Everyone over 40 knows the answer to the riddle: What’s black and white and red all over? Why, it’s a newspaper of course. Millennials and everyone else born after them have a new riddle: What can have multitudes of colors but is red all over? Why, it’s a computer screen of course. The former is decreasing in popularity while the latter’s readership is lining many computer geek’s pockets green. (For you grammar geeks I know red, in this context, should be spelled read but spelling it the correct way would spoil the riddle.)
Why do I bring this up? Because no matter who’s generation you’re talking about, spending too much time with either medium has caused many people to feel ‘blue’. Blue over having to compete with children, husbands and wives for their attention.
Both mediums have value for gathering information, education and entertainment but too much of any good thing can turn bad. Take white sugar for example. In moderation, sugar transforms boring desserts into sweet delicacies while too much will cause our pink bellies to bloat and diseased limbs to turn purple. There is one exception to this rule — building strong relationships need time for them to flourish.
Strong relationships are more valuable than gold. Gold must go through a refining process to make it pure. Relationships need time to go through their own refining process to bring out their full beauty.
Early in Karen’s and my marriage, I had a daily routine when I came home from work. I stopped at the newspaper box at the end of our driveway and pulled out the newspaper delivered during the day. Karen received a hug and kiss from me, then I was off into the living room. Having plopped onto my favorite chair, I opened the newspaper to the sports section first and worked my way through every page until Karen called me to dinner. After dinner, my attention was turned back to the paper until I finished reading every line.
Karen would complain, saying she looked forward to spending time with me everyday but felt neglected when I came home. My response to her was that after a long day of work, I needed to relax and decompress for awhile.
One morning as I got up for work at 5am I noticed that I forgot to get the newspaper the previous night. I ran down the driveway, fetched the paper and brought it back to the house. As I sat to eat breakfast I opened the paper to the sports page. As I began to read, something about the appearance of the front page seemed different. A meticulously handwritten message appeared between the typed print. It went something like this:
“Dear Hubby. Please come and talk to your wife. I miss you and want to spend time with you.”
I couldn’t help but smile as I entered our bedroom, sat down on the bed and woke Karen up. She wasn’t too happy about being woken so early until I showed her the newspaper she had written on. I took the hint though and we both read a book about marriage which stated how important the first 10-15 minutes are to a marriage when a couple meets up after working all day. That time together determines whether the mood of the evening will be cast in hues of gray or shine through in brilliant yellow.
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