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Thinking time

Nicole Dyer Griffith MA Thursday, June 15 2017

One of my favourite weekly drama/action series called Blue Bloods always ends with the television clan all sitting together on a Sunday evening, with prayer followed by dinner with the extended family. During this time dining together they usually recall the week’s events, the children have their say on the adults’ various workbased activities, and emotions vary from joy to sadness, all based on the events discussed. While this may sound idealistic, I wonder how many of us make it our mission to ensure we maintain that aspect of familial bonding that encourages sharing, laughter, conversation, grooming and everything in between.

Last week I wrote on the ‘zombification’ of our daily lives, where we fill any and every spare minute with our mobile phones.

Today’s article simply continues to build on this discussion. Admittedly, I have fallen into this category on many occasions, as the pace of life simply seems to have become so fast that we try to afford ourselves options to adapt.

The result of the rapidity of our daily lives, coupled with the increasing time requirements of our various individual activities, that concept of ‘family time’ is quickly becoming one week that can be squeezed in somewhere within a year, to accommodate the family vacation.

Where sometimes even on the family vacation, many of us are still ‘connected’. This is in no way designed to judge, based on the use of electronic devices, but to remind that communication between and among people, in person, provides value that can never be replaced by electronic interaction. One may proffer that it is easier said than done, and perhaps this may be true.

But we must at some point recognise that we need to ensure we connect to people, particularly those with whom we are closely related, to maintain and continue to develop strong bonds, and even simply to know what’s taking place in their daily lives.

I spoke about the very fast pace of daily life and its impact on encouraging family time, and while I do appreciate how challenging it has become to share our time, we must also recognise that time is the most expensive commodity, therefore how and with whom we invest it requires very careful consideration. Time invested in and with your family, your children, your friends and others of significance makes the difference in our daily lives, and has become something we almost have to think about to ensure it becomes ‘written into our schedules’. I have fallen prey to this fallacy of ‘not having time’ on so many occasions while attempting to do everything I felt needed to be done to ‘save the world’. While in this process, many times I myself became either one of the ‘mobile zombies’, or very detached with what and who may be right in front of you.

What do we do? The first thing is to recognise that time is something we generally do not get back, therefore invest it wisely.

Planning and embarking on outof- country vacations may not be easily manageable, so, a ‘staycation’ is certainly something to consider.

As a pre-teen, I recall some of the best times in my vacation period was spent by relatives in the southern part of Trinidad, where we spent 20 of 24 hours outdoors, playing in the rain, climbing trees, picking fruit, running from dogs and the many things children just do not experience as fully as they should. While an out-of-country vacation to an exciting destination is always wonderful, our country has been blessed with some of the most intriguing sights and sounds that can more than fill two months of vacation time, most without spending exorbitant figures.

Sometimes, time investment with the family can be as simple as making it a mission to have breakfast, lunch or dinner together, and chat about everyone’s day, including attending religious services.

Once the commitment has been made to dine together as a family, the commitment should be followed with a ban of electronics for that specific period, where all attention and interest is placed on the people around. These are my son’s favourite times, and the cost – only time.



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