Friday, January 4, 2013

My Goal for 2013: Slow Down

If you're like me, and I assume if we're connected via any of the social channels in which you're accessing this that you are, I'd like to provide a suggestion for 2013: slow down.

We keep getting faster at everything we do. Our cars go faster. Our phones and computers provide information faster. Heck, even our news is delivered as it's happening. And I'm not saying that it's a bad thing.

But I think we're missing out on a lot by trying to go so fast. For everytime I see a parent checking their email instead of watching their kids participate in something or everyone checking email at a red light instead of enjoying the scenery, I just wonder if we're not all missing the point of life and community.

Life is about experiencing things both through our own eyes and those of others. It's great to be happy for others when they have great experiences or when they find success, but isn't it even more important to stop taking for granted all that we have and to start appreciating the things we've been afforded?

My daughters have all sorts of toys in the car -- without them it'd be tough to remain sane. However, with all the lights up for the holidays, I've encouraged them to stop and look around instead of remaining focused on their various games. When they did, they noticed the excitement and beauty of the different decorations and it made me realize how much we were missing. I'm still going to let them play with the toys on long trips, but on short trips, I'm going to work harder to get them to look around and see what's happening around us because they're missing some pretty cool things.

If you want to talk about the politics of how our country has changed in the last 30 years that's fine, I'm no Obama supporter, but I do think technology has played a large role when it comes to family values, responsibility, and overall goodwill towards each other. Twenty years ago, we had to be decent to each other because we couldn't hide behind devices. We couldn't post bad things about people via Facebook because it didn't exist. We couldn't miss out on our children growing up because there were way fewer distractions.

I'm as guilty as anyone else of always being in a hurry to get to whatever is next on my plate, but I've realized, that I need to slow down and enjoy the moment. Things are really good right now and if we don't take time to enjoy it, we won't have anything to look back on in the future. Rushing to get to the next thing means giving less attention to what's happening right now -- and that's not right.

So go ahead with your diets and exercises and quitting things and any other new year's resolutions you might have for 2013, but also step back and try to slow down life as much you can. Put down your phones and tablets. Look out the window. Take more deep breaths. See what the sunset looks like with your own eyes (and not thru someone's post on Facebook). Enjoy what it is we have, because you never know when it'll be over.

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