Many times we don’t realise until the great moments have passed to know what they were. By then, it is too late. Precious moments go waste while we have been looking the other way.
I was looking at the old photographs of my parents with my siblings. Suddenly, good memories flashed back. They never seemed that way those days. It was just a routine that needed to be gotten over.
Later, I picked the photos of my children. I watched their faces and the bright smiles they had. The mischievous looks and the funny pauses. At that time, it did not mean much to us. Years later, we know they should have meant a lot.
Now I wish I had savoured those moments. Photographs cannot capture the essence of great times. They just remind of you of the lost moments.
Now, looking at my grown-up children, I wonder where the years have gone. I can make many excuses that I was busy making a living for them to have three decent meals a day and a comfortable home.
What I forgot was that time never stands still. It marches on like a soldier keen to end the war. It was really a battle with the time that made me blind to the splendid moments. Busy with my schedules, I never really focused on what was really important to me.
As I look at the present, I ask myself if I have learned anything at all. Time still rushes on. It is still the old me and my old routine has never abandoned me. Priorities have perhaps changed but the urgency to sail past the routine in a hurry is still overwhelming. Why should it be like that? I guess it is all about thoughts and the hyperactivity of the mind.
When I put back the old pictures, I thought I needed to change. I needed perhaps to slow down. The question I asked myself is whether it was worth doing things the right way. But then, what is the right way? Putting work before anything else? Let the flow of cash detect the terms of my life or just get busy for the sake of getting busy?
I thought of giving myself a little test. For one hour, I would not put myself and my priorities first. So I started knocking the bedroom doors of my children. I started discussing the topics they liked. For that hour, I got myself absorbed by being with them and listened to their “stories’ rather than asking them to listen to my “stories” like it usually is. When the hour was up, I went back to my bedroom and assessed them all up. It was quite satisfying. I felt good. Then I thought of extending the “hour of grace” and asked my wife to go with me for a quiet meal. Before I went to bed that night, I asked myself this question, “It was not bad, was it?”
The next morning, I felt the challenge was to keep it up without turning it into a routine. So I decided to do it randomly when my family least expected it. Whether that would do the trick or not, I don’t know. But I am confident it would make us, as a family, communicate better with each other.
Family togetherness cannot be measured by the hours of a day but by chosen moments that are carefully designed to bring delight between every member. There are many blessings behind it.
The most important is you feel good about it that you are taking the time. And one day, when the times comes for my children to pick up the old photographs when I am gone, there would not be too many regrets for them.