07 October, 2011

Advocacy of Table Time (Part I)

Family on Friday!!!

Commenting on last week's post, Gussie pointed out that not only our handy-dandy electronic devices divide us, but that the drawing power of the outside world beckons us to leave our homes in such a rush that tables become a depository of sorts.  (I admittedly paraphrased and took liberties, but you can read her comments at the bottom of the post if you're that curious.)

Let me start off Part I of my continued advocacy of table time as a cornerstone of family solidarity by saying it doesn't have to, and probably can't in some cases, be an every night thing (or mornings...  I could go for mornings).  Making it a chore doesn't help.  Kinda makes it counterproductive.

But, if you cannot meet as a family around the table for at least a full meal, dessert, and one game on a weekly basis, then there is a serious problem.  The subtext to leading such a busy life is "my family is not as important as these other things."  Probably isn't how you feel, but actions are paramount in interpersonal relationships.  They define our character (as I've learned in numerous writing classes).

So, yeah.  At least once a week.  There are days when kiddos will want to sleep over at a friend's house.  And days when parentals will want the kiddos to sleep over at a friend's house.  Some days, you'll scarcely see your bed, let alone a table.  (Interesting how some people get a nice home, fill it with nice stuff, and then barely even sleep there.)

The busy lifestyle is quite simple really.

  • Live an hour from work
  • Work a little extra because 110% is the new minimum
  • Have the kids cram eight completely different classes in their day, each of which is supposed to assign two hours of homework for every hour in class
  • Let the kids join a few clubs (gotta nurture their interests), a sport, and take lessons for fill-in-the-blank
  • Join some clubs yourself
  • Volunteer
  • Be an active part of your community
  • Now pick and choose on a daily basis who's being run where to meet the right-after-work/school activities that will run up to the start of the next one (grab dinner on the way)
  • Spend time socializing with the people at the end of the second activity who, for some reason, never have anything to do
  • Get home sometime before midnight
  • Feed the pets and let them out in the yard
  • Help kids with homework or trust they are while you flip through the DVR
  • Rinse, sleep, repeat
We do it to ourselves.  As a writer, I am fascinated by everything.  Yes.  Everything.  You name it.  I'm most likely fascinated by it (I know a few people are only thinking of challenging me now and getting off topic).  So, I wanted to (and almost did) participate where ever they would have me.  Even so, throughout my whole life I have relished my table time and worked it into the schedule.  But, that's the topic for Part II...


Couldabehnme said...

Table Time - I get it! A way of life and a style of creating interpersonal time that I have seen make family members and friends -when away from a home setting- much more uncomforatbloe then need be... nay! It is in fact, about comfort and relationship building and being appreciative for the food we are eating and the company with which we are eating it. I LOVE TABLE TIME.... I will eat too much, sit a long time, and will nearly always enjoy the conversation... in the right setting, of course. Count me in!

Raymond Henri said...

That's the spirit, Couldabehn! I am counting on you now. Be sure to turn in next week for the saga's next installment.