My daughter and I spent over an hour waiting for a drs appointment yesterday. (No worries, all is well😊) But during the wait, we didn’t have screens to look at (except admittedly I grabbed my phone to snap this pic when I was inspired to write this post.) We were sitting beside each other, at times talking, at times silent. Yet we were together without distraction.
I say it to my kids all the time, “be with who you’re with.” Yet saying it is different from living it. I am not perfect at the practice but my hope is to walk the walk for them, not just talk the talk. Yes, it would have been a convenient time to catch up on emails and texts, but tomorrow if I found out my cancer was back how would I have best spent my time today? Being with my daughter and not on my screen. Using this as a gauge is not how I want to live my life yet often it brings me perspective on what the wisest choice it to do in the moment.
Recently I heard an inspiring talk by Simon Sinek which reinforced this idea of being who you are with. Simon spoke about how relationships are built in the gaps in life. In the down times when we may sit still, silent and are bored, rather than picking up our screens to make real connections with those who are beside us, whether we know the person or not.
In my book, Our Struggles Have Purpose, I share many stories of engaging with others in those gap moments through my walk with cancer. My life is richer because of the connections I made by being off my screen and choosing to engage with the volunteers, administrative assistants, nurses, parking attendants, hotel employees, etc. To be honest, I didn’t know that is what I was doing then, I think I was just in survival mode and missing my family so I engaged with those around me. But looking back I am grateful I chose to engage with people in person and didn’t just spend time lost in my screen.
I share this with you today to encourage you along your walk in life. The truth of Simon’s message is too potent to ignore. And the real connections we will make in life happen when we lay down our phones to be with who we are with.
I invite you to join me to…
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
May we turn off the notifications and tune into those beside us. Life is too short to not pour into our loved ones. And who knows who we may meet in line, in the elevator, or in the waiting room.
With love and hope,
P.S. First, if you’d like to listen to Simon Sinek’s powerful message, watch HERE.