There is a fact that fascinates me: the one commodity evenly distributed amongst mankind is daily time. We don't all get the same number of days to live, but each person gets the same number of minutes in a day. No more, no less.
I've found that one of the most counter-cultural things I can do with my time is be available. We are all going, going, going: we make appointments months in advance, we plan, we schedule, we fill up our precious minutes. Yes, certain things should be scheduled. But of equal, if not surpassing, value is keeping open space in our agendas.
Here is a short list of the top things I prioritize being available for:
- Being available for sex with my spouse. This is a big one that many couples let fall by the wayside. It's common sense, but if you need convincing, studies show that sexually connected marriages are thriving marriages. Studies also show that marriages left to coast are marriages that begin to plummet.
- Being relationally available for my children. A wise parent (who was also a VP at a high profile Silicon Valley company) once told me, "With children it's quantity time, not quality time—you just don't know when they are going to want to connect and be vulnerable." I want to be fully present for my kids, both mind and body, especially when I pick them up from a long day at school. This is a challenge in our digital age. Since starting this website, I've had to figure out how and when it fits into my life. On some days I'm waking up earlier. On other days, I'm experimenting with not letting myself go online for Simply SV related reasons from the time I get my kids at school until they go to bed. Trial and error is the name of the game, and it's a work in progress.
- Being available for the needs of friends. People don't plan to be in a bind. We don't schedule hard days and crises. I like to have enough wiggle room in my schedule to be able to respond to the urgent and unplanned.
Being available requires space in our schedules. We all know that scheduling and planning are necessary components of life, so why not schedule for being available? Guard some space for the spontaneous to happen. Protect time to seduce your spouse. Give yourself margin in your weekly agenda. Let's be wary of being slaves to our calendars and productivity, and let's be attentive to the promptings of our hearts.