In Slow Down, You Move Too Fast – Part 2, I talked about the secondary gain that a person gets from being too busy; namely, being busy allows us to put off things that we don’t want to do, some of which would be helpful in the long run but might make us vulnerable and open to wounds in the short run. Often those things that have caused a rift in a relationship can be resolved with much more efficiency than we expend to continually put them off. But the vulnerability we feel keeps us from learning that lesson.
Today I want to mention not a gain but a loss that is caused by our busyness: serving leftovers to those we love. No, I don’t mean those containers of food stuck in the back of the refrigerator that might now be indistinguishable, I am talking about leftover time, or little snippets of time, wherein we don’t spend the amount of time necessary to get to know the other person, to make them feel loved and valued.
When was the last time you were truly present with your wife or husband, or with your kids or a friend? When was the last time you sat over a cup of coffee or a bowl of ice cream and just chatted without caring what time it was or when your next appointment was?
A friend of mine once said,
We don’t ask someone to meet us for coffee because we’re thirsty. We ask them to meet us for coffee so we can savor time with them, because coffee and relationships must be enjoyed slowly.
How can you savor time with someone you love today or this weekend? What can you do with your wife or husband that will show him or her that he or she is more valuable to you than some of the other acitivities you might enjoy or have committed to?
Can you make a date with your kids to spend time together? Maybe you won’t ask your kids to meet you for coffee, but what activity do they enjoy that takes time – and your full attention – that you can savor together?
Yours for the celebration of life,