Having a husband in prison taught me a LOT about what is important in life.
When Ron was in prison, we only averaged 9 hours together a month. I knew that in order to get every second of the time we were allotted, I had to be at the prison 30 minutes early. If I was late, my family lost time precious time together. Our sons were devastated if their time with Dad was cut short. So, I made every effort to get to the prison early to ensure the boys had as much time with Dad as possible. Showing up on time is something I learned during our journey that I still practice today.
Juggling life with a family is tough.
As a working mom, the pressure is intense. I feel compelled to be at every event, volunteer, keep my house clean and organized, cook nutritious meals, pay the bills, keep my marriage strong, and perform my job well. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I must also raise my children to become healthy, productive, and happy adults. The days just keep getting busier and busier. My lists get longer and longer, and I wonder if I will ever get it all done. I am always asking myself the question I began asking when Ron went to prison, “Am I investing my time wisely?’
Our most valuable asset
Time is our most valuable asset. We can never get time back. Every other possession we own, every other type of asset we accumulate, we can recover if we lose. Time cannot ever be recovered. Once it is gone, it is gone. Ron’s imprisonment made me profoundly aware of the value of time. The realization that I needed to spend my time wisely hit me hard. Right behind that awareness came the slap of the “aha” moment – that showing up on time for your family is really important.
Keeping your commitments to be somewhere at a specific time is important. However, the principle of showing up on time is not just about arriving at the right o’clock time. When I say,” show up on time”, I am talking about being present when your family needs you. If you are not aware of the importance of showing up on time, you are missing precious moments and huge opportunities to invest in your family. Being there when your husband needs an encouraging word, or your child needs a hug builds trust. Being available to listen when they are disappointed, or to celebrate when they have a victory creates stability and safety for your family.
Showing up on time takes commitment. Being there when your family needs you most is not dictated by the second hand, but by the serving hand. There are so many ways you can show your family how much you care by just showing up on time. Actions speak louder than words. If you are struggling to connect with your family because life has gotten too busy, you need to stop for a moment and ask yourself if you are investing your time wisely.
Here are some tips to help you make sure you are showing up on time for your family-Be Focused- Stay focused on the most important things in your life. This might mean you need to stop being so busy. You do not have to do everything. You do not have time to do everything. Decide what is most important to you and invest your time there first.
- Be Consistent -Engage in regular contact and conversation. I do this by dedicating at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted time each day for both my husband and my daughter who are still at home.
- Be Aware – Stay informed on what is happening in your loved one’s lives. What challenges they are facing, important deadlines, exciting opportunities – these are the details that allow you to show up on time when you are needed most.
- Be Intentional – Don’t show up distracted or focused on your own problems. Spend time serving your family by investing in them.
- Be Focused – Stay focused on the most important things in your life. This might mean you need to stop being so busy. You do not have to do everything. You do not have time to do everything. Decide what is most important to you and invest your time there first.
I am rooting for you –