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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Quality Time Vs. Goals

With the Covid 19 outbreak, all of our lives have been disrupted, but in the midst of it, I’m reminded of some important timeless lessons. I like to set goals and achieve them, learning a new skill, hitting a new fitness level, reading new books, being less selfish, being more encouraging with my words, spending more time with family. We all have goals like this.

One of my recent goals has been to get myself in backpacking/hiking shape for a trip to the Colombian Andes in May. Turns out, I have a little more time to prepare due to Covid 19. The trip is postponed until the Fall. I’m still trying to keep the rhythm of strength and cardio improvement, especially taxing my legs.

On two recent hikes to Mount Woodson, I was reminded of an important life lesson. Quality time beats personal goals every time. Let me explain.


Hike number one to Mount Woodson was with my two grandkids and niece. A normal up and back hike would take somewhere around 3-4 hours from Poway lake. That hike ended up taking over 6 hours with a lot of stops along the way. Matter of fact, I felt myself constantly trying to distract the kids with games, encouragement, even bribing them with after-hike ice cream, just to have a shot of making it up the hill. To my amazement, they made the entire trip up and back! That is no joke for the short legs of a 6 year old! I still got a little workout, but no personal records were set that day.

Hike number two was by myself. I cranked up the mountain with minimal stops along the way to hydrate. I couldn’t actually believe how much faster that hike could go. I got a better workout, but I couldn’t help but remember every turn along the way and the fresh memories of each stop with my grandkids and niece...all the laughing...all the made up games...all the complaining...bathroom breaks in the bushes...”are we there yet?”...”I’m hungry”...”can we go home?”...my grandson running ahead of the pack, just to jump out of the bushes to scare the girls. You get the picture.

My big takeaway...the quality time I spent with my grandkids and niece was WAY BETTER than me reaching some kind of goal on a solo hike! I’ll probably never forget the day with the kids! Sure it was more emotionally exhausting, but how many more days like that will I actually get before they are all grown up? Sometimes I feel like I’m going to blink and they’ll all be in college!

In these days of self quarantine, there will be many days when the kids may tax our emotional capacity. I say, bring on those days of creativity, new adventures, outdoor hikes, indoor board games and crafts. Try new things. Revisit old ideas like a monopoly game. Take the guidelines of Covid 19 seriously, but let those guidelines bring out the best in us in creativity, love, and grace.

We have been given a gift of quality time right now. For some of us we’ll easily embrace it, and for others, nothing could be worse. If we’ll fill our days with a purpose to love, forgive, go the extra mile, and serve, maybe, just maybe some of our best life moments will surface.

Enjoy each other while you encourage faith, hope, and love! Remember that the greatest of these is love. If you do this, we’ll be just fine, maybe better than ever!

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