Lost and Found

latteFinding a place to sit, I balanced my chai tea latte toward the table.  I flung my bag on the booth, slid my coat off my shoulders.  A deep breath relaxed me as I lifted the hot drink.  Its warmth radiated through my chest as if someone had laid a shawl over my shoulders.

There was too much on my mind.  The plan was to upload everything from my brain onto paper.  Another deep breath as I opened my bag to dig out my notebook and pen.  I fished in one side, then the other.  Fruitlessly, I repeated the search until I finally resigned myself to having forgotten them.

No matter, I would pull out my phone and jot down a few tasks on a checklist.  Neither side pockets nor inner compartments revealed my phone.  Here I was, for the single purpose of organizing my thoughts in a peaceful place, and I had no tools with which to do it.  I looked at my latte.  I could ask for a to-go cup, go home for my notebook and return.  I could go home and try to recreate the atmosphere there.  I looked at my latte again.

After one more breath, I decided to take this rare opportunity to just . . . be.

Agitation fought relaxation.   Thoughts would pop into my mind, my head would jerk, as if by reflex, looking for my phone to text, tweet, or post it.  Deep breath . . . there is nowhere but here.  There is no time but now.

Slowly, my surroundings came into focus.  The child at the neighboring table being prodded to eat more quickly.  The colors of the walls.  The fading light outside.  Could it be this was all here just moments ago?  My head jerked to text, tweet, or post my thought.  Deep breath . . . nowhere but here.

A baby cried, out of view, but not out of earshot.  The murmur of the people.  The music too soft to notice unless the tables are empty.  How strange to think I was probably the only one hearing it.  I smiled to myself.  No where but here.  No time but now.

I was practicing mindfulness.  Engaging my senses one by one.  Releasing my grasp on the past and future.

I love my gadgets.  My smartphone is my umbilical cord to the world.  But in the process of becoming more connected, I recognized had become disconnected.  In the process of managing more tasks, I had become mindless.  I am, at times, blind and deaf to the life that surrounds me.

While I won’t be discarding my gadgets any time soon, I definitely learned from this experience.  I need to be mindful, not only of the present, but of those times when I have gotten lost; distracted by places in which I don’t reside, worrying about things that don’t exist, speaking to people who aren’t there.

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You may also be interested in these articles:

Hold Onto Your Pants:  this one goes out to the one i love . . . 

grevilleacorner:  Bargaining with life

Beauty and the Borderline:  Mindfulness: Notice Your Surroundings

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20 thoughts on “Lost and Found

  1. I think we forget a lot these days to slow down and enjoy. To stop and smell the roses so to speak.

    We’re all awfully busy. We multitask. Our lives are great and we are grateful. Maybe our lives could be better, so we go about trying to improve ourselves. We most certainly do take the time to reflect on things. Yet … we do such reflection to self examine … to think on thing. And we forget to look around and just …’be’ as you say.

    Tis a good remind this blog post. I think I will stake some time out today and do as you have done.

  2. AMooreOn

    This post just made me feel relaxed. I try so hard to grasp the here and now as much as I can force myself to, especially with my children being so young. They won’t be forever and I should really slow down and breathe it in while I can. Thanks for another reminder. 🙂

    1. It seems like we spend their first years wondering if they will ever grow up and the rest wondering when it happened! I miss my babies so much, but love the adults they have become. It sounds like you have the right attitude!

  3. This post was beautifully written Jean. I am so sharing on FB. And while I’m most definitely attached to my gadgets, I wouldn’t give them up either. Yesterday I was out for lunch with Nook (I make it a point if I’m with someone not to fiddle with my phone, tablet, etc….) Next to us there was a family of four having Sunday lunch on a beautiful day. Mom, dad, and both brothers were on their cell phones. They didn’t say a word to each other – in fact they didn’t even look up from their gadgets while they ate. I found it very sad.

    1. It is sad. The girl who was being prodded to eat faster? Both adults with her were playing with their gadgets. One was using ear buds.

      Thanks for sharing on FB! I’m glad you found it meaningful!

  4. Jean, this was fantastic. I am not a fan of the smart phone, yes it has it’s purpose, but I tend to get frustrated with my phone going off on a regular basis. I could tell you were frustrated in your situation, but how you wrote conveyed such patience with yourself in the unexpected situation. I hope you find more time to just “be” and can find enjoyment without your tools.

  5. Pingback: Friday Favorites Februrary 8th | livingsimplyfree

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