January 24, 2007

Along that same line...

Okay, my turn to vent. So yesterday I was out to lunch with my single co-worker/girlfriend who has been inviting me to lunch for several weeks now. I typically decline because who has time to sit down and eat lunch like a real person? Not me. Lunch for me is a bowl of soup at my desk during office hours. I typically am not on campus unless I have to teach, or I'm holding my office hours. So when do I prepare for class you say?? At home, while everyone is in bed. See my comment on J. Ny's post asking for help. Anyhow, I digress. So "we" are enjoying lunch at this jazzy new restaurant downtown, "conveniently" located just 10 minutes away from Oldest's school who has to be picked up by 3 p.m. (Reason #23 as to why I can never have a productive day, again I digress, sorry!). The food was wonderful, we ordered apps, shared the desert du jour, etc. so we were there a good two hours. On my way there I threatened myself with bodily injury if I spent more than an hour there since I had "a million things to do." One look at the menu and I knew I was in trouble.

Can I please get to the point?? I have a million things to do. So finally my friend says to me,
"Thank you for coming, I really enjoyed lunch, [blah, blah, blah, ] but I feel like every time we do something together, I'm wasting your time. " Yikes. So I say, "of course not!" And she responds, "Yes, you are always running here or running there and I feel like you are constantly rushing and so I feel as if I am on the clock, and I can't really relax because I know you are pressed for time." Ta! Imagine how I feel I want to say but of course, I don't.

But, the truth of it is, I can't be mad at her comment because really, she's right. Between classes, while I'm supposed to be preparing for the next class, I sometimes take a break and stop by her office to say hi for "five minutes." I always say, gotta run, would love to keep talking but, gotta run, or better get busy, otherwise, I'll be up all night, or something along those lines. The truth is, I am not sure I really have time for friends and that is sad. Hubby encourages me to make friends and to go out but I'm too tired, or just have too many things to do. Even though I feel like I should have so much time since I essentially work part-time, but yet and still I get nothing done, or so it seems, and if I do anything even remotely unrelated to work and kids, the day is a disaster and so the next day I'm playing catch up. This creates the ugly cycle, rushing here, rushing there, rushing even my friends away.

Sigh........... Life.


Jen said...

This is one area that I really do try to make a priority. I see my mom who devoted every waking minute us when we were growing up. She pretty much lost touch with her girlfriends and now that we are grown and has more free time I think she regrets it.

My family is my top priority, don't get me wrong. I just think it is also important to make time for your friends and girl talk. It keeps me sane and I know that in the future I will be glad that I have nurtured these friendships.

Justice Fergie said...

Aww, Jones that's so sad. At least she was honest enough to bring it to your attention and now you can make more of an effort to not rush through the time you spend with her.

Maybe instead of trying to squeeze her in between your other 100 things to do, you can set aside a specific time to spend with her. I know you are already pressed for time as it is, but like jen said, girlfriends are important!

For Christmas I gave my friend Nat IOUs for "girl time" with me in 2007 because she told me basically the same thing that your friend told you. So I'm trying! It's really hard because we have so much on our plates.

Beth said...

Friends are so important, but it so easy for them to be last on the list, but they are so good for woman, almost like medicine. They're good for you.
Start with a goal of one "meeting" a month with a friend. And since hubby is enouraging you to have friends (hooray for hubby!) maybe give him a brief to-do list to help you out while you're gone. For example, please fold one load of laundry and empty the dishwasher. I always feel like when I'm gone, the things I would have done are not only still there when I get home, but quite frankly, the house is even messier. Turning to hubby to help is a great option.

Justice Jones said...

Thanks everyone for the advice. It's all true. And I do try. It's just I can't relax and I suppose it's obvious. Even if I'm out with hubby, or by myself, I just can't relax. I feel like I'm rushing M-F! I need to do some Yoga!

Justice Ny said...

I feel for you Jones.... and I understand and echo everyone else's comment. Of course, I'm responding to this post a day later because I'm in the same boat!!!

BUT, I will say that it is quite difficult to maintain the "same" relationship with single friends and single friends also have to understand the tremendous time pressures that a married with children woman is under.

I have a few single friends and only one of them really understands that my time is limited and doesn't hold it against me. She understands because she comes from a large family (9 kids) AND because she's spent a few days with me, so she sees the predicament. The others just don't get it and I;ve found myself deveoting less time to those relationships and more time to the relationships with people who understand.

I'm not in any way suggesting that you abandon your single friends, but try to get them to understand your life a little more. Maybe, next time you should invite your friend to spend an afternoon in "your" world. I know it won't be the same kind of girl time that you need, but I think after spending some time with you and experiencing the pressures of three kids and a husband she will appreciate why you're always rushing. Then maybe the next time it's just the two of you, she won't hold it against you.

Justice Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justice Jones said...

Again, more great feedback. Yes, single friends are hard to keep. They have so much time, and so they always want to do something. She doesn't even date so she's really has a lot of extra time, not to mention that we are in the same profession so it's like she has a part time job. During lunch she mentioned that she was going to call me on Saturday to invite me to Orlando for a few hours of shopping. The fact that she even thought I could arrange this on the spur of the moment (seeing as how Orlando is a 2 hr. drive) just shows how much she really doesn't get it. I don't hold it against her though. She often asks me "how do I do it" and I just laugh (because I feel like I'm not really doing it...).

And I do plan on inviting her out for a "shopping" trip with my 3 kids here in town. She'll be exhausted before we even leave the driveway (it takes about an hour to pack all 3 in the car and in their car seats. Okay, I'm exaggerating, 45 minutes.)

Well, gotta run!

Justice Ny said...

Jones....it does take an hour:) But great idea.

Susan said...

I just discovered your blog, and I love it! If only MamaLaw was the law of the land ...

Yes, I also agree moms need friends. Moms without them are kind of weirdos, because they lose touch with themselves. So maybe just pick a couple of friends who are really, really awesome, and devote some quality girlfriend time to them. The rest, I guess email might have to suffice.

Working Moms Against Guilt

Justice Jones said...

Hey Susan, Thanks for visiting! I have vowed to be a better friend in 2007 and to devote more time to friends. That said, I will make sure to spend at least 2xs a month with friends. That's enough right? Actually, since we relocated here from D.C., I really don't have that many friends. Most the friends I do have are single and w/o children so that's part of the reason why it's hard for me to get together with them. I hang out with my neighbors becaues they have children and they are much more understanding to my situation.

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