I'm the type of person that is constantly moving - running from work to rehearsals for a play or to a kickball game (yes, yes, I know kickball is usually played by the same group that experiences recess). Which is why something last week got me thinking...how often do I actually sit and smell the metaphorical roses - I have allergies - or enjoy the sound of the ferry horns and freight trains? Not often enough.
A few weekends ago, a friend and I made plans to get together. Nothing really formal or adventuresome planned. Just a time to catch up. We hadn't seen each other for awhile and the last time we got together with a group of us it was absolutely normal chaos, so there we were without having really chatted for some time. So what happened? We ended up sitting outside on my patio drinking ice water with lemon and just talking. Her sister is getting ready to head to college, I am starting work on a new show, she just moved, I've been in and out of town this summer. We spent a few hours listening and talking and laughing and just hanging out. In a world of hashtag-ing, Instagramming and regular updates on Facebook, was this a terribly noteworthy (or, shall I say, OMG Epic! afternoon)? No. Sat on patio catching up with dear friend of almost 13 years doesn't read too well from the social media standpoint. But step back from the screens and the smartphones and it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday.
I listened in on a discussion awhile ago about how curated what we see and take for truth in social media really is. Rather than share our realities (which some people do, but really, oatmeal for third day in a row? The horror, apparently) we pick and choose what we share so that we look far more fabulous than we may be. Granted we're all wonderful in our own right, but what we put out there for our many Facebook friends, or Twitter followers or Instagram feeds is a conscious choice. There's a good reason pictures of myself I offer up to Facebook happen on good hair days. Is it because I miraculously do wonderful, share-able things when my hair is behaving? No - that's just what and when I'm willing to share.
But all of this social media, this constant plugging in and around, and the inherent self-criticism can take away from the true experiences that we have. Would you rather live in the here and now or plan your life so that it looks awesome on the internet? Or compare your ice-water afternoon to someone else's apparently wonderful day? That is why I was so taken aback by the joy in the fact that my friend and I sat outside, on a patio with spotty cell phone reception and just were. Neither of us felt the need to post "Catching up with Meagan over ice water #bestafternoonever" and take away from the present. It was simple, and that's what made it so nice.
So think about it: when was the last time you unplugged or spent time just enjoying the simple things in life? If I see "catching up over ice water" becoming a thing, I'm definitely taking credit.