Life has become something of a rat race for Julie and I lately. We rarely see each other, and hardly get to spend any real time together. When we do sit down together at home, we're both usually just plain tired so even the conversation tends to be minimal. I'm stressed about my new job (it's good stress; just based on wanting to do well here, but it's still stress) and Julie is always stressed about her job, so it wears on you a bit.
Last week, before I went to my folks to go hunting, she and I had a long talk of the sort couples need to have every so often about where we are, where we're going, life in general...and no, we're not "having problems," so please don't worry about that. Jul and I are just fine--it was just time for a state of the union conversation, get a few things hashed out that we haven't had time to sit down and discuss.
One of the things that occurred to me upon reflection was that Julie and I have somewhat lost touch simply because we don't spend enough time together. We spend too much time with obligations with friends, family, jobs, and other things, and just don't spend time with each other, alone. That, as any healthy couple knows, is a bad thing. And by "spending time alone," I don't mean "sitting at home every night after work watching TV." I mean doing things together, spending the day together. Some time ago, she and I would on occasion just take a day off work together to go out for coffee, see a movie, whatever, but our current jobs (hers especially) don't provide for that sort of thing anymore, which makes it tougher.
So I decided last week that she and I should spend the day together this Saturday without anyone else around. I was supposed to go hunting again, but this was more important, so I called up Dad and told him I wasn't making it out, as Julie and I had plans.
Saturday, then, we went out to an early lunch at a local buffet we like, and then we did a double-feature at the local $1.00 theater, to see Brave and Snow White and the Huntsman. Both were films that Julie had really wanted to see in the theater, but we missed on first run, so this seemed a great opportunity. I don't want to turn this into a movie review, so I'll just say Brave was outstanding (and I generally abhor Pixar), while Snow White was worth the 2 bucks we spent on it, but was incredibly disappointing and forgettable overall.
Between the movies we went to a few Halloween stores, and dropped in at a local comics/gaming store and book store. We had a really, really nice day together, and it was something I think we both sorely needed.
Yesterday we went to drop off some paperwork at her second, part-time job, then stopped at the store so I could get stuff to cook for the gaming group as it was my turn. Then we met up with Ken, Rya, and Brennan to go out to Simmonds Farm, a local farm and produce vendor, where we picked apples and bought pumpkins. Then Jul and I stopped for lunch on the way home. When we got home, I prepped a bit for gaming, watched some movies on DVD to try and get into the mood, and then cooked for everyone (tacos and Mexican rice). We ended up not playing Conan, as two important players in that game are out for the next few weeks; instead, to everyone's delight, we got characters converted over for my Doctor Who RPG and I ran a brief vignette session of that game to get everyone back into the story for when I pick it up again full time. Still kind of getting a feel for the official Who RPG rules, but it should work out okay.
Overall, it was a really nice weekend for she and I (at least, I think it was, and I hope she does as well) and something we need to do more often. Life moves too fast for us all in 2012, and I think it's important every so often to take a weekend to ignore everything that you "just have to get done!!!" to take some time to enjoy life with your significant other. When things turn into a blur, when you start to feel tired all the time, it's okay to back off for a while and take a minute to enjoy the sun. It's also possible to be too social--if you're going out to hang with friends so often that it's starting to feel like an obligation, it might be time to tell your friends you need to take a little time to "hermit up," as I call it. Not forever, but for a couple weeks or so. Real friends and family will understand.
Anyway, I guess that's about all for now. If there's anything to take away from this, it's to remember that grown-ups need to play, too...especially with the person closest to you.