I didn't know what to do with myself because I hadn't brought any other entertainment for myself such as my knitting or a book because...I had my phone. As my battery died and I was left without being able to peruse Facebook or Instagram I found myself a teeny bit frantic which is ridiculous. I got itchy and anxious at the lack of anything to keep my attention. So I did a bit of thinking about the situation (I've actually been thinking about this a whole lot lately) and it occurs to me that perhaps with all the marvelous technology and social media that is constantly available and in our hands... we have lost the ability to have Moments. You know, the moments between activities, moments of silence and calm, moments to reflect or gather ourselves.....Moments to talk, carry on a conversation that is more than one sentence before we put our heads back into our phones. Moments of Life. We do not know what to do with them without some form of stimulation.
So I decided to be there with my son. Which meant he would have to put his phone down and be there with me. Seriously, have you ever tried to get a teenager to invest in some awesome parent bonding...it's not easy. So I went with guilt... "you are leaving in a week and I am going to miss you like crazy". Okay it wasn't intended as guilt, however I am sure that was how he heard it and it was a start. It wasn't easy at first because I was clearly annoying him with my attempts to engage him in conversation right there in front of a room full of people we didn't know, but, I didn't have anything else to do so I persisted and soon he stopped taking pictures of himself while endlessly snapchatting and he looked at me.... in the eyes!!!!! and then he responded!!!! Soon ... we were talking, actual conversation together! SHUT UP! We talked for over an hour before his name was called. And we talked sitting in the hallway outside the courtroom. And we talked on the way home in the car. Or actually, he talked and I worked hard at listening without judging or criticizing because I seriously wanted him to keep talking. This would not have happened if we had both stayed in our phones, sitting next to each other but not with each other. The four hours we spent down at the Superior Court became some of the best moments of this week. Because we stopped using something else to fill our moments and started letting the moments with each other be real.
I'm the first to admit that I pick my phone up too many times a day, justifying it by saying "I need to check on an order"...but then 45 minutes later I'm still looking around just to see what everyone else is doing. And sometimes I'm annoyed that I have to get off Facebook or stop watching animal videos so that I can do things like make dinner or fold laundry. And I lose more time than I should, all because being absorbed in everything and everyone else's postings is easy, like fast food for my brain. I lose the real good stuff by living while I look down in my hands at what other's are posting and saying instead of looking at the work I can do with my own two hands. I'm as guilty of wasting moments as any teenager. Documenting things that could just be left to living and experiencing, more concerned with taking a picture to post than being there.....I get the irony. I want moments but I'm not good at making the most of them. As if my mind wants to be entertained at all times and without the constant input of social media and texting, it feels lost and restless.
Restless moments are a good thing, that is where ideas are born, that is where conversations happen, that is where truth lives. In the space between the scheduled events of our lives. I see it in my sons, their phones are where their eyes and brains go every chance they get as they crave the constant bombardment of information and nonsense that stop them from remembering how to just be human and alive. I've challenged my younger child to hours without our phones and we are looking for hobbies to entertain his mind, push his creativity and imagination....but....more than that, I want him to train himself to have moments for himself to recharge, refresh and think. Oh what a mind can do with a moment or two not spent soaking up what's thrown at it from a phone in the hand...
This summer has presented itself as an opportunity in so very many ways. There have been events and changes the last few months that have rocked my soul and my heart .... some have been a bit tangled and hard, while others have been happy and full of grace.My life is taking some turns that are exciting and terrifying as lives tend to do. It seems like the perfect time to pay attention, put down my phone, turn off the computer and keep my mind and heart busy with what matters most. Shoot anytime is actually a good time to do just that. Time to retrain my mind and the minds of the young men I love so much so that we don't feel the pull of need for constant influx of things to fill our bits of free time. Time to gather moments and weave them together so that they will keep me warm ; so that I will know that I lived the heck out of this life, these days and these moments. Remember to connect rather than disconnect. Create, read, swim, rest, eat, travel, sing, dance, laugh, talk, be with people in real life and breathe.... To spend some moments every day before I forget how......
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