Life is all about relationships.
My grandson Henri turned three in December. Children that age are adorable, curious, and wonder-filled.
A month ago, my daughter began sending two minute videos of him at breakfast, a few times a week.
They brought me so much joy that last Saturday evening I decided to pack and leave for a week of face-to-face family time or "my Henri fix!"
By Sunday afternoon, I was stealing kisses and hugs. We fill our days with squealing and laughter. We play hide-and-go-seek, and visit the cows and horses that are part of the agriculture department at Michigan State University.
I bath him in the evenings and enjoy the smell of his baby shampooed hair and squeaky clean skin.This time is irreplaceable, precious, and priceless.
Moments in time when we lock eyes, we share food, we laugh and smile, we touch and explore, we run and chase.
Yesterday I helped granddaughter, Mackenzie, with an essay for a college scholarship. We spent three hours playing with ideas, stories, and sharing memories, as she wrote about her accomplishments and why she thought she deserved to be awarded.
It was anything but fun.
Connection isn't always easy but it's always valuable and meaningful.
It felt stressful, she was moody, and impatient.
It was time spent bonding over the agony of choosing heart-grabbing stories and the most compelling words.
She fidgeted. She wrote. She complained. She rewrote. She edited. She reedited.
I held back tears as I reflected on her 11 years of Girl Scouts and four years of varsity swimming and how fast time had passed.
After she finished, we enjoyed a late lunch at her favorite restaurant. She shared her senior-year drama and her hopes and dreams for the future.
We laughed. We locked eyes. We embraced. We connected.
Connections. When we develop and reinforce our strong connections, we create a loving energy that has a ripple effect on those around us. The loving energy will also draw others to us and give us more opportunities to share and connect in the future.
Connections of the heart. They need to be taught, nurtured, cherished, and shared.
Connecting with Family and Friends
We often neglect the people that mean the most to us. The family and friends that are present in our lives. We're too busy chasing the next big thing, watching one more reality TV show, losing ourselves in gaming, gambling, porn or (fill in your addiction or bad habit here).
Technology, social media, and internet connections can invade our face-to-face relationships, steal our attention, and take possession of our minds, bodies, and souls.
The results are self-neglect and abuse, depression, emptiness, loneliness, anxiety, failed relationships, and full blown addictions.
Disconnections from love and life itself. An emptiness that creeps into your soul.
The only way to prevent it is by creating balance in your life. Learn to take time to disconnect from all things digital and be present with the people around you.
For me, life is too short to miss Henri's third year.
Life's too short to miss Mackenzie's transition into adulthood.
Life's too short to miss out on moments that make life worthwhile.
Life is too short to live without touching and feeling the ground under our feet.
Life is to short to go without dirt under our fingernails and the wind in our hair.
Life's too short to spend it chasing shiny things.
Life is too short to spend all of your time working.
Life's to short to trade virtual sex for real intimacy.
The quality of life depends on the quality of your relationships. What five words would you use to describe your closest relationships today?
Are you bold enough to make the changes you need to make?
Life's too long to live without reaching out and obtaining the help that you may need to disconnect from technology and reconnect with your family and friends.
Action step: Track the quality time you spend with family and friends that doesn't involve being digitally connected. Awareness is the first step of change.
Please share your thoughts below.
A few good reads:
Sibyl Chavis wrote an excellent article: How You Know When It's the Perfect Time to Make Something Happen
Alex Blackwell gets creative: Encouragement in 160 Characters or Less
Cathy Taughinbaugh is passionate about recovery Two Must Read Books On Addiction and Recovery
If you find this worthwhile please share it with someone you know that may appreciate it.
Oh Tess, what a lovely post, as always. This one is very touching. It is exciting to read about your wonderful time with family. You are so right about not letting anything suck away the time spent bonding with our loved ones. I am firm believer in putting family first, above all things. They are our tangible happiness, the ones you hug us for real and envelop us in their love.
This is a post I will cherish. Hugs to you!