I’ve changed my life, but not just where I live and how I fill my time. When I wasn’t looking, what I want has changed.
I realized this because I’m talking to a psychiatrist. A doctor. An M.D. He’s often slow to respond because he’s busy with patients. Patients whose mental health is his responsibility. I pondered whether I’m OK with that and to my surprise, I think I am. I’ve come to appreciate having the time to do what I want. I like being able to take classes a night or two per week. I like that I could commit to boot camp once a week.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have someone to go home to as well (and I’m getting way ahead of myself here), but I don’t want to have to rush home to make someone else dinner. I don’t want to sit on the couch all evening deciding which crappy show we can both agree on. No, if we’re going to spend time together, it’s going to be good.
I was telling a friend tonight about The Five Love Languages. (While you’re there, take the quiz and tell me what you are please.) Mine is quality time (words of affirmation is secondary). Key word being quality. In my previous life, I was after time. Now if I’m with someone, I want to feel stimulated the whole time. I don’t care if we’re painting a room or playing Frisbee in the park or watching a movie as long as it’s good time spent together. That’s true whether I’m with my mom or a friend or the psychiatrist. If it’s not fulfilling, I’m going to want to take a time out and my own thing. My to-do list isn’t going to check itself off!
When my dear friend Betsy and I lived in the same city, we painted furniture together, we helped one another move and even went grocery shopping together once. None of those are particularly awesome activities, but I loved them and the time we spent together. And when I was “home” a couple weeks ago, I texted Betsy one day and asked if she had time to meet up the next day because I didn’t feel like I got the quality Betsy time I needed. She felt the same way and met up with me.
Quantity but not quality time sounds so draining to me right now. I feel like I get too antsy. I’ll be going over a to-do list in my head or trying to come up with article ideas or just fidgeting. I might even give up entirely and break out my laptop, completely the opposite of spending time together. So if I don’t get hours upon hours of time with you each week, I promise I’ll make it quality when we do hang out.