My husband and I recently have been discovering how much quality time we really can scoop out with one another when the phones aren't in the picture.
We both work over forty hours a week, and at different times, so that means that much of our time together comes late in the evening. We don't always have weekends together. When we come from work, we're exhausted. I don't really have the luxury of leisurely scrolling my phone at work, so it usually happens at night when we're both on the couch recovering from the day.
And we realized that, while this is partially normal, we want to intentionally cultivate that sense of conversation and community which we prized so dearly when we were dating. We would wait for days before we had an hour window to fit in a good talk, and when we did see each other over holidays and breaks, we would stay up until the middle of the night talking.
And suddenly it seems like all of those dreams, wishes, wanderings, and deep talks seem to take an easy backseat when normal life stuff is in the picture. It's hard to delve into intense conversations when you're trying to unwind, and it's hard to put away your phone and leisure time for the sake of your spouse. It's so tempting to turn on our favorite shows and just...view together instead of conversing with one another.
If the passing of my dad has taught me anything at all, it's that time with those you love is not a guarantee. You really don't know when the people you cherish the most won't be around anymore, and suddenly those seemingly mundane moments burst with a preciousness that you wish you could recover and experience all over again.
I don't want to take the company of my spouse and my person for granted.
I don't want the allure of technology to steal moments away from me that are irreplaceable.
I don't want to look back on my life when my spouse is gone and regret the times that I could've said I love you, when I could've listened without distraction, and when I could've delved more deeply into the recesses of their heart.
We had our last little "getaway" as a couple before this little boy comes, and when we did, we shut off the phones completely. We didn't sit in front of the TV or laptop. Instead, we chose to enjoy one another's company. Conversation doesn't just flow as intensely as it did when we were dating, and it takes work and being intentional about not wanting to drift off into a land of your own desires and priorities. But, those conversations about our dreams, parenthood, life, and goals are ones that we need to have. They aren't just a luxury that comes around every once in a while; those talks should make up the very foundation of our marriage. It's how we are unified and continue to solidify the sacramental grace that makes our relationship more Christ-like.
So....I challenge you: put the phones away! Shut them off! And give the cheesy, age old saying of "living each day as if it were your last" a try for one day.