Making time for the important things: relationships with others

I heard the coolest story the other day so I thought I would share it with you all because I found it to be just so very meaningful and powerful.

A very close friend of mine was attending church last Sunday and she shared with me the message that was delivered during the Mass by the deacon of the church. And although I will try and capture the details, it is really the essence of the message I hope I can pass along.

The deacon shared that every night at 6 in his home all the cell phones, televisions and anything that would be considered an intrusion on their time is turned off and that he and his wife just talk for 90 minutes. They make time for each other. More importantly, it is uninterrupted time.

I found myself questioning my own approach as I talk a lot about focusing on the important things in life, but this was a tactical approach that I thought I could abide by. As a matter of fact, a year or so ago, someone else from the community shared with me that not just at 6 at night, but every Sunday is family time and that their entire family turns off their cell phones on Sunday as they spend time together.

So why am I sharing this with you again now? Good question and thanks for asking.

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You see, in cleaning out my home recently I found a deck of cards with a score sheet folded under it. It was a score sheet that had a game that was only partially completed. My wife and I used to play cards or backgammon in the evenings and apparently the past time we played, we left the game unfinished, believing we would have time to get back to it one day. That day never came as unfortunately my wife lost her long battle to pancreatic cancer last month.

Many of you in the community have been awesome supporters through prayers and well wishes. So I wanted to thank you all for staying with us and for your compassion during the entire battle. More than that, I wanted to give you all the gift of remembering what is truly important and that is our relationships, whether they are romantic, family or simply close personal friendships.

Do you have a game in your own life that is left halfway finished? A conversation that needs to be completed? A feeling that should be shared or made abundantly clear? Do you regularly make time for those you hold the closest in life? Uninterrupted time, no televisions, no cell phones or no outside interferences? The good news is that if you are reading this column, then you can still make time for the important things in life … one another.

Thank you again from my entire family. I am in awe of the community and appreciate you all so very much. I would love to hear all about how you make time for the most important things at because when you do, there is no doubt that it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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