As my children get older I am more aware of building memories. I see them pulling away and wanting to spend more time with their friends in their own endeavors which is natural and normal. But it makes me aware of how precious time is and making the most of each and every day. I try to tell my kids and my partner how much they mean to me and voice the thoughts going through my head. If I think I’ll share these thoughts later, I usually don’t so it’s a good lesson. My memory isn’t what it used to be either so if I try to remember to say something, this also usually goes unsaid. Life is short. We hear this all the time, but I’m not sure we really ‘hear’ this message and live accordingly.
Tim Ferriss (of the 4 Hour Work Week fame) talks about how the amount of time we spend with our parents in our lives is about 80% by the time we’re 18 years old. This means that after this point we see our parents less and less making up the final 20% over the rest of both our lives. OMG. I hardly see my parents once a year and they’re not together so this adds to the dynamic. I want to maximise any time I do have with them to be quality and really count. Every moment counts and in a blip it’s gone.
With my family, firstly, I want to maximise that 80% while I still have some control over my children and their activities and I want to be sure I’m present. Secondly, heading into the future, I want to be there for my children however I can and ensure I have a place in their lives. This will play out as it will and my kids might move to the other side of the world like my partner and I did. This has a lot of bearing over the time you spend with your parents. We are trying to be more aware of taking holidays, whether it’s a weekend camping trip or longer tour overseas and always having something planned, even well ahead. As my kids pull away to learn independence, at least they know that holidays and time away is family time and is sure to be full of adventure. If my husband and I can have a say in our ongoing relationship with our kids, my plan is to ensure family holidays continue well into all of our lives. The world is a big place and it’s so much more fun and meaningful when spent with those near and dear to you.
Every day is a gift and must be maximised to the fullest. Always say those special thoughts in your head out loud as they are so much more appreciated out than in. Never underestimate the power of words and telling special people how important they are. Tell them. Show them. Be the best you and the rest will take care of itself. x