Quality time is not enough: you need quantity time too!

Zone 1 on the resilient investing map is about how you build your Personal/Social assets within your Close to Home strategy.  It’s no coincidence that this is the first of our nine zones, for the investments you make here provide the strongest parts of the foundation from which the rest of your life will unfold.  Frank Bruni recently penned a short essay that’s one of the best pieces of Zone 1 advice we’ve heard in a while.  In just a few short paragraphs, Bruni reminds us that moments of deep sharing and lasting connection can’t be conjured up at will during moments set aside for “quality time.”  Rather, they occur suddenly and unpredictably.  His extended family spends a week together each summer; he used to cut his time there short, but learned that by doing so, he was missing out:

People tend not to operate on cue. At least our moods and emotions don’t. We reach out for help at odd points; we bloom at unpredictable ones. The surest way to see the brightest colors, or the darkest ones, is to be watching and waiting and ready for them…..With a more expansive stretch, there’s a better chance that I’ll be around at the precise, random moment when one of my nephews drops his guard and solicits my advice about something private. Or when one of my nieces will need someone other than her parents to tell her that she’s smart and beautiful. Or when one of my siblings will flash back on an incident from our childhood that makes us laugh uncontrollably, and suddenly the cozy, happy chain of our love is cinched that much tighter.

Bruno discovered “that Thanksgiving Day isn’t ample, that Christmas Eve passes too quickly, and that if each of us really means to be central in the others’ lives, we must make an investment, the biggest components of which are minutes, hours, days.”  This isn’t as easy as scheduling a bit of quality time, but it is indeed essential, and pays returns that are invaluable.

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