In today’s world, we are a culture of documentation. We try to capture every moment, update our status with what is going on in our lives and let the world know our thoughts on happenings. As I scroll through pages of social media, I wonder to myself if we have forgotten to be fully in the moment because we stand on the opposite side of it with our phones or cameras and work so hard to record it. As we strive to capture that second, time slips through our fingers. Abba summed it up nicely in their song, “Slipping Through My Fingers:”
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Time is fleeting, and we cannot stop it. It helps us heal, it allows us to grow, and it is a precious gift that none of us can exchange or bargain with. I look at my children and am amazed at how they have grown and changed and will continue to do so. Looking at the earliest pictures I have of them, it is difficult to fathom that so much has evolved in so little time. I have been guilty of missing moments because I have allowed myself to get sucked into the social media abyss, but I have challenged myself to save social media and my phone for my children’s down times or naps, and after they have gone to sleep. I have always known there is nothing on my phone that is more important or precious than this time I have been granted to spend with my family, but I would pick up my phone every now and then and let it steal moments away from me when it wasn’t important or necessary. I am putting a stop to that.
It is important that we recognize that our children will mimic, and to some extent, become us in the future. We instill in them our habits, our responses, our words and our actions. Unplugging from everything and just being with them every moment that I can without unnecessary distractions will teach them to be respectful of those in front of them, to spend time with their loved ones and teach them that nothing is more important than the people you are with in each and every moment.
I am saddened to see so many people sitting together and not being with each other. We have become a society of being everywhere except in the space we occupy. We have forgotten to speak to each other and interact with each other without our phones in hand. We have buried ourselves in a virtual world and are no longer aware of the actual world. We miss opportunities to cross paths with people who may have arrived in that moment with us for a reason. Parents, we must help our children live in the moment and save the virtual world for times when there is truly nothing going on in our day.
We should not let time slip through our fingers. We need to grasp it and take our children on adventures and show them the world. There is always a need for a little down time, and these are the moments when we can plug back into that virtual world we are a part of, but we need to start making a difference and helping our children to live moments to the fullest. They will not be able to do that if their attention is fully consumed by something that is not tangible. Times are changing, and technology has become a part of every moment of our days, but it is necessary to ingrain awareness of surroundings, courtesy for others, and passion for life and tangible experiences into our children, or they will be lost to a world where reality and truth are becoming a thing of the past.
My cousin, Tracy Smith Hamilton, changed my life with something she wrote in her blog as she battled cancer. She wrote, “My lesson to learn is to pick up Charlie every day, do something fun every day, and be kind to people every day.” We have been granted the time we have and nothing more. Don’t let it slip by you. It will pass by, but let it pass by while you hold the ones you love, are kind and courteous to the people you cross paths with and are doing something that is fun and memorable with someone you care about. To sum it up simply, I will borrow a quote by Bessie AndersonStanley, who wrote,
“Live well, Laugh often, Love much.”
Passing time is not something any of us can control, but we can manage how it is spent. Join me in unplugging while you are with your children and other people. Enjoy the space you occupy and see what wonders, people, events and things the universe has to offer you in the passing moments. Be an example to your children of what it means to live life to the fullest and to be in every moment.