Monday, January 27, 2014

A Slower Pace

I've been thinking lately about phases of life. I find it so interesting. It used to be that Taras and I were so busy that we'd wonder how other people had time to read books for fun, skim the NY Times on the weekends, and keep up with regular tasks like cleaning the house and doing laundry.

Our first five years of marriage were fun, carefree, Boston-living years. We were young professionals with no kids and no mortgage, and seemingly no important responsibilities. There was often something on the agenda on every night of the week - a new restaurant to try out, a concert to see, a museum to visit, or just random frolicking to be done. Weekends were always booked, either out of the city visiting nearby towns, meeting up with friends who didn't live in the city, going on hikes, doing fun runs, and the list goes on. It was rare that we ever had a free weekend.

Our plates were always full. We had a lot of fun and now we have many amazing (really, truly amazing) memories from those years. But there were times when I would actually have thoughts of panic. How do you squeeze more in? How do you add children and a real house to care for to a schedule that's as full as ours? When will there be time to truly relax on Sunday afternoons?

It's crazy to see how much our life has shifted in the past year since we moved to Portsmouth. Little by little, priorities changed. We now have plenty of weekends to ourselves, with nowhere to go and no one to see. Evenings are spent at home, reading in bed, rather than out having happy hour cocktails and dinner with friends.

It's not that Portsmouth is lame; there are plenty of restaurants and live music and cool people. It's not that we don't still have those same friends we had in Boston; we just see them less (but not because we love them any less!). I guess life just has a way of shifting through phases as you grow and stretch and your priorities change. And I don't think there's much of a point to this, other than to say it's pretty cool.

It's been refreshing, especially in these past couple months when I haven't been feeling great during early pregnancy, to not feel any guilt that I'm not out and about. To feel happy and content to just be and to rest. We've been keeping our calendar empty because that's the phase we're in right now - it's what we need most. We need this time of quiet, without overflowing social agendas - a chance to be completely selfish with our time. We have time to read baby books and research strollers and I'm not stressing over where we'll find the time to decorate a nursery; life's priorities have shifted and now we have plenty of time.

I'm sure in time, maybe even soon, we'll come out of hiding a little bit. But mostly I'm just thankful for the way life can shift when you really need it to. And thankful for understanding friends who will still be there when we're ready to come out and play. And especially thankful that Taras and I have this time of quiet and balance to spend with each other, before we enter the world of scheduled date nights (oh, no!).

Have you ever gone through a big change in life priorities? Like us, did your schedules shift and you were able to find a new, happy balance?

The photos in this post are just random iPhone shots from over the past few months. 

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