Life in the Balance

So the Man, the Husband, has been home from work for two weeks. He surprised me most spectacularly, turning up and ringing the doorbell a couple of weeks ago, about two weeks ahead of when I was expecting him back. He informs me that the words of greeting I spouted were ‘holy shit sticks you’re home.’ Then I hugged him, cried a singular tear and then carried on. These last two weeks have since defined the phrase ‘oh my, doesn’t time fly,’ so much so, I was convinced he’d only been back for one week.

My Husband works away, so I am my own person during those two to six weeks, living entirely on my schedule. When he returns, we both have to find the balance of his time off and my work. I love it when he’s home, yet at the same time I’m conscious I can’t just drop my friends who support me when I’m alone, and I can’t suddenly decide to drop all my work and hope it still exists at the other end. In my head, the battle can get quite heated.

In the last two weeks, I felt very torn. I wanted to spend time with my wonderful jackass of a husband (that is pure affection right there ladies and gents), yet I felt immediate and entirely consuming guilt not to be working. Then I realised my story does not need to be that of others. Yes, there is always a balance; if I put less effort into work when he’s back, I may likely reach my goals a little slower. But does that really matter to me?

A few years ago, I had a stark reminder a month into living in LA when my beautiful Dad unwillingly courted the prospect of leaving this mortal coil, leading to a phone call asking me to come home urgently. The phone call came at 2 am in LA, and the first flight was later that afternoon. By 5 am I needed to get out and found myself pacing a quiet Venice beach, where the ocean appeared to hold its breath with me.

The day prior, I postponed my phone call with my parents because I was ‘busy.’ This decision was playing over and over manically in my head as I paced. That morning, on that beach, as the ocean breeze swept up around and held me, I decided I would never cancel my weekly chat with my parents again. I decided that people come first. Jobs and material stuff are replaceable; people are not. One day either you or someone you love will not be there. For this reason, I will always be happy to put people at the very top of my to-do list. For this reason, I understand that there truly is no time like the present.

Life is a mystery, a game, a delight, a shock and a battering ram and it is simplicity and complexity at the same time. It simply is what it is, as we are what we are. There is no such thing as ‘good enough’, ‘not good enough’, ‘too anything’ there only is. 


P.S In these last two weeks, I utilised a neat trick, placing ‘time with the hubby’ on my weekly/daily to-do lists; this isn’t making time with him akin to a chore. Instead, adding him to the plan ensures that rather than feeling guilty, if I perhaps miss other items on the list, I feel extra happy when spending time with him as not only is it my favourite thing to do, but I’m still achieving against my action plan. It’s a trick that may or may not work for you, but it certainly worked a treat for balancing my mindset around where to spend my time.


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