I left for a few days of vacation Saturday to Florida – thankfully, I have a set of team meetings where our director has chosen for us to meet in Orlando for a few days.  Many of us Northerners jump at the chance to come a few days early to enjoy the sun so lacking this time of year.

As I was checking through the airport, I realized I didn’t have my cell phone on me.  I went back to the check station and asked if they found a phone, and the answer was no.  So I called my roommate and it turns out I left it on the table at home.  

For about 10 minutes, I was panicked.  But then, this overwhelming sense of relief came over me.  I don’t have to worry about taking calls this week. I don’t have to have my information immediately accessible to me. No checking email. No texts. No calls. No voicemail.  

A colleague of mine says, “Andy, I’d have that thing shipped to me next day air if I were you.” 

I don’t need that.  No way. I’m free.

I got video fowarded to me, “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy” and it got me thinking a lot about the instant accessibility we demand.  I couldn’t help but think of my friends and my students with this video.

Not having my phone was great for a week. I didn’t need it. I felt more fully present in the moment.  I’m reading a book, “Coming Home to Your True Self” and one of the things that struck me was how we don’t live in the moment. We are often reliving past mistakes or anxious about what the future holds. One of the beautiful things about children is that they so often live in the moment.

I thought of this as I led a small group after our sermon at church today, and one of the women had her 8 month old son who missed his morning nap.  So he hung with his mom and slept while we all talked. When he woke up, he was fully present in the moment with his mom, enjoying making eye contact with me and playing games.  

(Since I’m the small group leader, I’m sure I should be doing more important things…like listening intently to what everyone is saying. But put a baby in front of me and that’s one welcome distraction.)

But he’s fully present in every moment, trusting that his Mom will take care of him.  And it’s beautiful.

Maybe my attachment to my phone detaches me from being in the moment, being fully present to experience the present rather than dwelling in the past or the future.  Maybe everything would be amazing, and I’d be happy.

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March 2009

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