Rule #68

Never be too busy for loved ones.

It is very easy in the rush of living to overlook people close to us. I have people who are very special, very close to me and I forget to phone, forget to stay in touch. Not because I don’t care but because I am too busy. Unforgivable. Every now and then I’ll complain that I haven’t heard from him/her. But of course it is me not staying in touch just as much as it is. We have to make time, because if we don’t, time slips past so fast that a few days become weeks, and then months, and then years are added on before we know it.

No matter how busy your life is, you have to make time. You have to make quality time for all those around you to whom you make a difference. Those that love you get repaid in time – it’s a fair exchange. They love you and you give them something of yourself, something precious. Your time and your attention. And you do this willingly, not as a chore. You do this with dedication and commitment and wholehearted enthusiasm. There is no point spending quality time with your loved ones, for example, and using that time to catch up on work or read the paper. You have to be there entirely for him/her or they’ll know your attention is elsewhere and they’ll feel cheated. One day, he/she might not be there – and then you will so desperately wish you’d actually listened. But then it’ll be too late. So make time for the people who matter – today.

(Richard Templar – The Rules of Life)