A Common Myth

The following post was recently published in the Vermilion Standard.

We’ve embraced a myth in our culture.  It is a myth that we all wish was true.  In fact, we operate our lives and schedules around this myth in search of its illusive and tempting claim, consequently robbing ourselves of the very thing we are searching for.  This myth is called “Planned Isolated Quality Time.”

Let me explain…

In our culture, we have come to accept that the illusive and mythical reality of planned isolated quality time is possible and so we schedule our lives around creating this mythical time in our various relationships, futilely attempting to compensate for the lack of quantity time we have in our busy schedules.  I believe we accept and embrace this myth specifically because it means we can live without boundaries or margins, perceivably skipping those realities because we have scheduled quality time.

We seek this mythical quality time with our spouses, believing that if we just schedule special times where we will be together alone, it will make up for the hours spent apart through our daily routines of busyness.

We seek the mythical planned isolated quality time with our kids, believing that if we just schedule special events and holidays (planned isolated quality times), they will offset the lack of quantity time spend because of our overfilled schedules.

I want to suggest that planned isolated quality time is a myth!  My experience has always been that quality time always happens spontaneously in the midst of quantity time and is often unplanned and never isolated.  Said again, quality time does exist, it is just very difficult to plan it.  When we attempt to plan quality time, at the expense for quantity time, we end up starving those we love and ourselves from the quality time we all desperately desire and need.

I write this article with full disclosure that I am not an expert in this and am constantly learning what this means in my every day life.  I, too, am at times a believer in the myth of planned isolated quality time and am constantly (re)learning to reject this myth.

Quality time exists spontaneously within the selfless gift of quantity time.  We all desire what can only be accomplished through quantity time with those we love and those who love us.  This takes effort and self-sacrifice but it is worth it – the ones we love are worth it.  Reject the myth and accept the hard truth that time is an expensive gift worth giving and sacrificing for those we love.

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