Quality time

Daddy Oh

Tony Robinson

Sunday, March 04, 2012

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Make use of time; let not advantage slip; Beauty within itself should not be wasted. Fair flowers that are not gathered in their prime Rot and consume themselves in little time.

— Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, Stanza 22

TIME rolls on, and there is nothing that we can do about it, as time and tide wait for no one. What we can do, though, is make effective use of every waking minute that we have, especially with our loved ones.

A retired nurse tabulated the five main regrets that people expressed on their deathbed, and the number one regret was that they wished that they hadn’t worked so hard. Not one person wished that they had spent one more day at the office. This was followed by regretting that they didn’t spend more time with their family and loved ones. As you can see, time — the use of it, the lack of it, and the loss of it — made up the top two regrets of people who are about to depart this mortal coil. It was the smart man who said, ‘The worst day fishing is better than the best day working every time.’

So we are told to spend quality time with our loved ones, and more than often this call comes from women. But do we really listen? "You work too hard, we must spend more time doing stuff together." And guess what, they are absolutely right when they say that.

But what really is quality time, and who prefers to make use of whatever additional time that may be allotted in any given day? All these questions and more will be answered right after these volleys from some readers.

Hi Tony,

I have never heard the term ‘age-challenged’ expressed before. Over here in the USA, if you are over 65 years old, you are considered a senior citizen. In my case, over 60, I am just simply 'experienced'. You are correct about plus 40 being the new 20. I keep thinking that I am the new 35 (at least my mind is) until I want my body to do something a 35-year-old does with ease and it won't respond. Ouch!

William Hartford, Connecticut, USA


Spot on again. As a so-called senior citizen, I guess I fall into the category of age-challenged. After 70, the doctors own you and the pharmacist knows you by name. As your body starts to give off strange signals, like ringing in the ears, spots before your eyes, frequent trips to the bathroom and general slowing down, you wonder where the years rolled by. The mind still lusts, but the body can't bother to move. Make no bones about it, if a 25-year-old woman would have me, I would jump at the opportunity. It would be so great to feel some soft skin against mine again. But it's a sick joke, this malady called growing old, and personally, it really is a challenge. But we do have hope eh, and every waking day is a gift for me… as long as I remain healthy. Thank you for looking in our direction my son.


Albert Einstein said that time is relative, not absolute, and he was right. Five minutes doesn’t always seem like five minutes, right? Well, it all depends on how you spend it. Share five minutes with a brand new hot partner and the time seems too short, but place your hand on a hot stove for five minutes and see how long it seems.

It’s all relative, and in the same way, men and women view time differently, even though the minutes may be the same. He will spend all of three minutes making love to her and think that he's doing fine, while she wonders, "What, finished already? I couldn't even boil an egg in that time." And yet if he's a marathon man and not a sprinter, but she's not really into him that much, then those extra minutes that he spends can be agonisingly long and tedious for her. "What an ordeal, isn't he ever going to finish?" See, it’s all relative, and men and women view time differently.

A recent survey asked both men and women what they would do with 15 more minutes of extra time in a day. Not surprisingly, the number one choice for most women was sleep. Yes, over 24 per cent of women said that they would sleep those extra 15 minutes. So the rumours and complaints that I've heard from countless men, mostly husbands, are really true. "My lady really loves her bed. All she want to do is sleep, sleep, and more sleep." This was followed by cleaning the house, reading, watching TV and exercising. Sex was lowest on the list, way below sitting down and doing nothing or cooking.

Now, isn’t that verifying what men have been griping about for centuries, especially husbands, who constantly whine that sex is the lowest thing on the priority list of their wives? So they put the question to men, and also not surprisingly, 28 per cent of them said that their number one choice was to have sex. This was followed by sleep, listening to music, exercising, or sitting down and doing nothing.

But time is of the essence, and clearly, if given more time, men would rather have sex, while women would prefer to sleep. Is it any wonder why women tend to go to bed before men, then they shout to hubby, "Come to bed, it's getting late."

"Soon come, honey, just finishing watching sports."

But he would go to bed soon if he knew that untold pleasures awaited him. But if all he could look forward to was a sleeping, slumbering, snoring senora, then he might as well stay and watch TV.

As for TV, that too is the thief of time — quality time — for many couples. That's why they say that a TV set should not be in the bedroom, for it's the best birth control device known to modern man. With TV as the third voice in the bedroom, it dictates if and when lovemaking takes place. That is, if you let it.

In the same way men are hooked on sports or action movies, women are hooked on Lifetime movies and the shopping network. The solution is to have at least two TV sets in the house, so that both of you can watch your favourite shows in your own time, leaving the quality time for later.

Some men confess to having a TV set in the bedroom, but still solve the problem of time management so that it doesn't impact heavily. They watch the set downstairs together, then when she's ready to retire, she goes upstairs and watches Lifetime or the Shopping Network.

While she’s doing so, he can finish watching his favourite show before he repairs to the boudoir. By then the Lifetime movie is almost finished or she has seen enough of the shopping network, so it's quality time for both of them. This method works, so try it. Hiding the remote is not a solution. The danger lies in only having one TV set. That can spell disaster.

If you really want to score points, watch some Lifetime movies with her and see how the pleasure principle peaks. So, quality time is so important, and more than often, it’s not what you do, as long as you both do it together. So many couples get caught up in the fast lane highway of life, pursuing what they think is important …until it's too late.

The office becomes their Mecca, and the work that they do is their raison d'etre. Ask them when was the last time that they spent some time with their partner doing simple things, and you'll get the usual, "I don't really have any time for that. I'm too busy going to school, working, looking after the kids, shopping, doing chores." They have no time for themselves, or anyone else for that matter, until they end up in the hospital… then they have all the time in the world for visitors, reading, or just doing nothing.

That extreme may not occur in all cases, although it often does, but there are other spinoffs. People neglect not only their partners, but themselves, then they gain weight, become unfit, lethargic, indolent and age rapidly, all because of a lack of quality time. How often I hear the words, "Oh, I cannot train, cannot work out, cannot come to class, as I'm so busy." No quality time can spell disaster in so many areas of life.

The survey continued to say that, "In all our research, we heard that today's busy families are stressed out, exhausted and short of time… and today, time is money. I'm sure you all have friends who tell you this sad story, that they don't even have time to scratch their pelotas. Spanish, look it up.

And so they drudge through life, with no time to enjoy the very life that they're working so hard to enjoy. When was the last time they went to the beach, took a dive in our beautiful sea, the same sea that tourists pay handsomely to come and enjoy, or visited Devon House on a Saturday afternoon, drove to Port Royal, Hellshire Beach, Newcastle or even played a game of Scrabble? "Say what? You crazy! I don't have time for those things."

I go back to the list compiled by the retired nurse, the number one regret was, "I wished I hadn't worked so hard." As the saying is repeated, the worst day relaxing sure beats the best day working every time.

You can examine your life with your spouse, past or current, and ask the question, "What did we do and what have we done together recently?" So many couples spend years together and when they part ways, they have no history, as they did nothing, spent no quality time with each other. They merely marked time and piled on the years.

Too busy, too busy, too busy for each other. Sadly, this is being passed on to our children too, who barely have time to enjoy a healthy childhood.

Children grow up without some parents sharing in their lives, couples drift apart, you grow old before your time, you haven't enjoyed a day of peace or tranquility in years, you’ve lost touch with old friends, all because you spent no quality time… even with yourself.

More time.


Footnote: It gives me untold pleasure and fills me with pride when I see Jamaicans doing well abroad. And when I say well, I mean excelling in their chosen fields. The most recent was the story of the young man, Diego McKnight, who is listed among the top fighter pilots in the US Navy, belonging to an elite group of top gun pilots. He started his initial training right here at Tinson Pen.

Jamaicans have shone in almost every area and in almost every country in the world. From the North Pole, to Alaska, to Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, to working with NASA, we are there… and excelling. Even as our athletes shine and bring us glory, there are other stars, the engineers, pilots, surgeons, scientists, in all corners of the globe, carrying our flag high. I am filled with pride at that young man's achievement, we all should be, as we should also be proud of the other Jamaicans, here or overseas, who keep our name in the positive.




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