Quality time, over time

Years ago, Orchid and I were in a long distance relationship. For fourteen months we lived 1000 miles apart, yet we never went more than two weeks without seeing one another during that time. The time together was precious. We barely slept those weekends, trying to make the most of every moment together. He missed a lot of flights home.

Time has a different meaning now. With two kids and a closely orchestrated routine, we have perhaps an hour of uninterrupted time together each day. It’s the hour after the kids are asleep and preparations for the following day are completed but before we collapse from exhaustion. That hour alone together invariably involves simultaneous foot massages, a nurturing ritual that carries us into the next day.

The occasion of a date (alone! without the kids!)  is an uncommon event. For the first thirty minutes or so of a date, we  quietly look at each other and breathe deeply. We try to remember who we are, and who the other one is. My mind rushes with all of the stories I’ve wanted to tell Orchid but wasn’t able to share with him as one cohesive thought due to continual interruptions. Many dates are spent enjoying a leisurely meal at a restaurant so we can just look at each other and talk. It would feel wrong to spend these moments at a place where conversation is impossible. No movie theaters or playhouses. Those few hours of quality alone time are an infusion of energy that reminds me about our connection as the root of the tree we have grown. Its branches reach in seemingly all directions. Beautiful and full.

Changes are afoot. We are still waiting to find out what the scope of the changes will be, but the truth is that any change has the potential to impact our quality time with each other. I feel us becoming closer as we do when the outside world seeps into what we have created. We’re re-exploring the quiet quality time we enjoyed many years ago. The stillness of enjoying every moment together, even if the moments have become sprints more than marathons.

Reminiscing. Re-rooting. Sprouting new branches. Watching the leaves fall as a new season begins.

4 thoughts on “Quality time, over time

  1. My husband and I have been married for 15 years. The first 9 years we lived together full time. Due to the nature of our work, we haven’t “lived” together for the last 6 years. He comes home once a month for 3-4 days and we take a couple of weeks off a couple of times every year to be with each other. It was okay for a while, but now it’s starting to get old. I want him home, but there’s no work in our area. He doesn’t like it either, and I can tell when it’s getting time for him to go to the airport. He starts getting in a really bad mood, because he doesn’t want to leave home. All our friends and our kids know not to bother us during the time he’s home unless it’s our choice to spend time with them. Can’t wait for the day we’re actually in the same house for good!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. We’re in the science field which can be the same way. I remember well how precious every moment together can be. Being apart is so hard and it sounds like you’ve done as well as anyone could with this long time apart. I hope your situation changes soon so you and your husband can be together full time again.

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