sunrise: 7:06 blog time remaining: 16 days
J and I have had some discussions lately about paying attention. We have both been preoccupied by our own things, both guilty of multi-tasking. The problem is that when one of us is free and ready for connection, the other may be in the middle of their own thoughts, emails, work, reading, crossword puzzle (that's me). We have a lot of stalled conversations that begin with a remark, followed by a long pause and then, "What? Did you say something?"
In these days of multi-tasking, we are able to do so many more things in so much less time. We are fooled into believing that we are doing it without losing something. It is not so good when you start multi-tasking your loved ones.
It has become a familiar sound - that voice of someone on the other end of the phone who is clearly doing more than talk on the phone. There is something deadened in their voice, a bit zombie-like. They are not really all there with you. They could be texting, driving, watching TV, checking email, or some combination. I have actually chided my children for not even attempting to disguise the telltale toilet flush while we are on the phone.
There is too much input all the time! We really must work hard to mono-task once in a while, especially with people we care about. I confess, I do it too. Someone is telling me a long story on the phone, so I walk around the house, empty the dishwasher, go through the mail, check email, feed the dogs. We think we're giving them enough attention, but we really aren't.
I have to force myself to sit on the phone and picture the face of the person on the other line. Be still, actually listen to them, be with them, ONLY. And when your interlocutor is present, face to face should mean REALLY face to to face. Look each other in the eye, stop what you're doing. At least once in a while.
Someone told me a story once about a busy mom whose child was talking and tugging at her. "Mom! Listen to me!" "I am listening to you, Honey." "Listen with your EYES!"
Out of the mouths of babes.
The snow has returned! But maybe not for long. The stuff falling from the sky right now is icy sleet, and who knows what the next turn in the weather might be.
So I was liberal with the camera - took advantage of the loveliness while it's here.
It's not just the holidays, either. Even the dogs were all fired up, bounding, pouncing, exploring holes in all the whiteness.