It had been the fifth day of being home together after an out-of-the-blue snow storm in our Southern city. Everything had been shut down, roads were still iced over, and there was nowhere to go. Although having five days of bliss together without obligations might seem like a glorious dream, it was more like, “You stay in your corner doing your thing and I’ll stay in mine, and we’ll co-exist until we can resume our regular lives.” I totally started feeling depressed and bored out of my mind. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to do, it was more like I had cabin fever so bad, I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything.
After another day, things finally resumed and we were back to our regular, busy lives. I went to work, I ran errands, I went to the grocery store . . . It was really nice. Funny thing though . . . As I talked with people – the cashier in the grocery line, the lady who draws my blood, the fellow teacher – I realized I wasn’t the only one who was not only feeling cooped up, but was also rather sick of being in the same house with my significant other for a prolonged period of time and felt guilty about how I felt! (Don’t worry, I’ve had this conversation with my husband, we’re all good). I felt relieved that it wasn’t just me! The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s ok to feel that way and it was time to drop the guilt about it.
Our modern lives are consumed with so many things – work, friends, church, kids, appointments, errands, etc. We rarely spend large amounts of uninterrupted time with our significant others, and being forced to do so because of some act of nature is in fact, unnatural. Although we sometimes wish for a nice vacation, just the two of us, away from the world, even on that vacation we aren’t cooped up in the same room together with not much to do but Netflix, read, eat, and sleep.
Here’s what I learned
The Southern snowstorm-induced cabin-fever showed me that it was ok to not want to be with my spouse all the time, and to relish in the shorter bits of time that I do have with him on a regular basis. It also showed me that although sitting in the same room with him doing not much of anything can be nice, it’s sometimes not enough and it is important to plan enjoyable things together outside of the home once in a while. Since that week, we have already “penned in” a few fun things on our calendar that we plan to do together.
It was nice to have the time off from work, and it was nice to have an extended amount of time to rest. But I’m glad to be back in my routine. When I get really busy and wish for a nice, long break, I’ll have to think back to that week and remind myself to be careful what I wish for. Who knows . . . they say bad weather is coming in February . . .