15 Oct Quality Over Quantity?
It seems to me that two expressions came into popular western culture during the 80’s, “No pain, No gain” probably thanks to Jane Fonda and her exercise video tapes and “Quality over Quantity”, when more women joined the full-time work force. I was thinking about the latter expression the other day as we were entering the period we refer to in Israel as the “Chagim”. This is a period that covers almost one month starting with the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah. This year started off with a bang since Rosh HaShanah started on a Wednesday night, making it a three-day celebration which included Shabbat. Observant families outside of Israel repeated this 3-day experience two more times starting with the holiday Sukkot and ending with the holiday of Simchat Torah.
As we were approaching the new year, I heard many people saying that they were concerned about a three-day holiday, contemplating the calories they would consume and the time to be spent with family. I certainly understood the concerns about gaining weight, but spending time with family? Were the holidays not perceived as quality time? Did the length of a three-day holiday cancel out the qualitative aspect of time spent with family? Were three days “too much of a good thing”?
I contemplated these questions throughout the holidays. During this period, I found myself having pleasant conversations with my kids instead of each of us being glued to our portable devices. I was able to raise topics for discussion that normally do not get to the dinner table, since the “dinner table” experience seems to be so rare these days. I was able to read, relax and relate in a way that is very hard to achieve when living our fast-paced digital lifestyles. I know many of us seek “quality over quantity” when it comes to time with our family, but sometimes it seems we should take advantage of a large chunk of time when it presents itself to us. It seems that having a quantity of time allows for opportunities for topics to emerge, whether it is to review some family history or to talk about the future. I think the next time a long holiday period is coming along we should reframe it in our minds and see it as an opportunity to reconnect with family, friends and ourselves. Regarding the dilemma of calorie intake, I refer you to your local dietician.
Happy after the “Chagim”,