What image comes to mind when you think of spending time with family? Is it interaction and conversation? Is it fun activities or relaxing vacations? What we think of and what actually takes place can be so very different. We are so busy with technology, work, school, and activities that we actually could be in the same house, yet we don’t spend any time together. No wonder families feel so disconnected!
Oprah (yes again, an Oprah topic) recently had on families who were taking part in a “What Can You Live Without” Experiment, Part II. She profiled two families and followed up one single mother from Part I. All families were living with excess, both physical items and activities. One family spent time together in the home by adjourning to their prospective space (bedroom, recliner, office) where they would thrive on technology. The computer, video games, cell phones, and TV were high priorities to the family. They were so “busy” with their gadgets they didn’t have time to spend together. They would text each other in the house to talk, instead of walking to the other room to talk. Technology can be a helpful tool and entertaining, but it can also suck up your valuable time like a Dyson vacuum.
The other family showcased wasn’t spending quality time together either. The biggest complaint was that mom was busy working and would come home late from work. As the episode went on, you could see home much this hurt the children. They lost themselves in iPods and video games, and ignored the underlining problems. They also bought in excess and never really thought twice about it. To show a portion of their excess, they pared down their pantry. The excess food was purged and brought to a food bank. The family had an eye opening experience of what it would be like to not have food in their home. The family was changed for the good. Possibly the problem was the parents were working so hard to give their children so much, but never realized what the children really needed—more together time!
What is getting in the way of your family spending time together? Are you really achieving your goals or are you chasing your tail? Is what you do in your daily life bringing you closer to your goals in balance with your values? Are you living in excess? If reading these questions make you stop and think that there needs to be some change in your life, relax and know it can be done.
Through organizing you can clear the excess and clutter in your home. The organizing process helps you to realize what you actually need in your home and what is truly excess. This doesn’t mean you get rid of everything and live in a tent. This means you live with what you need and use to function in your life. Now, that isn’t permission to keep everything. Really decide what you use and need. All the “stuff” can occupy your time, having to maintain, clean, and care for it all.
In order to organize clearly, you need to prioritize. What are your goals? What is important to you? Where is your time wasted? Are you busy checking email and not checking in on your children’s life? We all think we are using our time wisely, but we tend to waste our time on matters that don’t line up with our priorities. Really look at your schedule and see what is unnecessary. Also, look to see what you can delegate and purge in order to realign your time with what is important to you.
Are you getting “together time”? How do you spend quality time with your family? Where can you improve? Let me know and get the support from someone who knows what you are going through. I would love to be on your journey with you.