Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Figured Out (Long)

My recent blog posts, someone pointed out, have been on the depressing side. I'm hoping this will be the last of them . . . .

I've felt unsettled, obsolete, at risk, frazzled, stressed, uncreative, and a host of other less-than-terrific ways to feel. Life has seemed busy and more full of worry.

It used to be, "back in the day," that Joe went out a lot at night. Architects' clients for the most part tend to work for a living during the day, and have time to meet with the architect at night, after dinner, after the kids are bedded down. As our own kids grew up and moved out, I found myself with a lot of solitary evenings. Evenings that I tried to fill. My church Circle took up one night a month. I formed a hand-sewing group (a, bee, I understand, is what it is called). I joined a book group. I committed to serve on the church council. I joined a guild. My job requires one evening a month for much of the year. Many of these once-a-month activities spill into more than that.

I have a good marriage. I have a wonderful husband. I am blessed. Four and a half years ago, I nearly lost him. A little more than two years ago, the economic recession necessitated his closing his office in town and moving it into our home. The evening meetings for him have diminished. My regularly scheduled and spontaneous evenings out have not. For the past few months I have struggled with the belief that I am out too much at night. We do evening things together sometimes, but more often I am going out with girlfriends and leaving him home alone.

I have a good marriage. I have a wonderful husband. I am blessed. Pondering priorities has produced a clear policy: (a) Weekend evenings are family time, not girlfriend time. (b) One night each week out without Joe is enough, with some exceptions that are in my head. (c) Two weeknights out (one with Joe, one with friends) are enough. One Saturday per month of girlfriends-and-fabric is enough. Choices will need to be made.

All of this has been swirling around in my mind for a few weeks. What finally brought clarity was a loss to our community: A young man, a father and husband, a breadwinner and volunteer fireman, the kind of man each of us would want our son to be, was killed in a tragic accident. His twenty-nine-year-old widow no longer can make the choice to stay home with her husband.  I can.






15 comments:

Brenda said...

I don't think your post is depressing -- it's just real. I prefer reading your than the many I see out there about all their cute finishes and new fabrics and fabulous husbands and perfect children. and life with a partner is endless negotiation and transformations. thanks for sharing this.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I, for one, am grateful that you share your wonderings, struggles, and thoughts with us. Depressing? No. Life is not always cheerful or perky or exciting. Day to day life is filled with ups and downs and a LOT of gray area in between.

I treasure your sharings ... and I'm glad you are finding some sense of resolution. Wandering in the wilderness takes an enormous amount of energy.

Helen said...

Oh goodness...I can understand your position, Nancy!

I didn't realize life at my age (62) could require so much change. I, too, struggle with time spent away from my husband. I love him...more today than when I married him nearly 43 years ago.

We are a team. I like doing things with my friends. I like him doing thing with his friends, too. I think it's good for each of us to spend SOME time apart, however, he is the center of my being. God gave us the opportunity to be together and to look after and enjoy each other.

Growing .. um .. maturing .. brings different "obstacles" to maneuver.

God bless you as you bring your life around to how you wish to live this phase.

LizA. said...

Life isn't always happiness & roses. I have noticed that you haven't been posting as often. In my last few months of chaos and stress filled days I've looked forward to the steady constants in my life -- especially your words of wisdom and Mrs. G's steady, even keeled words to keep me on track and know that I will, eventually come out on the other side of this chaos.....

Ms. Jan said...

I completely understand. You can only spread yourself so thin. Mike and I have been together a mere 18 years--but better late than never. We have to make the best of our time together, and frankly, I don't know anyone I'd rather hang out with.

Follow your heart, Sistah, it's led you well all these years!
xoxo

Janet O. said...

You are on the mark, Nancy. My husband has always been home at night and I have tried, as much as possible, to keep my evenings from being filled with things that would keep me away too often. We each have our church responsibilities which take us out an evening or two a month, and I encourage him to go to an occasional college ball game with his brother, just as he supports me in an occasional evening quilt class. But time with him is so much more of a priority than girlfriend time. I have avoided evening guilds, book groups, or other regular evening activities. How pleasant to do a little stitching while we share a favorite TV show or sporting event, or just an evening in a local sandwich shop and doing errands together. "Quality time" only happens when there is "quantity time", IMHO.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

You have stated your position clearly and well; thank you for that. My heart aches for the young widow in your community, and for many others in similar circumstances who cannot make the choices that you, and by the Grace of God, I, too, can. Our lives here at home have changed dramatically too, for a variety of reasons, and they're all good, and for the better... just changed. I am much more of a homebody now than I ever was before and there is peace that accompanies that, I am thankful that I can recognize (and embrace) it.

Lori said...

I do not like the idea of waking up one day and realizing I'm living with a stranger. You've made a good call.
So sorry to hear about the tragic loss in your community.

Patrica said...

Your realization that changes need to be made is just part of the adjustments that a long and gratefully happy marriage require. I too did not realize that so much readjustment would be required as I aged but here it is. I guess I thought we all just slid into old age. LOL nothing could be further from the truth. I feel so blessed to have my husband with me on this journey after 45 years together and want to keep our relationship together so I hope we'll keep growing and accommodating as it seems will you. Blessings to you both.

Anonymous said...

I agree - be with him, most of the time while you can. I lost my husband of 51 years almost two years ago. We spent a lot of time together and I had my time with friends; retreats, guild meetings, etc. I don't think I would change much, but . . . I wish I could spend just a little more time with him! As an aside, I really enjoy reading your blog and hope you continue. Thanks. Kay Taylor

Kathie said...

good for you I am sure you will figure it all out and do whats most comfortable for you.
I have a hard time driving at night so that pretty much keeps me at home nights! I always felt my time with friends and activities was during the day when the kids were in school and DH was at work, nights and weekends were family time
Kathie

Synthia said...

We all need to adjust our priorities from time to time. Our lives keep changing and it's important to realize that and accommodate the changes. Seems to me that is what you are doing, and with wisdom.

Denise in PA said...

I agree with you Nancy - I really try to curtail my evening activities - so does my husband. We definitely make being together a priority. I almost lost him this past summer - makes the time we spend together that much more precious. Hugs!

Barbara Anne said...

I enjoy your blog, whatever you choose to write about, because most of it resonates with me at some level. What doesn't is still interesting. Write on, about whatever!

It's very wise of you to ponder how you spend your time and how you want to spend your time. Your life will be richer for these adjustments.

My sympathy to the young widow and to all who have lost their loved one.

Grace, peace, and hugs!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Wisdom steps to the fore, we accommodate her wishes and become better with each other for the listening. Growing into my marriage has been my life's best work; I believe my husband feels similarly.