Balancing Time

The first year was the hardest.  You’d think after years of preparing, I’d be ready for the change in my life.  I’m not sure you can ever be ready.

It didn’t help that my wife just moved to the area.  She had lots of friends, 1000 miles away.  My friends were right down the street.  I’m a social animal, and I’ve always been happy to open my door to friends wherever, whenever.  But that all changed when we tied the knot.  Suddenly, someone had a monopoly on my time.  When you’re trying to excel at your first adult job and trying to spend time with the woman you’ve committed y0ur life to, it’s hard to make time for friends.

This was my major concern in year one of our marriage:  How do I balance the time I spend with my wife with the time I spend with my friends?  Now I know that I was asking the wrong question.  As I struggled to figure out ways to spend time with my wife, while making an effort to stay close to my friends, I lost track of person whose needs I knew best:  Myself.  No matter how much of an introvert you are, you can’t survive without people.  No matter how much of an extrovert you are, you can’t survive without a little alone time.  For some, this is just the morning drive.  For others, it’s a few hours after work curled up with a good book.  Unfortunately, like sleep, alone time is one of the first things to go when the schedule gets tight.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for my brilliant wife to realize that meeting my needs meant giving me some time alone.  Now, she can tell when I need a little “Eric Time” for reflection, to decompress, to escape into a book about swords and dragons.  I’m really glad she did, because if it wasn’t for her, I’d still be asking the wrong question.