Life throws various obstacles and potholes in our already busy lives. If there isn’t a practice to get to, there is a meeting instead. These past couple of weeks seem to fly by as the clock ticks off another second, minute, hour, day. Most people work five days a week, having the weekend to do as they please. But are they really doing what they want to do?
When my husband drove over the road, he was gone for two or three weeks at a clip. The couple of days he was home, I avoided all things considered “anti-family”. I home schooled my kids and wasn’t working so I was able to make sure there was nothing to do. During those days, we would take off and have true family time. While living in New Jersey, we would drive into Pennsylvania and spend a day at Hershey Park or go to North Carolina to “mine” for gems. There were times when we would explore historical sites, such as a Revolutionary War Battlefield or perhaps the dwelling places of the first settlers around New Jersey. Sometimes we stayed home and played endless board games or had a “mega game” of Risk or Monopoly. The point is: we had fun where we went, regardless of what we did.
Now he is no longer driving for weeks at a time and we are both working full-time jobs outside the house. Don’t forget to toss in our own business of running three internet stations. Though the oldest has graduated from home school, she is working a part-time job and the two boys attend public school while involved with extra curriculum groups. Has family time become a thing of the past? I think not.
We have continued to schedule down time within our busy lives. Yes, you read correctly, I said “schedule down time”. Even though it seems an oxymoron, we have put our calendars together to carve out time specifically for family. I would love to say every Saturday evening, the entire family sits around the living room to play a game of charades. But we don’t. In fact, we hardly schedule anything for Saturday evening due to a show my husband broadcasts. Time during the week is usually off-limits as the life of sports, meetings, and other obligations take control.
The family usually comes together either Sunday or Saturday afternoons, if Celia isn’t working. Once in a while we might find ourselves staring at each other on a Friday night. During those times, all electronics get put away, muted, or turned off – or close to it. In the end, though, the five of us make it a point to spend time together once a week. During those times we might not get to go on some adventure or drive aimlessly around the state as we did in the past, but it doesn’t change the fact that for a few precious hours, the five of us are together, talking, sharing, playing, and/or laughing.
Life is too short to let work and outside obligations get in the way of family time. So again I ask: Are we truly doing what we wish during those precious moments we have free, not tethered by a time clock? Or are we simply allowing the busyness of life to push us down the passage of time?
~ All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
~ Life must be lived as play. ~ Plato
~ Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. ~Henry David Thoreau