"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays." ~Henny Youngman
Time is a finite resource and unlike money and Doritos, you can't make more. The inability to manufacture more time causes scarcity. The demands of daily living require life to be divided and segmented into little parcels of time that is sold to the highest bidder. The leftover parcels, the ones you call your own are precious.
The greatest gift you can give the people you love is your time. But when giving our time to another we must be present, in the moment. The other week I was getting a manicure and noticed a small boy following around a woman I assumed was his mother. She was also getting a manicure and the young boy stood quietly by her chair as she chatted with the technician. When she joined me at the drying table, the boy again stood quietly next to her as she dried her nails and chatted on the phone. I didn't see her speak to this boy once during the entire time we were there. I will say for the record that I only glimpsed a single moment of time in their lives. That one-hour may have been the only time during the entire day that she was not actively engaged with the child. We must remember that just because you are in the same space with someone doesn't mean you are spending time together.
Most of us know this intellectually but we find the call of the gym, a sink of dirty dishes or the latest episode of the NCIS strong particularly after meeting our other obligations. These distractions take away from our relationship with others. Today we are literally wired to numerous electronic devices that allow us to sit in a restaurant with a loved one and casually ignore them while communicating with business colleagues, friends and other family members miles away. Giving of your time means being in the moment. It means paying attention. It means looking up and looking into the eyes of the other person.
Are you looking into the eyes of the person you love? Can you sit through a meal without talking on the phone and texting? Are you really giving your time to the people you love?