Most of my days look the same.
Wake up. Check phone. Go to class. Go home. Absorb Netflix from my couch. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
We’re all guilty of it: being wrapped up in our daily routine and moving through each day the same as the last. Most of the time we get away with it. That is, we get away with it until we crash into something that makes us realize that we’ve been running on autopilot without a clue about what’s going on around us.
My wake up call came recently when I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in a couple months. After a short interaction, I left the conversation with a sinking feeling in my stomach and the underlying message behind her words still ringing through my ears: “You weren’t there for me when I needed you.”
I could say it doesn’t matter. I could say that I had important things to do and I didn’t have enough time over the last few weeks to pay attention. But the truth is I could have made time. We make time for the things that are important to us.
We make time for the people who are important to us.
Not I only did I disappoint her, I also disappointed myself.
We’re all guilty of it. We’re so consumed in our own busyness that we’ve become like planets, so busy twirling in our own orbits that we don’t even notice that there are other stars in the universe. And of course its easy to do with so many different ways to distract ourselves. Social media, television, work, school, the blackhole that is the internet… There are a million ways to “be connected” and yet still be disconnected from the world that is right in front of us. We’ve carefully crafted our FBs and Instagram accounts to portray the fascinating lives that we’ve always wanted, but that we know we have yet to achieve. Each tweet, each status is thoughtfully constructed to have the perfect combination of wit, class, and humor all while seeming like it was effortlessly put together.
But there is real life happening around us. With our family and friends. With our brothers and sisters. Life is meant to be happening with us.
The result of all this distraction is that we have all managed to be alone. But we have been left alone together, with the only common factor being the space that we’re in and not the relationships what we have with each other, walking around with our eyes wide shut.
HOW TO OPEN YOUR EYES
1. Have one person to connect to each day.
Of course you can’t call everyone you love every day but you can call one each day. That’s a start.
2. Don’t be afraid of an unfinished conversation.
Even if you don’t have time for a full catch up with someone, a quick text to let someone know that you’re thinking of them is better than never saying anything at all.
3. Be fully present.
Just because we don’t have a lot of time to spend with someone doesn’t mean we can’t make each moment count. Don’t answer your text messages at the table. Don’t be thinking about your to-do list instead of listening to what’s being said to you. Cherish each second. You can worry about your to-do list later.
The Unafraid speak:
How do you connect to others when you’re short on time? Share in the comments below!