This Will Make You Put Your Phone Down
I was in line at Whole Foods buying dinner. Normally, I would be holding my to-go box in one hand and looking down at my phone in the other. On this night, I decided to stay off my phone, just this once. That’s right when one of those moments happened. The kind that you’ll remember forever. And I can’t believe I would have missed it if I was on my phone.
Lately, I’ve been complaining about people being on their phones too much even though I was just as guilty! The thing is, I thought it was no big deal because it was mostly during transition moments. You know, standing in line at the grocery store or waiting at our doctor’s office. We all do it, and we honestly don’t really think twice.
Well, life is full of transitions. If you think about it, sometimes it feels like we are always waiting for something to happen. Like getting ready for a party or planning a big event. Often times, I look back and realize that I had more fun preparing for something. I think about sitting in front of a friend’s mirror, putting on makeup and listening to music before going out. That’s when we share the most laughter, tell the best stories, and talk about the little things. We don’t always realize while it’s happening, but those days are gone before we know it.
Once you change your perspective, you’ll start to see that transitions hold some of our most beautiful moments. If we just put down our phones to notice them, there is meaning to uncover right before our eyes.
While in line at Whole Foods, I was standing behind an old man with a cart full of groceries. He was in no hurry, carefully putting each item onto the conveyor belt. I saw that he had picked out yogurt, cereal, and fresh berries. All of the things that I like to buy.
The old man was hard of hearing when the cashier asked him how he’s doing. When she reached for a bag to start bagging his items, a huge smile lit up his face. “Oh, I’ll do it,” the old man said as he started to bag everything himself with exceptional speed. “I used to be a bagger at Safeway when I was a boy.”
With this moment, everyone in line behind me, including myself and the cashier, were almost brought to tears. It was the sweetest thing seeing this nice old man proudly showcase a skill that he learned in his youth.
I pictured him as a teenage boy, wearing his apron and a smile while he greeted customers at his local grocery store. Maybe his mom dropped him off after school. Or maybe he was saving up for his first car. Whatever it was, I was grateful to be present for this sweet moment that I would have missed if I was on my phone.
Next time you encounter a few minutes of down time - those in-between moments before life happens - remember that life is always happening. The good old days are gone before we know it, and we want to be here for them.
(This post is part of the Things We Used To Do series where we can reflect on simpler times with less technology and more personal interaction)
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