I’ve struggled for years trying to find enough time in the day to do the many things that I love to do. I have interests in many different areas and whenever I find myself in a lazy mood and not wanting to do anything but just sit and do a Jumble Word game, that I actually feel guilty. I have interests in music and songwriting, in woodworking and home repair, in coaching and going to my kid’s games and dance recitals, in reading spiritual books and articles, in playing guitar and recording my music, etc. I have so many things that I have to do and so many things that I want to do before I end this life of mine, that it seems I rarely have time to just take a breath and just be.
I can find that at times I get resentful of all the things I have to do and often get irritated with those around me and snappy when I feel like I’m not getting “a break.” What is worse is when I feel like I’m not taking the time to go out on a date with my wife to just connect and most importantly, just be in her presence and laugh together. I also find myself getting resentful how life can also suck the life out of my wife too. So many things pull at her from so many sides that she is often tired and spent at the end of the day. I can almost see that tipping point for her too, and I feel helpless as her “knight in shining armor” in how to help her slay the dragon that is tormenting her. She too longs for those times of just being free to breath without something trying to pull her back into the whirlwind.
The hardest part is that many of the things that pull at us are just a “part of life:” raising kids, job schedules, schooling, and house maintenance and cleaning, etc. We can’t just let the house go to pot, or let the kids run amuck, plus there are many a night where we get little sleep because of the kids throwing up or because we couldn’t get the bills paid while the kids were awake and active. But we still have the need to make those small (and sometimes large) decisions to step out of the chaos and connect.
I often have made the concerted effort to get a babysitter or, now that the kids are old enough, have the older ones babysit for us while my wife and I go and rediscover each other again, even if just in little ways. My mission is to allow my wife the freedom to take a breath and to rediscover that spark that I know is down deep inside of her. That is why, as a marriage therapist, I encourage spouses to take marriage classes and to go on date nights, so that they can stay in knowing who their spouse is and is becoming at THIS time in life. Sometimes we are called to restructure our days or weeks to allow this time and even have to say “no” to things. But if we don’t take time just to breath and to connect, we may find that our marriage and family life will start to suffer, if not also crumble.
Taking that breath, is allowing the troubles and responsibilities just to take a back seat or a temporary pause for us to just connect on how we are feeling, or to be playful with each other, or to skip stones as we cry together over all the stress that has come our way over the past year. Whatever that breath is, it is our breath together. Our ability to tell our brains and each other, that we are still vulnerable and afraid, but that we are in this together…….for life! That no matter what, we will get through it all, and with God’s grace, we will find peace and joy in the journey. Don’t let time dictate to you the way it is going to be, instead take time back to just be in the presence of your spouse and God!