Every morning at work, I look at my coffee cup with the words:
There’s no such thing as quality time. There’s just time.
The point here is that people often wait for events, or put a lot of effort into a thing, while ignoring everything else around them. It can be seen as a lack of appreciation for the simple things, but it’s often more related to an effort/reward mindset. I’ll give some examples.
A successful relationship is not at all defined by the number of times you go out for dinner, or how expensive it is. It’s defined by doing the dishes, telling them you care on a regular basis, actually wanting to spend time with them. I can’t think of any marriage that ended in divorce because they didn’t get a new car, or take a trip. Nearly all were chipped away over the years because they didn’t appreciate the small things.
My greatest memories with my dad have nothing to do with trips to the cottage as a kid (which was still amazing mind you), it was spending entire days at the rink, either skating or helping out other people. My kids smile way more when we’re doing Legos, a puzzle, or a board game.
My best MMO memories are from EQ, farming experience with a friend in OoT til the wee hours, talking about life. I did every raid for the first 2 expansions, yet this is what sticks most with me.
Even the best games today are not about the large payoffs, but the ridiculous refinement of the seemingly mundane. Horizon’s best moments are outside of dungeons and bosses, and simply related to taking down a T-Rex that can shoot lazers. The Last of Us excels at the quiet moments.
As I’m looking forward into 2020 and the messages I want to share with my family, the general theme is going to be on appreciating all the moments, not just the “big” ones. That 2 minute chat in the car ride, telling my daughters that I think they’re beautiful every day, helping my wife without her needing to ask. Even the smallest of gestures can make a mountain of difference.