Ships in the Night

I had a hot date this weekend. Aaron was gone for 21 days out of the month of November, and on Friday night we had our first date in who knows how long. Ridiculous as it sounds (I have, after all, been married to this man for over a decade), I was all shy and nervous thinking about an entire evening alone with him. Would we run out of things to talk about? Would he like my outfit? Would he think I was cute (after all these years)?

Well, I’m happy to report that we had a wonderful time. We didn’t run out of things to talk about (in fact we ran out of time in which to talk), he told me I was beautiful (and he was pretty stinkin’ handsome himself), and by the end of the evening we felt closer, more connected. Isn’t that the point? I’d say it was a wildly successful date.

And now we’re back to life as normal. He heads off to work early in the morning, I get the kids ready for school. He wears dress pants and button-down shirts, I sometimes stay in my sweats all day. He comes home weary and with a briefcase full of papers to grade and “homework” to do, I put supper on the table and worry that the deadline for my next book is hurtling toward me like a freight train. After we clean up the dishes, shower the kids, play a few raucous games, and do the whole bedtime routine with the little ones (books, songs, prayers, hugs and kisses), we exchanged a harried look and more or less collapse. I nurse the baby to sleep, he answers a few emails or makes some calls. Before we know it, the day is gone. And we’ve hardly looked at each other, much less connected in a meaningful way. As my head hits the pillow, I often think, “Oh! I wanted to talk to Aaron about…” But I’ve already drifted off.

We are the proverbial “ships passing in the night” right now. I know it’s just a season in our lives (Aaron has a new job, I’m working on a deadline, and we have three small children–including a newborn), but it’s hard all the same. I love my husband. I’m crazy about him. I just wish I got to see him more often…

Today I’m soliciting your advice. We’re all busy. Life just seems to come faster and faster–and if we don’t find ways to cope with it, we get caught beneath the wheels of this runaway existence. I’m not okay with that. So: What do you do to stay connected with the people you love? What is one small thing (or big thing!) that you are really good at, that works for you? I’d love to hear how you make time for your relationships.

relationships

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