In a world of fast paced EVERYTHING…from internet speeds and news stories to social media businesses, all I seem to want to do is slow down. Unplug from the pace, not so much the world, but just the speed at which everything is being done.
I want to have a conversation with someone without seeing a cellphone in their hands. I want to see news stories posted to social media that were not done in such a hurried frenzy that it is filled with more spelling and grammatical errors than a second graders letter to Santa. I want to see friends in real life as opposed to some selfie that is just begging for attention in the form of likes or positive comments.
No, I don’t want to follow you on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. I would rather hang out with you. Talk on the phone about how your week has been, how the family is doing, and the new Adele song and how it makes you miss someone you didn’t even know you were missing.
Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing pictures of you and what you are doing on Facebook. Those times where I cannot be in your world. Those times where life calls us in different directions. When it is hard to stay in touch. But, if we both have 15 minutes to browse on Facebook then that could be 15 minutes of FaceTime or a phone call. Real connection.
Is it too much to ask that when we are in the presence of others that we slow down. Put the phone down and enjoy those around us.
One day we will look up from our phones only to realize that those around us have passed away. They never got to get close to us. Close enough to hear our thoughts, opinions, and feelings. To see them expressed by our bodies. Instead, they only saw them on a Facebook post, reading about you from afar when you were only 5 feet away.
Slow down. As if life didn’t pass by fast enough already. Ask any parent and they will tell you. In the blink of an eye your babies are teenagers and teenagers to grown 30 year olds with a life of their own. It happens so fast. Life does. One minute it is here and the next it is gone.
But why is everything moving at such a fast paced? Are we trying to get in as much information as we can before we die? Are we wishing that we could just be everywhere at once so that we know absolutely everything that is going on in the world?
Are we scared of the silence? The moments of stillness that life provides. That pause. In those moments, I myself feel uncomfortable. What do I do with it? Do I feel that moment with busy work or chores that need to get done? Or should I let that moment come full force. A time when my real emotions and feelings break through and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am human. With all of my human qualities of emotions, strength, frailty, and feelings…..for a brief pause, I am allowed to feel. So why does this pause to feel bother me so much?
Because I have forgotten. I have been so tangled up with the fast paced world that time to reflect feels like the enemy. Forcing me to know thyself. What if I don’t like what I feel? What if I don’t like who I see? Easy, I can hide behind my Facebook facade.
It is much like yours, I am sure. You see happy faces and funny moments. You won’t find my true fears or pictures of the tears that I have cried. I paint you a picture of my fun adventurous life. I don’t show you the daily changing of dirty diapers, days of sickness or frustration, dishes that need to be done, kids that won’t take a nap, or every time I have work to do. You are privy to the image of a life that I paint for you. Elements of truth, but false in totality.
I don’t show you the eye rolls that I give my husband behind his back the minute I see him grab his phone to play Clash of Clans. I don’t show you my frustration when my children would rather watch television than play outside. You don’t know how pissed off I get each time I see people eating out with friends only to see them both on their phones.
I won’t post my thoughts about how careless we are being with this beautiful gift of life. I know that voicing my opinion will at best get a few likes in agreements, but nothing will change. The only thing I can do is slow down. Show you when you are ready what it is like to get my undivided attention. Lead by example. Help you in the times when emotions arise and you need a shoulder to cry on. Let you feel the difference between human touch versus a computer screen filled with compassionate words from people you barely know.
That is all I can do. Show you what it means to be human. The gift of companionship, friendship, and love. Show you the power of being present in each moment, especially when we have the honor to be in the presence of others. I want to get to know you and give you me.