I almost said “no.”
The laundry was piling up and dishes were stacked like a Jenga tower in the sink. The vacuum needed run, and we had a ton of errands we should’ve accomplished to get through the week without drowning in adult responsibility. Bills to pay, groceries to buy and organize, nooks and crannies to dust, closets to organize—we had so many things we could’ve been accomplishing on that Sunday. There were so many thing that seemed vitally important.
Because of those mountains of responsibilities, I almost said “no.” But looking back, I’m so glad I didn’t let the rational me take over. I’m so glad I said “yes” when my husband decided on a whim to use a vacation day, stay home from work, and take me to see The Greatest Showman. He convinced me to put down the chore lists, to put aside all of the tasks that seemed so important in the moment, and to just spend time with him.
The typical me would’ve argued about saving vacation days, about getting things done, and about not having the time to waste at a movie.
But for 2018, I’ve vowed to myself to spend less time worrying and to spend more time appreciating those around me. I’ve vowed to reorganize my priorities and to take some moments for myself.
So I said “yes,” shoving aside the unfolded basket of laundry and moving the area rug over the dirt on the living room floor. I cleared everything off my to-do list, unaccomplished, and spent the day with my husband.
It was a simple day, really. We lounged on the couch before going to see the movie—which is absolutely stunning, by the way. We laughed and talked, really talked. We put aside technology for a while and just spent time with each other, hand in hand.
He didn’t whisk me away to some exotic locale. We didn’t have a flashy, overtly romantic day. To an outsider, the day probably seems like a waste of a vacation day.
At the end of it, though, it was my favorite day, a day I know we’ll remember for years to come because we took time out of this insanely hectic race called adult life to do what was most important—spend time together. And, to me at least, that isn’t a waste of a day at all.
Time Is Finite, So Spend It Wisely
How do we quantify the value of a relationship?
Money? Sex? Loyalty? The number of “I love yous?”
In the past few months, I’ve learned that those things are important, certainly, but that there’s something else even more important: Time together.
My husband’s schedule changed a few months ago, which has limited our time. Work schedules, responsibilities, and daily living has pulled us apart against our choosing. It’s sucked in a lot of ways, but it’s also taught me an important lesson: It’s time that really defines a relationship.
Not just the amount of time spent together but the quality... and how much you want to spend time together.
In the past few months, we’ve learned that time spent together is what matters most. At the end of the day, folded laundry and neatly organized pantries don’t make a relationship great. Grand, expensive gestures and overtly romantic gestures don’t solidify the foundation of a marriage.
It’s time spent together, no matter what you’re doing. We’ve come to realize all those days of sitting on the sofa together watching Netflix or eating grilled cheese sandwiches or just being together are the moments that really matter. They’re the moments that have solidified who we are together and made us strong. And, with our time together cut down, we’ve come to realize how much joy being together brings us... and how much we miss it.
No matter what our situation, we are all working under a finite amount of time. Schedule changes, growing families, changing family dynamics, tragedies—all of these things can change the amount of time we have in the blink of an eye.
Thus, no matter who we are or what our relationship situation is, we must learn to make the most of our moments together and do what we have to do to find the time to spend together.
We must value our time with our loved one and make it a priority so we can solidify our relationship and find true joy.
I’ve thankful that for us, the schedule change will hopefully be temporary. I’m thankful our time hasn’t been cut short from a bigger, more harrowing circumstance. Still, it’s taught me to never take time with my husband for granted and to appreciate every minute, every hour, every day. It’s taught me to prioritize the time we have together because it’s what truly matters.
So today, put down the laundry if you have to. Cross of a few less-important things from your to-do list. Let your spouse take that vacation day, or cancel that appointment that doesn’t really matter. Find a few minutes, a few hours, a few days to spend together doing what matters most—appreciating each other, loving each other, and finding joy in the simple moments.
Lindsay Detwiler is a contemporary romance author with Hot Tree Publishing. To learn more about her novels that celebrate sweet, genuine love stories, visit her website at www.lindsaydetwiler.com.