I've been thinking today about time, and sleep, and solitude, and friends. We had a busy weekend, starting with the Cowichan Consort concert on Friday night - this is the local choir and orchestra that Kim and I are part of, directed by a school colleague of ours named Duncan. We think Duncan is wonderful, and it has been fun for us to be part of a musical group together. The orchestra performed Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture and Ravel's Bolero (complete with trombone solo by Kim!) and then the choir joined them for Vaughan Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem, a dark and beautiful anti-war piece that was commissioned in the days leading up to World War II. Friends came from Victoria, Sooke and Duncan, which made us feel really special. We went for coffee and dessert afterwards, and it occurred to me halfway through my chocolate hazelnut torte that I couldn't remember the last time I went out with friends after something. In the past, by the time a concert or movie was finished it was already past my bedtime, which meant a rush home to cram in enough hours of sleep to keep me going the next day.
Life is different now, and so is my relationship to sleep. I didn't realize until a few months into our new life how nice going to bed is now, and, in contrast, how anxious I used to be about getting enough sleep. Before, a late night would mean a couple of bad days until I could recoup the lost hours, but now it just means the joy of an evening with good friends and the extra pleasure of a nap the next afternoon. I don't have to be afraid of being tired anymore.
The next day was our friend Linda's birthday, and we went into Victoria for a surprise party. Another wonderful event (and another late night!). This time, halfway through my piece of chocolate mousse cake, as I basked in the warmth of the evening with friends and listened to Kim talk and laugh as only she can, my realization was about how much time Kim and I are spending just the two of us, alone and together, and how different that is from the hectic rush and press of kids and colleagues and meetings of our previous life. Our work environment was noisy and busy and joyful and stressful, and moments of quiet or solitude didn't happen very often. Now they happen all the time, and even though it was really, really wonderful to have the time with friends we did this weekend, it was also nice to return to the peace of Mucky Boots.
When we quit our jobs, I worried a bit about Kim and I having too much time together, but it's interesting how things have worked themselves out. I get up an hour or so before Kim in the morning, and that hour is nice quiet time for me and a book (and Petunia who has memorized my routine and knows exactly when a lap is likely to be available). Throughout the day our activities bring us together and take us apart in a nice kind of flow. Sometimes Kim comes looking for me because she needs an extra pair of hands in the workshop, or we make time for a walk together. We always come together for supper, and usually spend at least part of the evening in each other's company. Somehow we seem to have found a pretty good balance - or it has found us.