Quality Time

Ronit Sherwin

The other day someone asked me what stresses me, and my answer was QUALITY TIME. Like most people I know, I feel as if time passes quicker than I am able to accomplish all that I want to in my daily life. I have resigned myself to the reality of feeling that I am not doing enough. There is simply not enough time. But in the limited time I do have, is it possible to have quality time? We all know the cliché that quality trumps quantity, so how can I make the most of the quality and let go of the lack of quantity of time?

This question leads me to another discussion I had this week about prayer. During a class that I teach, my students and I explored the rigors of Jewish prayer, from daily obligations to meaning of prayer. Because Judaism involves obligatory prayer, it raised the question of intention. Does one who prays religiously everyday truly think about the intentions of one’s prayers? That would be the ideal, although we do not live in an ideal world.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

There is a term in Judaism called “kavannah,” which means intention. It has also been commonly translated as meaning “directing one’s heart.” Kavannah is the concept of having the mindset of focusing on the intention of one’s prayers. And perhaps that is the approach I should take regarding my time. While it is often challenging to enjoy playing with my kids and not think about the fact that I have to work two nights the coming week, I am only wasting the precious quality of my time. Whether at home or at work or even while talking with a friend, I need to focus on those moments and be present with all my intention and heart.

I rather like the parallel of quality time and prayer. The truth is that time itself is such a blessing.