This was a fun one to write… I enjoy working in lil’ pop-culture references. (Look out for my brief reference to Parks & Rec and Ferris Bueller)
Without a doubt, there are times that we need to be left alone. Maybe we just need to recharge from a long day or a long week. Maybe we’re overwhelmed with emotions, we need some space to process them. Maybe we’re having a “treat yo’ self” day.
Even extroverts need their recharge time—sleeping doesn’t count one hundred percent either. *wink*
We understand this for ourselves, but oftentimes, it’s difficult to understand this in others. Because, when we decide that our “me-time” is over and we want human interaction, it’s sometimes disappointing and even frustrating that other people might be busy. Or they might be having their own “me-time.”
However, there are also those who are extremely aware of other’s personal time. Most of us are to a degree, but there are these individuals who are so aware of its importance, that they almost fear it to be an inconvenience for them to ask another person to share their time.
Of course, this is very considerate of them, but we all have had experiences where we say, “Oh my God, I want to see you, it’s not a problem, please stop worrying!”
It is often these people, to whom quality time is most important.
Because these people understand how valuable someone’s time and attention can be.
In a time of phones and television and social media, we are arguably more connected than ever; and I’m sure you all are tired of hearing that, but it’s true. With a few clicks of some digital buttons, I can be talking to someone across the world. Or, across the room.
So. Let me ask you—how many times have you been with someone, or a group of people, and you feel completely alone or ignored? Maybe you don’t feel totally isolated, but perhaps even just a little bit? Who hasn’t?
It is so common now to spend time online with people when you’re spending time in person with the very person you’re texting memes and gifs. It isn’t a bad thing, it’s still connection, but is it the same?
Isn’t it more meaningful when you’re with someone and they give you their whole attention? Isn’t it more satisfying? We all know how annoying it is when people half-listen to our stories, and yet that is often how we operate within this world.
That is why spending quality time with someone is so important. That is why that friend who always thinks they’re inconveniencing you thinks that way. They know that part of you wants to be distracted by your pretty Instagram friend who gives you FOMO. They know that part of you just remembered that you have to buy your dad a birthday present and that in the process of online shopping, you’ll get sucked into an internet hole and come out the other side ten videos of tiny house tours later.
So, they also know that if you give them your whole attention, you really care. And that is exactly how they will show you that they care, that’s how they connect—by giving you their own.
Quality time is more than just hanging out. It’s more than just talking, or “talking.” To spend quality time with someone is to make time to pay attention to them. To listen to them when they’re happy or upset. It’s when you actually pay attention to the story about their day and how they’re annoyed at their professor because she doesn’t know how to teach. To help them with their project—whether it’s a passion project or a mandated one—even though you have no idea what the hell you’re doing.
Life moves pretty fast. So if someone takes the time to stop and spend some of it with you, whether it’s a few hours, a few days, or a few years—and really spend it with you, it means something so much deeper than you might imagine.