It is said that the family unit is the most important building block to society. If this is true, then why don’t we spend more time with our families? Many of us, men, go to work because of our families, to support them.
What’s interesting is that I put the question, “why do men go to work” into Google. The page one responses were shocking to me. The Top Ten hits for this question went from a non-gender specific site about why people work to ‘Why do men cheat’ to ‘5 Reasons Men go silent’ to ‘why do men work their socks off for women’ to erectile dysfunction to the ‘myth of male decline’ to ‘why men fail’ to ‘why men sleep better than women’ to ‘why are women paid less’ to ‘why do men lose interest in their wives’. Here’s the breakdown of “Page 1” – one response about the actual question; seven about relational problems; and two about women (not men). The only response about family was the last one and that was negative. This saddens me because it reflects our mindset as a society.
My original thought for today’s letter was about reuniting the family more and not just your distant relatives but also your in-house family. We just don’t spend enough time at home with our families. There are 24 hours in a day. The average person spends 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours at work, 1 hour for lunch, 2 hours travel to/from work, 1 hour to prepare dinner which leaves 4 hours for eating dinner and actual family time, according to the numbers. But let’s not leave out reality. Reality says that we may have 4-6 hours available for family time but there is one tiny factor that’s not seen and that is our schedules. What time does each person’s schedule begin/end in a given household? My schedule starts at 4 am. My wife’s schedule starts at 7 am and the children’s at 7:30. Add the children’s homework and bedtime which is 8:00 pm and actual family time is cut down to 2 hours.
We may work to support our families but we need balance.
But, something really cool happened yesterday. My wife got to visit with a cousin with whom she hadn’t seen face-to-face in nearly 20 years. This reunion was awesome! It’s been a longtime since I’ve seen that type of happiness from her. Reconnecting with your family is very special. All too often the only time that we get to see our extended families are at funerals and even then the time is rushed. Some families have established Family Reunions. I’ve seen these scheduled annually, bi-annually and sometimes every 5 years. No matter what the schedule, we should make it our business to reunite with our families.
Let’s do something different today…
Contact 5-7 family members with whom you are not already in constant contact with. Call them up and see how they’re doing. Send them an email. Facebook them… You never know how much they’ll be blessed by your unexpected touch.
I love you ALL!!!