I’m Too Busy to Pay Attention to You

I’m busy. Are you busy? It’s almost “cool” to admit we’re busy nowadays, don’t you think?

Case in point: Whenever I talk to my mother-in-law, her life is crazy busy. She never has time to read, or watch TV, or relax in any way. And okay, fine, maybe she doesn’t. But if she really wanted to do those things, then she would make the time. Something else would give in her life and she would make it happen.

Whenever I ask her if she’s read any good books, or has watched any movies lately, her response is always “I don’t have time for those things.” I get annoyed. Of course you have time for those things, she would just rather spend her time doing other things – she doesn’t WANT to do those things. I’m cool with that. It’s her time, she can do whatever she wants with that time. But be honest, why not just say, “I don’t really like to read or watch TV, I’d rather do X, Y, and Z.”

I’d have more respect for her answer if she were honest. Instead, it sounds cooler to simply say, “I don’t have time for that.”

And then, when I pin her down and make her break down her day to me, it astounds me how much time she actually wastes by mismanaging her day. For example: she wanted rocky road ice cream one day. Instead of going to the store and picking up a box of rocky road ice cream, she spent two hours driving around to different facilities looking for rocky road ice cream.

See what I mean?

Since my life is all about multi-tasking now, time is precious. I have learned to make the most of time and try very hard to make every second count. That’s why I’m utterly exhausted on the weekends – because I allow myself to relax and yet can’t, there are household chores that have to be tended to because there is no way in Hades they’re getting done during the week; I’m simply out of steam.

And then … there’s Kevin. He deserves attention. And I would rather give that time to him than to the house – the house can wait. This is not to say that we don’t ignore each other or we simply don’t have enough energy for each other, we don’t, but I think both of us are consciously aware that we don’t spend a lot of time with each other right now (Kevin is working seven days a week right now with this Intuit / Tax support gig. He doesn’t have to, but he chooses to and though I’m not thrilled that he’s working himself to death, it’s his choice), so we make the moments count.

And being intimate is a hard … chore (because let’s be real, sometimes it IS a chore) to fit in sometimes.

But it’s necessary. Not for me. I could care less (which is part of the problem, quite frankly), but I know HE cares and he’s SO MUCH MORE LIKABLE to be around whenever his physical needs have been met. So I meet them. I make an effort. I drink an extra cup of coffee, or down a Monster drink late in the day and I meet those needs for him. Not for me, because I’m good with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, but I know he’s not – so I consciously keep that need in mind and plan accordingly.

You have to. If you’re married, you have to do this. It’s just the way men and women are programmed. Men need the physical – there’s no way around that fact. And women need the emotional. The challenge is to meet those needs. THAT’S LOVE. That’s what makes marriage work; it’s being aware, and respecting, what your partner needs.

And then making every effort to meet those needs – whether WE feel like it or not.

We’ll have been married 23 years this upcoming May. Things are good. At least, I THINK they’re good. And even though I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time, I’m assuming I’m doing something right.

Meeting the physical (and emotional) needs of my partner is definitely a step in the right direction.