a “first dance” (technically his was second…I win) that was a surprise to the other person and I spent months agonizing over my choice. I ended up going with this song because it just seemed like a conversation we’d have with each other. And now, with full orchestra backing, we were sitting there seven years and three days later, dog tired, but still going strong. Things have been tense lately. We’re both so busy–The Mister has a new job, and I have two jobs and school–and getting the basics done has been, well, lacking. So to take a night off to do something this extravagant seemed insane at the time. But it wasn’t. It was genius.
I needed that.
It is so easy to forget all of these connections, these things that make our lives richer. Making it minute-to-minute and hour-to-hour is a task of Herculean proportions many days, so adding new things into that seems insane…except when those new things are exactly what you need. I need those points of connection, those moments of feeling sane again. Even if they’re not representative of my lasting sanity, they remind me that I have the capacity to be sane.
I knew taking on kids, two jobs and a full load of graduate classes was going to be hellish. But I did not fully comprehend the meaning of that word until recently. I cannot say that I am ready to take on the world, but God knows I have to anyhow. So if I am going to be tired, at least let it be with a smile on my face from a good conversation, a leisurely evening with friends, or an evening that leads you to a song that reminds you why you started all of this crazy stuff. That is worth it.
I hope the next time the opportunities present themselves, I take them–tired or not–and run with them again. There’s a fine line to saying no appropriately and it being the default answer. It’s a good thing to be reminded that I am not in all of this alone.