After many years of neglecting his family, a hard-working successful salesman finally took his wife on a date. Unfortunately, very conscious of the time he was ‘wasting’, he frequently checked his watch. Fed up with his inattentiveness, she finally confronted him over dessert. His sheepishly distracted answer, “Um, I’m just checking what time it is,” earned her cold glare and this comment before she stormed away.
“Buddy, without a doubt it is later than you think!”
If you have turned into a workaholic, better stop for a minute and think. “To keep constantly doing life this way, what is it gonna cost me?”
In earlier years of our marriage we had an on-the-go lifestyle, and we would invariably find ourselves stressed and having “discussions.” Finally, we found a mentor/counselor who began pointing out the leaky gaps we were creating in our marriage, and advised us of ways to stop the erosion.
One of his most frequently asked questions? “What are you two doing just for fun?”
He knew us well, and our tendency to be way too serious. Probably a problem for many well-meaning couples out there. Just-doing-something-for-the-fun-of-it runs against the grain for many folks. Folks who are very conscious of the passing of time, and ‘fun without productivity’ seems way too wasteful.
Another issue for many is the money associated with Fun-Time. But we are not talking about Disney World, a cruise, or weeks at a dude ranch for the family – that sort of playing. Make oddball pizzas together. Beat each other at board games. Pack a food basket, find a shade tree, and spend the evening talking and listening to each other. Or go for long walks together, water bottles and apples included.
Just find out what your family enjoys – as a family– and then do it together. And if you feel “there is absolutely nothing we enjoy together,” then that is all the more reason for what we are saying! They are yours. They are worth the effort.
We believe that laughing and playing with the people you love is just as important as those long hard work hours you keep. In the long run. The brain, body, and emotions need time to relax and reset…all three work much better when you give them the nutrition of PLAYTIME.
So, work hard enough to be able to pay your bills and chip away at your long-term goals. Then work at keeping your relationships healthy. (Makes no sense to have the money to buy a mansion and then have to live in it all alone.) Make sure that you exercise and eat healthy foods. (Nothing says ‘oops’ like having a loving and wealthy family – and then you die an early death from an unhealthy lifestyle.) Set time aside for talks with your Creator. (And not just your Please Do This For Me List, but listening for guidance and love from the One who knows you best.)
Live and live wisely.