I spent time recently with my two beautiful children doing nothing. Oh, how precious. What is doing nothing? Nothing for us meant spending time together with no distractions. No distractions of driving, restaurants, amusement parks, crowds of people, shopping centers, beaches, or holiday activities. What did we do? We spent quality time together. Talking, sharing, reliving childhood memories, laughing, joking, and crying. Unconsciously, we temporarily forgot the outside world, the time of day, the situations of life. We were creating good memories for the future.
Often, at funerals and memorial services, we learn things about a person we never knew; and, wish we had gotten to know the person more deeply. We wish we had spent more quality time with them, and created more good memories. Not having, or taking, the opportunity to do so can bring on guilt, one of the deepest emotions of grief. Guilt because of things you didn't do, things you wanted to do, things you couldn't do. In order to move forward with this emotion of grief, begin to look at your own life. Determine what things you can do with family and friends to begin, or continue, creating good memories.
Make quality time a priority on your schedule for family and friends. You will be so glad that you did. Here is an exercise to get you started:
Set aside several hours to dedicate to this exercise. Schedule a time that will work for you and whomever you choose to spend this quality time with, i.e., a family member, close friend, friend you haven't spoken to in a while, a mentor, etc. Set the parameters for this time so both of you agree. I suggest the following:
- No cell phones, iPads, etc.
- A place away from home or office to allow for no distractions
- No time constraints to rush ending the time together
- No uninvited guests allowed
Remember that each day you are creating a legacy for the family and friends that you will one day leave behind. Why not make a decision to leave them many good memories?
I would love to hear your results. How did you feel after the exercise? Will you do it again? Why or why not?
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For more information, you might enjoy reading my book, More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase paperback on Amazon.com. It's also on Amazon as an e-book for those who have Kindle or Sony Readers. The audio book is now available!