Make the Most of Real Moments: Lessons from a Song

By Jenny Lukas, Practice Growth Expert, AVN

The other day I heard a song I hadn’t listened to in a long time, “Cats in the Cradle” by Ugly Kid Joe.

Although it was written in 1974 (by Harry Chapin), the words and their message couldn’t be more relevant to now. If you don’t know it, it’s narrated by a father who is always too busy to spend time with his son. As the boy grows up and the father has more time, his son in turn is too busy for him. It’s a great song and incredibly poignant.

More than ever, we’re surrounded by things that distract us from what’s really important in life – time with the people we love. Reaching the next level of Candy Crush might feel more urgent than having a chat with your son or daughter. But, as the song shows us, those opportunities to chat won’t always be there.

Here are five ways to make the most of real moments.

Cherish the Now

Make a conscious effort to be present. When you’re with family or friends, give them the entirety of your attention. If you’re checking your emails at the same time, you aren’t really with them. Emails can wait.

Quality over Quantity

It’s not the amount of time but the quality of it that leaves a lasting impression. Designate specific times for family that are non-negotiable. Whether it’s a weekly games night or a daily dinner together, these are the moments that build a lifetime of memories.

The Art of Being There

Being physically present is one thing, but being emotionally and mentally there is another. Listen to your children, your partner, your parents. Really hear them. Their words, their silence, their laughter and their sighs all tell a story. Be a part of it all.

Unplug to Connect

Challenge yourself and your family to unplug and put away devices. Take a leap into IRL! Whether it’s outdoor adventures or board games by the fire, if you have young kids, these are the things they’ll remember as they grow up. And it’s just as important for adults to connect with the real world too.

Making Memories That Last

The time we spend with our loved ones is the greatest legacy we leave behind. It’s not about material possessions. People will remember you for the hours you spent together, through good times and bad, and for the memories you made.

I highly recommend you go and listen to “Cat’s in the Cradle” again. The lyrics may be simple but their message is powerful. It’s a message that we all need to remember.


Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash