My chocolate spoke to me today. Not in the literal sense, but it was one of those fancy chocolates with a quote inside the wrapper. It said “Call, don’t text” and it made me pause for a minute. How many of us are living in a world where we are too busy to speak to a person, so sending an occasional message will have to do?
This made me consider how many other ways our lives have been altered because of the pace we are trying to live at. Computers, cell phones, toll roads with no physical booths--all are supposed to enhance our life, but each takes away two important things: human contact and patience. Remember the days of letter writing? Taking the time out of your day to sit down, picking the perfect card or stationery, thinking of a thoughtful note to write down in your best handwriting, and mailing the letter to anywhere in the world. You may have had to wait days or weeks for a response, but you were busy living life in the meantime. The simplicity of sending mail and not needing a rapid response did not create anxiety, but simply a heartfelt connection with someone. Waiting for the response, back in the day, made it much more exciting when a letter was actually received. Now we start to panic when someone reads our texts and doesn’t answer in five seconds. So maybe it's time to re-think how we interact and consider living more simply.
The first step to that would be to slow down, but that’s easier said than done. We do not need to do a thousand things every second. We DO need to be taking care of ourselves and enriching our lives. Speaking to the people you care about, going on walks in nature, reading a book, exercising, or decluttering your space are great ways to clear your mind and focus on the present.
Step two: do some things the old-fashioned way. Call your friends (dial their number from memory if you can!) and have meaningful conversations every once in awhile. You’ll find it much more fulfilling to hear their voice, and you’ll be able to catch up completely, unlike the snippets you receive via text/email.
Thirdly, and most importantly, is to stop concerning yourself with how quickly or effectively others “seem” to be living their lives. If you can go to bed every night happy with not only what you accomplished that day, but also with knowing you had meaningful connections with the people you came into contact with, you will be much happier.