More Fed Ex than Gumpy

Lately, I’ve been feeling like Tom Hanks.

Not Tom Hanks all Forrest Gump-y. I’m not feeling like musing poetically on chocolate, or shrimp fishing, or being in the right place at the right time, or Ginny, or even running. I’m feeling like my life is like a FedEx production.

I am Chuck Noland, mostly time-obsessed. (I just had to look up what his character’s name was in the movie Cast Away.) When I refer to the movie I just say, “Willlsonnn! I’m sorry Wilson!” I don’t have a Wilson, I have a real life husband, and family. But our lives are pretty much run on Fed Ex-like timing and schedules. That saying of ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ does translate to us, somehow, if you relate it to time.

Wilson the volleyball

Who could resist a face like this? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a scheduler by nature. And if you dig a little deeper you see that it’s a need for control. No problem: as long as I know what’s when I am pretty happy and can be accommodating. It’s harder when you involve other people, or want to coordinate schedules.

My husband has an accommodating and flexible work schedule. Generally this works well because he can get home to be with the kids when I need to go run.  A flexible schedule means some accommodations, but it doesn’t mean it is always available to accommodate what my personal schedule needs.  And between his late nights, and my evening runs and then early bedtimes, we are barely seeing one another. Never mind that there are also two kids to fit in there somehow and kids seem to stretch out bedtime like it’s the last 10 km of a marathon: the closer you get to the finish line the more the remaining distance increases.

Oh, it's you! Good to see you again. Could you please remember to pick up the kids on Wed after soccer?

Oh, it’s you! Good to see you again. Could you please remember to pick up the kids on Wed after soccer?

The other day, both haggard and exhausted, my husband gave me a hug and asked if we were like two ships passing in the night. I answered that it was more like we were two shits. You get the idea. We are doing what we can, but taking the time to carve out time for our relationship is another thing to schedule.  Certainly this falls by the wayside more often than not.

I believe the advice that a good relationship is the best thing you can give your kids. How many of us have come from homes that sometimes lacked a sense of respect, or were witness to fights, or the passive-aggressive silent treatments, and then maybe divorce? That sure worked well for us to figure out our own relationships. We learned what we didn’t want, but of course the knee-jerk reaction is already ingrained in us.  When we are frustrated and overwhelmed, who do we tend to sound like?

No one in my family has been diagnosed with a terminal disease, or is in a situation where their shelf life is predetermined. We will all die some day. I guess making time for what -and who- is important in our lives also means paying attention to what we are doing (instead) with that time.

In the movie, Chuck Noland came home four years later to his wife. She had since accepted the fact that he’d perished in his downed Fed Ex plane crash. She remarried and had a family.  They still loved one another, but schedules kept them apart.

I think I’ll schedule some time with my husband, rather than without.


15 thoughts on “More Fed Ex than Gumpy

    • We have a bit of a backwards society with our focus on work. If I could work less but still have the means to do all I loved that would make me happier.
      Thanks for your thoughts today.

  1. It’s rough when making ends meet makes it tough to spend quantity time with your mate. Maybe you guys should just make vacation plans or try to squeeze in a “date night” every week or two? Whatever it takes to remind each other that you love and appreciate each other. I’m the product of two parents that were soulmates. The only thing I resent about what they had is that I’ve never experienced that myself with any of my partners. What they had was very special. He’s still kicking but she bought her rainbow several years ago. He has been alone ever since because for him no one can replace her.

    • Vee,
      Your fabulous self is a true testament to your parents’ strong bond and love. Love and relationships can be confusing. Do we always meet our soulmates in life? Do we meet someone who we can ‘get along’ with so that we have companionship? I think we attract what we need, for as long as we need or want it. Your dad sounds amazing.
      The family is planning a get-away this weekend. Sure, it’s with kids, but sometimes re-creating that family bond with a change of scenery is a good base to start from.

      • I like your outlook on relationships Tania. My posse i.e., my close circle of platonic friends in NYC are like my second family. They’re relationships I’ve developed and maintained for decades. Settling down with “one true love” never happened for me – or has yet to happen, but I have had some very good times with all the false loves. I have also been lucky in the family department. My dad and siblings are wonderful but I regret that my mom got screwed on health. I hope you, your dear mate and the kids have a great getaway. Family bonding is so important.

      • I have a great relationship with my #1, but I could use some work on the external socialization part of my life. My friends are pretty spread out and being busy with work and family and overwhelmed by life has kept me pretty quartered close to home.
        Weekend get-away was lovely. If only there was more weekend to the weekend and less work to the work (this week)!.

      • I often think the weekend to work ratio is going in the wrong direction: we should get five days off and two days of work. Glad to hear that you’re two-day getaway was lovely.

  2. The fact that you’ve figured out now that you need to make more time for each other — and that you really want to — means that you two crazy kids are going to be just fine.

    • Pinot,
      This is a nice confirmation. Thanks. Sometimes it takes a reminder to see that what you are doing is the right thing. Not that we need external reminders to do the right thing — it’s just nice that we don’t have to learn the lesson before it’s a lot of work to change the lesson.

    • It’s hard to make time when you can’t procure time out of thin air. Sometimes it’s even the little things that make it: both getting involved in doing laundry can be a chance to talk. Sorting kids underwear may not be romantic, but you can multitask and create some space to be together as well.
      Best to you!

    • Angela,
      So lovely to hear from you. You have been on my mind a lot lately. I know that when I set aside the time to be focused and present and a part of my relationship, the rewards can sustain me for days! Scheduling what we want, not what we ‘need’ to do, is so crucial.

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