Monday, March 5, 2012
Anyone who has read a few of my previous posts can probably tell that I’m really excited about the impending arrival of our little one.
But there are times when I look at how my life is now, the things I can do and the time I have to do them in, and think “never again”. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% okay with that. Because I am kind of selfish, and the thing I’m probably most selfish about is my time. I like having time to myself, time to do the things which benefit me in some way, but not really anyone else.
At the moment I play basketball two nights a week (sometimes three, if there’s a game and training in the same week), I usually get out cycling at least once, we do a pub quiz one evening (wild, I know…) and I sink a quite ridiculous amount of time into a game called Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook.
Maybe you’re familiar with the latter? You swap coloured jewels around on a board to line up ones of the same colour, they disappear, you get points, and chain reactions, and a game lasts only a minute. Except you never just play it once, you play it sixty times in a row. If you are not familiar with Bejewelled Blitz I strongly urge you not to seek it out, it’s like digitised heroin, but without the euphoria. It causes you to ignore the people close to you. I might start a support group.
Not long ago I worked out how long, in total, I had spent playing Bejewelled Blitz. To my eternal shame, that game has consumed 48 hours of my life. TWO WHOLE DAYS. That’s nearly 3,000 games. As an indicator of how selfish I am, it’s a pretty good one.
I know my wife worries about whether she can rely on me to be supportive once the baby is here. I can’t tell her she’s being ridiculous, because the evidence is against me. I honestly believe I’ll be fine, that once the baby is born it will be the Methadone to my current lifestyle's heroin. Just as addictive and all consuming, but with its own complications.
Things will have to be forfeited; things that I love doing and am genuinely attached to, and I’m happy to let them go. But that little voice inside me does sometimes pipe up: “what if not playing basketball makes you unbearably miserable?” I guess I won’t know the answer to that until the little man joins us in the outside world.
Existing parents tell me it’s crucial to keep aside time to be a couple, and I agree. We both want (as all parents presumably do) to get the balance right, to not have our individual lives utterly consumed by having a child. I don't hear so much about how important it is to keep some "me" time. Maybe it's not, I don't know. I do know that there’s only so much time in the day, and when lots of it is being taken up by a miniature person something’s going to have to give. I just hope it’s something as trivial as that stupid game, not something which actually matters. Above all, I hope that I can stop being selfish.