I have been thinking about this alot lately. This whole concept of quality time. You hear people talking about wanting to spend quality time with the kids, their spouse, their parents. People near and dear to our heart + time = quality time.
When does quality time happen? Is quality time a certain hour on the clock? Does it only occur on even days? Maybe quality time only occurs on the Sabbath. Maybe quality time only happens when you are good or do good. Possibly it only happens when you are in the company of loved ones. May be you can only experience quality time if you are right with your spiritual higher being, God.
I think that the concept of quality time is an euphemism for not wasting your time on this earth. Time is neither good nor bad. It has no value of quality. What we do with our time is what makes a difference.
Much of our time is taken up with things that are part of your survival. You sleep away about 20% of your life. Maybe you sleep a little more or a little less, but sleep is nonnegotiable. You spend about 40 or so hours a week at work so you can have the basic necessities of shelter and food. If you are lucky your job is not too much of a drag, and you don’t spend your hours at work in misery. Most of us enjoy some portion of our work day, and other parts just drag on. Our ancestors spent part of their days as hunter gathers and that was their job. Our jobs may not seem so directly related to life’s necessities, but it in may ways is not so different than our ancestors, we seek to have food in our belly and not be out in the elements. Jobs make that possible.
Once you take out the hours you sleep and work, you are left with discretionary time. Just like any money you have left over after your bills are paid, you get to choose how you will spend it. This is the time people often call quality time. It is not of any more quality than the hours we have spent at work and sleeping. Often we waste our quality time. We choose to fritter the quality time away like we do that the pocket change and small bills in our wallet or purse. We wasted minutes that turn into hours, the same way spend a dollar here and there that turns into $50 or $100 . We choose to use that quality time in ways that don’t bring any enjoyment or make a difference. It isn’t quality at all. We need to decide that we will enjoy our free time in the company of others, doing things that we have always wanted to do, spending it alone in reflection or making the difference we want to do so. We need to resolve to use our free time to improve the quality of our life.