Intimate time

Therapy brings out all kinds of things. Some are easy. Some are funny. Some are hard. But, you learn about yourself. For me, most of therapy happens outside the therapists office; when I'm thinking about something that came up. Something I couldn't understand by myself, but after talking about it and sleeping on it, the answer usually comes to me. Might not be an answer I like, but it's usually clear, even when it takes hearing the same thing over and over for a year to finally sink in.
Everyone needs intimate time. Time with a partner. Time with a child. Time with a close friend. Time spent focused on just one other person.

For a long time, I've been of the opinion that just being together was enough and so I've spent intimate time quilting; focused on something other than the person I'm with. Not out of any meanness, but partly because I can't stay awake when I sit still, and partly because having a kid around meant that time to quilt became much more precious so I tried to squeeze in every second I could.

I remember my paternal grandparents. They were always so busy. Something to do all the time. Even when they sat at the end of the day and watched TV. It was quiet. He in his recliner and she sewing or crocheting in the other chair. Quiet. Peaceful.

I don't remember seeing my parents spend intimate time either. They were both busy as well and by the time my Mom got supper cooked and dishes washed and swept the kitchen floor (yes, there was a time when people swept the kitchen floor every day), got all of us bathed and dressed for bed, there wasn't much time for intimacy because they were both focused on us kids so much. I never really got to see them "together" and just focused on one another.

Now, our little girl is growing up and wanting to spend more and more time focused on her stuff. And, her behavior is getting better, and she's learning to study and read better, and she just doesn't need us as much. And, that leaves us more time for intimacy. But, after she came to live with us, I had to really multi-task to get everything done and I've gotten so good at occupying my time that now I have to re-learn how to have intimate time. Time spent focused on one other person. Time spent separate from my quilting time. Down time when the stresses of work and raising a child and homework aren't all we focus on. Call it date night. Which is going to mean giving up some quilting time. And, that's hard, too.
And, it's going to be hard to find intimate time in a house that focuses on television. Trying to find time that isn't about doing anything in particular. Maybe TV can be on in the background, but intimate time isn't just sitting and watching TV together, either.

So, this is life's next little curve ball. Remembering how to be intimate. I daresay that I will like this one better than some of the other curve balls we've been thrown lately. Having kids is hard work. It's a wonder anybody does it.

Here's a picture of the hand pieced Drunkard's Path quilt. Last night, I cut out another one to have ready for hand work.

But, the next one is going to take longer. I'm going to be doing something else with my evenings for a while. Like getting to know my partner again. And, you know? I'm looking forward to it. To remembering how to have intimate time. Just focused on one other person.

Take care and have a great Tuesday. Quilt as you go. Lane


Shirleymac said...

First of all, beautiful job on the Drunkard's Path. I don't remember a lot about my parent's intimacy either cause my dad died so young. But I do remember them washing dishes together every night. Mom washed, dad dried, and they talked. It's not what we would consider a "date" but even at 10 years old I somehow understood that it was a very special time they had together. When my dad was very ill he told the newspapers that the only reason he was still alive was because of my mom's refusal to leave his side when he needed her all those months in hospital. He lived for 2 years where other patients who'd had the same procedure didn't make it past 2-3 months.

lw said...

I love how you did the borders on the Drunkard's Path.

Date night sounds like a great idea. A lot of parents end up losing track of each other because the effort involved in raising children is tremendous, and there are days where it's all you can do to keep going and then fall into bed at the end of the day exhausted.

Trish said...

Our kids are 13 and (almost)16 and we have been making a great effort at reconnecting.....very much worth it!!!

Elizabeth said...

The drunkard's path is beautiful!

And good for you for investing in your relationship! Someone once defined sacrifice as giving up something good for something better, so I think giving up quilting time for your relationship is a wonderful sacrifice. I wish you much success (although the going may be slow to begin with).

Nancy-Rose said...

I love that you're giving yourself and your partner this fantastic gift of a healthy relationship! I applaud your commitment to therapeutic intervention - I could just SQUEEZE the stuffing out of you I'm so proud!

I have three words of advice: GIVE! GIVE! GIVE! Sometimes it might feel like you are the only one working, but be patient and stick to it. The rewards you'll get in return are soooooo worth it. Okay...so I still want to squeeze you!!!!

I'm a parent too, so I know the difficulties, but time flies by, and pretty soon the children are heading out into the world on their own...and you don't want to find yourself sitting across the breakfast table from a stranger! Kids are resilient, so so very resilient. Relationships take work.

Coloradolady said...

Boy, did I find something here today on your blog....um....maybe more than I really wanted to read!

This really hit home with me Lane, in more ways than one. Definitely gave me something to think about anyways.....

Love your quilt, it is so very pretty!

Take care.....

kwiltmakr said...

I like your Drunkards Path quilt. The colors are so pleasant to look at. I really like blue and brown together.

Vesuviusmama said...

You are right - we often mistake time spent together (spatially) as time spent together. My husband and I just got back from a trip to San Francisco, and I purposefully did not take any hand quilting so I could be "with" him while I was with him. I'm thinking it worked out very well.