When Family Becomes Number One In Your Mind3 min read

If you grew up in the 1990s, you are probably familiar with the WWF (now WWE) buffet of wrestling entertainment. Actually, at that time most of us didn’t know it was entertainment, we thought these guys were really fighting and feuding for real. Imagine what that did to my childhood memories when I found out.

One of the big stars of those years was Shawn Michaels. He came with the swagger, the feuds and a signature move – Sweet Chin Music. He grew profile well enough and became one of the faces of the WWE franchise. And then, he decided to retire.

Actually, he retired twice. The first time was due to injury which he recovered from and came back. The second retirement, which became the final one, has a more personal ring to it.

In an interview with Bill Simmons of ESPN.com shortly after his retirement, Michaels stated that his decision to retire came a month before WrestleMania XXV, when a backstage employee asked about his son Cameron, and, in response to Shawn telling the employee that he’d just turned nine, the employee said that he was “halfway gone”; meaning that he was halfway to his eighteenth birthday, and after that, he’d be “gone.”


According to Michaels, the statement affected him deeply; he did not want be absent when his son left home, so he decided that year would be his last year as an active wrestler.

I was impressed with this level of commitment to his family. It made me think a bit about the phrase that I hear often; it is quality of time that matters not quantity of time. But can quality time come without quantity time?

What really does quality time mean? It means the times you spend with you family to connect with them and create great lifetime memories & values in them. And to be honest, nobody really knows when those moments are going to come. Relationships don’t usually come with “on-and-off” buttons to turn on the “quality time” bit.

I do agree that time should not be measured by you being just physically present but by you being fully present to the family when you are there. You might not need to make a radical decision like Shawn Michaels but I bet a few of these ideas could help:

1. Create regular appointments on your calendar for your family: It’s the principle of “what gets scheduled gets done.” Block out time on your calendar for being with the family.

2. Create family rituals on how you spend the time together: It could be as simple as “every Sunday afternoon, we have lunch at a restaurant.”

3. Minimize interruptions during your time with the family: The biggest thief of this is your mobile phones. Don’t let the people miles away rob you of the time with the people just in front of you.

4. Ask for what interests the family: Family time should be mutually enjoyed. It’s ok to find out what they would want occasionally.

5. Plan Family Outings: It doesn’t have to be anything expensive – just something out of the normal regular every day. We could all decide to go and watch an animated movie the kids would love – have no fear, you can last the movie experience.

6. Volunteer for service oriented activities together: There is nothing like serving others. It gets better if you can do it with your family. It creates shared experiences of growing in adding value to people around you.

7. Manage Your Time Commitments to Others: Ask yourself, who would miss you the most at your funeral? In every other role, you can be replaced but you can’t be replaced by your family.

The joy of family life is that as we try to enjoy quality time with them, we become better ourselves. A healthy family life will help refine our character and make us better versions of ourselves.

Whatever stage of life you are in, let’s believe that we can make the effort to create the memories our families will cherish us for in the future.

I definitely need to make the effort in my case

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Tola Akinsulire

A married guy with a precocious son who works his (I mean me, not my son - I bet you know, right?) day job as a financial guy trying to make real estate projects have some sense to the investor. I like to talk about what I learn along the way as I live my faith in life (family, work, friendships, fellowship, community and anything else you can put here).