Hoarding time benefits no one – sharing your time is the greatest gift

“Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations.”

― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Something I’ve come to miss most in my life is the regularly scheduled Sunday dinners my Italian American family used to host.

Typically they were held at my grandmother’s house, with a huge bowl of pasta covered in red sauce as the centerpiece – accented by dozens of meatballs and sausages, a crunchy loaf of Italian bread and a chopped salad.

I’m getting hungry just writing this!

My cousins were there, aunts and uncles and me all set to enjoy the weekly gathering filled with stories, laughter and reminiscing. Regardless of your schedule, you always knew there was an open invitation at grandmas, with plenty of food, company and love of family.

But as families started expanding, and sadly others passed on from this world, Sunday dinners became extinct, not just for my family but so many others.

Everyone seems to have an excuse these days as to why they simply don’t have the time to “get together” with family or friends – a self-imposed schedule which provides us with countless reasons why we can and cannot do something.  A get together can be nothing more than conversation over a cup of tea and a few store bought cookies – another cherished memory from my beloved grandma.

And maybe that’s just the point. It’s not what’s on the table that matters, it’s who’s sitting around it.

I’ve learned over the last four decades that the last thing you want to live with is regrets. There are no do-overs or going back to recapture missed opportunities. And while you might convince yourself that people don’t notice how infrequently you extend an invitation for a face-to-face get together, I assure you such evasive behavior is more evident than you might think.

The time we share with others definitively shows just how much we care – how important their presence is in our lives. Hoarding your time is a benefit to no one. Sharing it however, is one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever bestow.