Thursday, July 29th, 2021

R Shopper Columns


'Too many people who are in a rush to grow up leave behind the
things that give life its spark.'

Maybe at one time or another we have said to our partner, 'All we do is work. We never do anything fun.' When we examine how we spend our time, it becomes obvious that many of us do not schedule time for recreation.

It is something restricted to vacations or special holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The rest of the time, we spend our days going to work, coming home to do our nightly routine, and going to bed to do the same thing all over again the next day.

This cycle is repeated day after day. Where's the fun in that?

Many couples with strained relationships have lost their playfulness so they find themselves in an activity, conversation, and intellectual rut. It is ironic that the spirit of playfulness which helped bring them together and give them closeness is the very thing that many couples stop doing. So why is it that some couples don't make time for fun?

1. OTHER PRIORITIES: Some of us, as couples, lose our spirit of playfulness when we become parents. This happens when we spend most of our time and energy with our children and make little time for the relationship. Of course, babies and toddlers demand a lot of our time. But there are some of us who refuse to leave our children with a sitter or go out without them even when the children are older.

The question we have to ask ourselves is, what are we modeling to our children about how to take care of ourselves if we are not making time for our relationship apart from them? If we do not make time for our relationship, we may find ourselves growing apart. After all, our children will be leaving at about 18 years of age.

2. NOT IMPORTANT: Another reason we lose our spirit of playfulness is because we do not realize how important playfulness and recreation is to our mental, spiritual and physical health.

We may think of it as something that children do. Now that we are adults and/or married we should be more serious. We don't stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

3. TOO BUSY: How many times have we refused our partner's request for fun by claiming we are too busy, or we have too much to do around the house and yard?

4. GOOD INTENTIONS: We know it is a good idea and we have good intentions, but since we fail to schedule time for it, it never seems to happen.

Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through

Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700