People always seem to complain about how time goes by too quickly and how much little time they have to accomplish various tasks, whether it be at home or work. They get caught up with meetings, deadlines, holiday/party preparations, keeping up with others, extracurriculars, and household chores. Usually, they somehow find a way to make the necessary adjustments and compromises so their lives can run smoothly. However, in doing so, they often lose sight of something beyond these often superficial, self-focused needs – the importance of family time.
Often clients present for treatment with feelings of disconnection from their partner or children and one proposed solution is arranging for one night a week for all to have dinner together as a family or engage in some family activity. However, I often wonder what about the other six days of the week? When did this quality time become so easily overlooked and undervalued? Think about it – do you know your child’s favorite subject in school? What about the name of their best friend or your spouse's/partner's pet peeves at work? Contributing to this issue is the influence of social media. Despite technology’s various valuable advancements, what often gets lost is the simple art of communication and expression of oneself with others. This is something that is first learned by our interaction with our primary socializers – our family. Conflict often presents itself in therapy when one cannot socially assimilate to his/her surroundings which causes difficulty in functioning.
So let’s start trying to make more moments today by actively engaging with family members whether it’s asking about someone’s day, sharing a meal, going for a walk, watching television or planning an activity together. This way, there are no missed opportunities and no regrets.
“We do not remember days . . . we remember moments “ Cesare Pavese
written by Teresa Milano LMFT