When Seconds And Decades Team Up
It amazes me how the same exact sound can have such radically different affects on two different people. Trains have that affect. White noise. The ticking of a clock. Some people find them peaceful, while others want to crawl out of their own skin. Personally, I don’t know a more relaxing sound than the song of the second hand. I love the tic, tic, tic… it may be where my fascination with watches and time pieces came from. Wherever it started, over time, I’ve develop an acute awareness of how precious every tick of the second hand is, and just how much value every grain of sand represents when it drops. Time is precious. You can’t manufacture time. It’s a gift, and it’s finite. If you waste it, it’s gone forever. But if you invest your time in people, the return is invaluable, because time is the key to relationship.
That’s because people grow closer together when they spend quality time together, over long periods of time. Spending quality time with someone is one of the foundational building blocks to any healthy relationship. The process of mutually experiencing something with someone else, helps to create a type of relational glue that bonds people together. Simply being at the same place, or experiencing the same event, however, doesn’t constitute quality time.
Time spent face to face, or shoulder to shoulder, where people are mentally present with, and emotionally invested in one another, is quality time.
So yes, a good chat over ice cream, and watching a ballgame can both qualify as “quality.”
The activity occurring is less important than the intentionality of the people participating.
You see, there’s no better relationship builder than time over time.
Now here’s the best news of all: Quality time is allowed to be fun, because Fun adds quality to your Time. Having fun consistently, over long periods of time, is actually good for you. Proverbs says that laughter is like medicine for your heart, and will put a smile on a face. Short term fun can produce long term joy.
It’s why dating your spouse even after you’re married, and why having fun with your kids one on one, or as a family, is so important. Quality time builds healthy relationships.
So start being strategic about the time you’re spending with your kids. Quality time isn’t going to just jump out from around a corner and surprise you. You may not be able to make time, but you can learn to keep it.
Make a plan to regularly spend time with your kids (or grandkids) no matter how old they are. Spending the day together can be fun. Spending fun days together will produce relationships filled with joy.