The further I get into my studies, the more I realize how much the little things in life really matter. As badly as I wanted to return to school, and as badly as I want to finish and do well, returning to school full-time and keeping my full-time job means that I have very little time (or money) for anything else. While I've made a promise to attempt to complain about it less, it doesn't stop me from noticing.
For the first two three years of our marriage, Bub and I had it made. Both working Monday to Friday with few obligations, we were able to spend a lot of time together, take a lot of weekends away, talk long walks and eat dinner together every evening, go to the gym together every morning and spend a lot of time with friends and family. As we approach our fifth anniversary, things couldn't be more different. Bub is now on shift work with a constantly changing schedule, keeping him at work late into the night and on weekends. As for me, I'm constantly running between the office, class, the library for tutoring, and home to get caught up on assignments, studying or reading. I usually have some appointment or another and there's a never ending list of errands to run. Meals have become rushed, the house is neglected, the dogs don't get walked (they get loved, just not walked) and neither of us has set foot in the gym in well over a year. And suddenly I'm dealing with very ticked off family and friends who don't like the fact that they rarely see us anymore (awesome... like it isn't hard enough to balance my time without being made to feel guilty about it).
Now I get that this probably sounds like it's one big complaint.... but I promise that's not my intention. It's a simple statement of fact about the state of our lives at the moment. I only bring it up because the the change in our schedules and in our lifestyle has really made me appreciate the little things in life that tend to bring me peace that are often taken for granted.
I miss sitting out in the backyard, sharing a few beers and talking about everything or nothing until the it was too dark to see each other. Now, we finish a quick meal and I head upstairs to my home office to work on some school related thing or another while Bub cleans-up. I miss hopping in the car on Friday nights and heading to the cottage (we haven't been once yet this year, and likely won't get there until July). Now, Bub heads off to work on Saturday mornings and I close myself in my office for the day. I miss the impromptu solo drives I used to take in the country, windows rolled down, music turned up, where the drive home from my nephews baseball games, which should take about 15 minutes, took 2 hours for all the detours. Now it seems when I leave one place, it's always a race to get to the next. I miss having time to get my waxing done. It seems now I have to plan it and book it weeks in advance to make sure I can fit it into my schedule. I miss having a clean house and laundry. This is probably the thing that bothers me the most.
I like to be busy, I really do, and honestly, I'm truly very thankful that I was able to return to school when so many people wouldn't be able to. To be idle for any long period of time makes me crazy....but I won't say that I don't often think about how nice it was to have the evenings and weekends to myself to do things that made me happy, just because. I miss the simple things. I miss tea and toast on my back deck early on a Saturday morning before anyone else is awake. I miss waking up every now and then with absolutely nothing on the agenda, knowing that they day is my own to do whatever I want. Not having to check the clock every 5. Like my buddy Charlie Sheen I now operate on one speed, and one speed only...GO!
I know I chose to enter this race, and I'm happy to be doing it... but I can't wait to hit the finish line so I might have just a little more time for the simple things again.