I am human tonight.

Last night I didn’t get any writing done because I got home and discovered that one of our cats had yurked a hairball all over my bed, necessitating some unplanned laundry and unprofessional language. I was riled up, stayed up too late surfing the net, and spent today cranky from mild sleep deprivation and my asthma not playing nicely with the musty smell at work.

Tonight has been the night of “every time I start something, Spouse wants my attention.” This is not entirely fair of me; Spouse has been trying really hard to accommodate my theological crazy, but we are both introverts and not quite in the same time zone. So I am usually just getting started on something in the evening when Spouse wants my attention before bed, or, at the other end of the day, Spouse has been up for an hour or two and wants my attention as soon as I wake up when I would like to wake up first please before dealing with people. It seems only fair to Spouse that I should give them attention when they want it; after all, they leave me alone most of the time because they know I need a lot of “alone time.”

I have real fears about how my other half is going to handle the changes in the long run. Right now we are a two job no kids household; when I shift from “wage earner” to “student” I see the potential for some personal dynamics shifting, especially if Spouse gets the idea that my time is somehow freer or more broadly available. If I end up having to work while studying it’s going to be even harder to balance things. I’m not sure Spouse is going to be able to adjust well to me having demands on my time that are more urgent than “pay attention to Spouse,” especially if they are the invisible work of reflection and study that theology – and ministry – demand.

So I end up stealing reflection time from my sleep, or from my day job in fits and littles, small scraps of paper with half-formed ideas on them, things I want to think about when I have some quiet time alone in a life where my quiet time alone is largely defined by “when other people don’t need me for something.”

I don’t know if I can do this.

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