I’m a singer/songwriter and a couple years ago I was in the middle of a very heavy touring schedule. I had just gotten home from a run of shows and had to leave town again the next day. Tired, trying to unpack/repack, and catch up on emails, I was talking with my boyfriend on the phone. After a few of my distant “uh huh’s,” he said, “You’re not listening to a word I’m saying, are you?” I was embarrassed to realize he was right. He just laughed because he understood, however, it bothered me. I love my work, but I never want to be so busy that I discount my loved ones or make them feel less important than what I have going on. That same night, I picked up my guitar and wrote a song called “Stand In My Way”. It’s a song about realizing the importance of taking the time to appreciate love in a busy life.
My boyfriend in the story is now my husband, and I’ve determined that you don’t have to necessarily stop work to make time for love, or vice versa. You can have it all. It’s a delicate balance, but I’m proof it’s possible. I’ve learned a lot over the years while building my own business, and at the same time falling in love and getting married. Here are some tips on how you can uphold love in a busy lifestyle.
How to Have Love & A Busy Life
Practice Time Management
This seems obvious, but it can be pretty tricky when you don’t have a 9 to 5 job like me. I don’t clock in and out of the music business, and I work primarily from home, which can overlap easily into personal time. I make lists to help myself manage a certain number of goals per day. Then there has to be a time to shut down the computer and give my husband my undivided attention.
Include Your Partner
It’s good to have time dedicated to work and also time for life outside of work, but I think having them completely separate might do more harm than good. I’ve found that when I include my husband in what I’m currently working on, or ask him his advice about something work-related, he becomes even more supportive of a partner because he knows what I’m dealing with in my day-to-day life. Even though he’s not in the music business, he likes to hear about it so he feels connected to me. Take the time to let your partner into “your world.”
Always Kiss Goodnight
When we were preparing for our wedding, it seemed like everyone was eager to tell us, “Remember to always kiss each other goodnight.” It kind of started out as a bit of a joke like, “Ok, we kissed goodnight. All is well with the world now!” But then I realized what great advice it is. You and your partner may be working long hours and exhausted by the time you hit the hay. But if you make a point to go to bed at the same time and kiss goodnight, it’s a simple yet powerful reminder that you’re there for each other at the end of each day.
Don’t Change, Grow
We’ve both encountered friends who change after getting married and we never quite understood that. Right after we got married we definitely indulged in some alone time together and a break from our work. But marriage isn’t the end; it’s just the beginning of a whole new chapter in your lives. Grow together and give each other encouragement in all areas of life—work, friendships, and spirituality. In other words, be a power couple.
Space Is Not a Bad Thing
As much as you love someone, being with them 24/7 is not conducive to a relationship (or getting any work done). My hubby knows when I’m in the room playing guitar with the door closed, I’m most likely writing and prefer not to be disturbed. Our schedules are different, so when he has a day off at home, I might have a full workday in front of me. Be respectful of each other’s time and needs. Take your space, but remember to check in every now and then so you know you’re thinking of each other.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Dreaming big is awesome. We would love to own a house someday and have kids. But we also understand the importance of working hard to save for the future and using our money to invest in our careers right now. Don’t let finances be a strain on your relationship. It should be a mutual motivation for accomplishing bigger goals. And when you do have some time off together, go ahead and splurge a bit.
I’m both a hopeless romantic as well as wildly independent, but keeping in mind that life is all about the journey and not the destination, I’m able to enjoy my work life and my love life without feeling like I’m compromising either. I think it’s possible for anyone to have it all. Good things come to those who work really hard—just be sure to take the time to stop and smell the roses along the way.
How do you make love and life work when your busy?