Well, hmm. Quality time, I think, is a modern day rationalization.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and would love to credit my friend Jon Fergusonwho so smartly said during his sermon on Sunday “Time with your kids is like oxygen. You need a lot of it, and not just ‘quality’ oxygen.”
So well said.
Woody Allen is attributed with one of my favorite quotes – “Life is 90% showing up.” I think he said something more like “Success is about 80% showing up,” but I prefer bigger numbers, and the point is even more poignant when thinking about how we live our lives.
Making the time to show up, for the people that matter in our lives.
Go to the funeral you might otherwise pass on.
Show up at your kids’ baseball game.
Visit your mother or father, instead of calling.
Be there at the first communion, the prom night send-off, or a nephew’s high school graduation.
Attend your neighbor’s kids dance recital. Make every effort to attend the client holiday party.
Go to the retirement party, the block party, the going away party. Make it to the bar mitzvah, do your level best to stop by a friend’s holiday open house.
Just show up.
I remember as a young adult, hating funerals, not knowing what to say, the awkwardness of having to walk through the receiving line, greeting someone grieving amidst raw emotion from a recent loss.
And then my Dad said, simply, “Just show up. It doesn’t matter what you say. Just be sincere, say you’re sorry for their loss, and care. But above all, just show up.”
So right. So absolutely right. In those moments – and countless like it – the words don’t matter. What matters, is that you’re there. That you cared enough to show up.
Words matter, a lot. But actions can and do speak volumes.
Make the effort. Invest the time – quantity as well as quality time – and just show up when and where you can.
You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make. For everyone.