be all there.

 

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I read this quote the other day and was immediately convicted. How many of you are as guilty as I am at not being ‘all there’ sometimes? I gotta be real with you guys, I am so guilty.

I’m listening! (but really, I gotta quick answer this text.)

Uh huh! Yeah. (Oh, look at this great Instagram picture she posted.)

I’m sorry, what did you say? (Shoot, I was reading an email as you were telling me a story.)

We live in this world where we are so distracted by everything going on around us. And it’s not that I don’t want to be there with you, listening or hearing your story. It’s like my thumb takes over and before I even realize it, I am swiping a screen, pulling up a text reply or silently thumbing my way through Facebook. I am listening to you! I promise, well, sometimes. But the truth is, I am not always all there and don’t even realize it.

Many of us watched this video that went viral a few months ago and there seemed to be a steady stream of reposts and declarations to ‘look up’ for a while. I was on board. Putting my phone down!!  I declared. But let me take this picture first, answer this work email, send this Snap Chat. I know in my head that I am missing out on so much by not always being in the moment, but it is incredibly hard for me to break this bad habit.

When I was working full-time, we constantly brought our phones with us to every meeting. 8 members of a leadership team discussing important things while our phones dinged, emails came through and we all made sure we weren’t needed immediately. It’s silly really, if anyone needed us that badly they would be able to find us. But I became tied to having my phone face up, on the table, ready for the next distraction to come my way.

I don’t blame work. I am trying to get better at turning off notifications on my phone so that I am not so easily distracted by a lit up screen that is informing me that someone played me back in Words with Friends. I know how frustrating it can be when you are trying to talk to someone and they keep glancing at their phone as if they are waiting for something better to come along. Ahhh, I don’t want to be that person and I am afraid I have become that.

To my friends and family who have been subjected to my easily distracted ways, I am so sorry. It has NOTHING to do with you and everything to do with my extroverted, distracted self. I am working on it, I really am. I am trying to leave my phone in my purse, turn off the ringer or not check it unless someone calls 3 times in a row. The person who is texting me is not more important that you. Our time together and our relationships take priority, even if my actions don’t always echo the truth that’s in my heart.

And as embarrassing as it is, if you notice I am doing this to you, please call me out on it. Last night during a date with my sister, I realized that she had to tell me 3 times to watch something before I lifted my eyes from my screen. Not okay. My husband puts up with my downfall the most and I am learning that if I need to be on my phone while we are interacting, it’s helpful to explain what I am doing and how long it will take so that he knows. For example, if he comes in and starts talking to me, it minimizes his frustration when I say “Hun, I am in the middle of replying to a text message. I really want to hear your story; can you give me 1 minute to finish my thought so I can fully pay attention to you?” Or sometimes it’s evaluating the priority at that moment – does this text reply need to go out right now? Can it wait? Is someone in crisis or is this an opportunity to make sure my hubby knows that he is important to me?

Wherever you are, be all there.” This may mean my text responses are not immediate or the emails not replied to on the spot. It could mean I need to schedule more face to face (or ear to ear) time with you so I can chat with my phone away and without distractions. I want to be someone whom others recognize as being “all there” and making them feel cared for and important in that moment. I need to let go of the expectations I have for myself to stay on top of everything, because as a result, moments are slipping away with those who matter most. The fact is I CAN go through life without my phone glued to my hand – we all did so not that long ago.

Now yes, I will likely have my camera nearby still, ready to snap a picture of us together or capturing a beautiful moment. I love reflecting back on these memories, it’s me. But I need to remember to tell you what I am doing and wait for an appropriate time before I distractedly walk towards a cool looking flower on a bush. (Wahhh, I really am that person.)

Keep me accountable okay? Recognize how humbling it is to realize how bad I am about this so please don’t call me out in a way that makes me feel worse about it. A subtle ‘hey’ will bring me back to the moment. You ARE important to me and I want to live a life where I am all there, in every moment.

So here’s to putting my phone down and giving it my best to be all there.

See you guys tomorrow for Friday Favorites and lots of funnies! :)  XOXO!

12 thoughts on “be all there.

  1. pikachu4you says:

    I am so bad at this. Even while working. My mind has been other places then right where I am at that moment. My husband has even started telling me I need to put my phone down. I started a new ritual that at night I leave my cell phone in my purse all night. Everyone knows my home phone, so if it is an emergency they will call right? It has been pretty nice actually being with my dog and husband and not on social media while I’m home.

    Work is another story. It is to easy access to surf the net.

    • chels819 says:

      What a FANTASTIC idea to leave your phone in your purse! Josh is great and leaves it on the charger on the other side of the room. I try not to get on it until he falls asleep if I am struggle to sleep at night. I really want to implement social-media free hours and times of day … let’s see how that goes. :) Thanks for the comment and for relating to my struggle!

      • pikachu4you says:

        I am right there with you. I feel a little since of freedom when I am not tethered to social media. I’m glad I am not the only one who struggles with this. Have a great weekend.

  2. TheWordofANerd says:

    Every single word of this is so true. It was brought to me by my hubby who was starved for my attention one day when I was engrossed in emails and dealing with clients. I realized that I needed to set social boundaries. Sometimes I do good other days I still suck, but I’m learning and I see progress. I miss your online presence but I realize that you have a life outside of IG and blogging. That’s what is really important. I’m proud of you, you always teach good lessons.

    • chels819 says:

      I have been trying to set some better boundaries but it can be so hard too! I feel like I am missing out on so much with my lovely IG ladies and friends, or that my delay in responses are seen as not caring. There is such a fine balance but at the end of the day I CAN find a balance. Love you girl!

  3. Caroline says:

    Preach it sister! this is so true – I am just as guilty! I love dinners with friends or Colby where NO phone is involved!! It’s interesting we were talking the other day about tv in bedrooms (we are adamant about NOT having one), but I think the new rule should be no PHONES in bedrooms – that is a MUCH bigger distraction for me :)

    • chels819 says:

      We actually have a no-tv in the bedroom rule too! I notice even on vacation when there is one in a hotel room how easy it is to disconnect and get sucked into it. I do think the no phones in the bedroom is a great goal to word towards. Even setting some better boundaries for now would be a great thing!! We can do this!

  4. Samara says:

    It’s funny- I am really good at being ‘all there’ in meetings and with friends as I simply turn my phone on silent and put it in my bag, but I don’t pay the same courtesy to my husband and am constantly distracted. Ugh- why do we treat those we love the most, the worst? I have also noticed that, when I don’t instantly reply to texts or if I don’t answer phone calls, people get annoyed at me- say what?? I really dislike the fact that people feel like I should always be available to them- it’s a culture we have created unfortunately :( Good luck on your pursuit of being ‘present’- I challenge you to get home one day, put your phone on silent and keep it in your bag aaaaall evening and spend the time with Josh instead :)

    • chels819 says:

      It is SO true – I am the worst with my husband. It’s like I just give myself permission because I know he will love me regardless. But it’s so unhealthy and I really need to get better at it. I accept your challenge and will let you know how it goes!!! :) XOXO!

  5. dalinsors says:

    Hubby is so bad about this – carries his Ipad around all the time. Whenever I start talking to him and his eyes go to his pad or phone, I walk away. Hoping he gets a clue!

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