Be Where You Are

Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum; Photo credit: Doree Weller

Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum; Photo credit: Doree Weller

I’m trying to be more mindful this year. It’s not a resolution or anything, because when I make a “resolution,” I probably won’t follow through. No, it’s just a “thing” I’m working on.

We went to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, which is essentially a bunch of planes. I’m more interested in history than I used to be, but planes and space shuttles aren’t really my thing. It didn’t help that I had been to this museum before, and we were just back because the space shuttle was there and the husband wanted to see it.

I was tempted by my cellphone several times. I could have surfed the internet, browsed pictures, texted friends, or played Candy Crush, but instead, I told myself, “Be where you are.” I walked around and looked at different things, people watched, and daydreamed. I didn’t have a special revelation or anything, but it was nice to be in the moment, and doing it takes training.

Technology is the ultimate in “grass is greener.” It’s always better somewhere else, and I can be somewhere else pretty much instantly. I just hop on my iPhone and go. I miss my friends and family when I’m not with them, but when I’m with them, I… Text other people? Read Facebook? Surf the internet? How does that make sense?

We visited my sister-in-law and brother-in-law last week.  The four of us get together once a year, as they live in Virginia, and we’re in Arizona.  I only get to see them one week a year, and the Internet will still be there the other 51.  So I made an effort to have my phone away during most of the time we could interact, and I tried to annoy everyone else into putting their phones away too.  During times where they drove us into DC for sightseeing, instead of getting out my phone, I quizzed them about what they liked in school and what they thought they wanted to do when they grew up.  I learned some things about everyone in the car, even the husband!  I feel like I learned more about them on this trip than I have on previous ones.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to put my phone down and go do something today.