I have this picture hanging in my house. It is by Bonnie Mohr and the first sentence reads, “Life is not a race – but indeed a journey.” When I stop and think, I remember that life is what I make of it. It is a conscious choice of whether or not I enjoy each moment or race through them. When I’m rushing about, the clock is my enemy – with every minute mocking me with a deadline. I feel like I’m a madwoman on a blistering roller coaster of noise.
This became apparent the other day when I left the house without my cellphone. Gasp! I know, how could I be so stupid? With three kids in school, a new business to run, and one hundred other things that would demand my attention that day, my lifeline was sitting on the kitchen counter. Quite frankly, I panicked. I debated on whether or not to turn around. I knew I was needed. There were a million things that could go wrong and I was unreachable. Out of touch. With everyone else, that is.
So what did I do? I decided not to retrieve my phone; thereby tuning everyone else out and tuning myself in. My cellphone has been an extension of my arm for years and my computer keys relentlessly glued to my fingertips. So on that day, I chose me. I chose clarity. I chose to connect, with Cindy. That day was a journey for me, not a race. And after I got over the initial panic, I enjoyed every minute of it.
What I did on the cellphone-less day was to give myself permission to be human. To breathe. To not look down at a screen, but to look up at the world. We’ve gotten so entrenched in technology that we scold ourselves for not being connected at every moment. Others call us out on it as well, “I was trying to reach you, where were you?!” Like we are doing something wrong if we don’t answer an email or call within five seconds.
Don’t get me wrong, I like technology. Actually, I absolutely love technology. But, as with everything else in life, there needs to be a balance. I want to continue to love technology, not to have it own me, and not to have it press my buttons to define responses. As it should always be the other way around.
They say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” And on that day it did. I came home renewed and with a clear head. Most importantly, I came home to no important emails, texts, or voicemails. Apparently, unbeknownst to my ego, the world will run just fine without my constant attention. It was a good reminder that I need my cellphone to be a productive member of my current society; to stay in touch with all that I love; to make me smarter; to make me feel connected with my clients, fans, and the world at large. However, I must always remember that my cellphone may need me to function, but I don’t need it to live. It is just one tiny part of my existence as I make my way through the bigger picture of Living Life.
Revel in your journey, friends, because if you race through your life, you may miss the finish line before you are ready for it to end.