The hubs and I challenged ourselves to a bit of a personal “fast” recently.
Now, to be clear, it wasn’t required or recommended by anyone or institution, and it wasn’t from food or for religious purposes. I’m not even sure exactly how the conversation came about or where we anticipated it going, but, regardless, we took just a few days off of social media.
Upon first mention, this little experiment of ours seems quite trivial.
A few days isn’t long
and social media, well it’s just entertainment,
at very best, simply a source of information.
And, as someone who admittedly relies quite heavily on the networking to help share my love for telling stories and beautiful moments through photos,
it might even seem a bit counterintuitive,
ironic, perhaps, as I’m now blogging about it.
Honestly, I’ve gleaned much inspiration from others through social media over the years and love sharing my own journey of becoming a mother, the struggle of growing into this role, adventures of the heart, and balancing (or trying to balance) it all.
In fact, I’d be one of the first to defend the beauty of connecting across space and time and the great value in sharing life with others.
This all being said, I actually find myself a tad sheepish to share just how prevalent this phenomenon is in my daily life, not the business use or a means of personal connection, but, rather, unfortunately, this mindless transition between one activity to the next, a fruitless filler,
an excuse to step back from my life and peer into someone else’s. It’s not always social media that draws me in, over the years there've been a number of good things that have distracted me from the great. But this time, it was the constant flow of updates and invites and words and images, and somehow in the small amount of distance I placed between myself and these drains, I found myself with a much deeper conviction of something I’ve believed for a long time-
I've come to believe that there's simply only a certain amount our minds can hold,
only so much room for the details,
only so much energy for appreciation.
And it seems, too often those we’ve sworn ourselves to, even those who we’ve surrendered our very existence to
receive only our leftovers.
How often I've heard someone's words but not listened to their voice.
How often I've sat in front of those who surround me daily but not truly been with them.
How often I've known someone's' status but not their heart.
So it was just a few days of detox, if you will.
But in those moments I didn’t sign in, suddenly I found myself checked in.
It was as if I saw more vibrantly
a dance in the morning light,
a rainbow in the crayons she lined up,
humor in the wayward, curl sprays of his tousled bed-head,
their lingering lean as they sat near each other.
The noise of notifications silenced,
I heard the quiet murmurings, ponderings of my artist son as he worked.
With both hands free,
I instead held her soft reaching against me, the same I knew when she was a part of me.
And, oh, the peace I felt.
Because whether a thief or a kiss
time’s unstoppable magnitude is inarguable.
And when it comes down to it,
not one of us knows the number of moments we have left,
the remaining opportunities we’ll be given
warmth over weariness,
tenderness over tiredness,
to refuse to let familiarity fatigue.
It’s up to us
to choose to
wage war on the things that threaten to rob-
the measuring of insufficiencies,
It was in these few days I was reminded that
really, the intensity of this battle is found not in days and hours
but, rather, in the pattern of moments,
the once in a lifetime and never again instants.
The same ones, ironically enough, too often enough,
are spent looking down while a simple thumb swipe sends status updates speeding up my screen.
And thus, its with renewed commitment, that I choose
to not just hear, but to earnestly listen,
to not just look, but to see with hope-filled vision,
to strive to speak with words overflowing with life-giving grace,
to shun coexistence
in order to live more presently,
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