I’m a week into a little trip back to the Land of My Fathers (Old North Wales) from my adopted Home Down Under (New South Wales, Straya) and so far am loving every minute. It helps that I left a beautiful Summer to travel to an incredibly festive Winter and that every day is filled with seeing some of my absolute favourite people. I do find my self wondering whether I’m being a little duplicitous.
One of my key priorities for this coming year is to try and be more ‘present’. Most people who know me well would testify to me being a prolific Social Media Updator (I’m aware of the inaccuracy of that suffix but I’m quite enjoying the simultaneous nod to Antiquated English and its likening me to a dinosaur) – the curse of being so attached to your phone is that you can miss what is going around you or, equally, be so engaged in whether the Instasphere© would most appreciate ‘Clarendon’ or ‘Gingham’ that you your self miss the moment. Being present whilst at home means doing my darnedest to just savour every moment in my family’s company and keep the phone away. I’m partially succeeding.
You only have to look around on public transport in most major cities to see that most people are so lost in their mobile devices whilst travelling that they’re not really ‘there’. It is SUPER tempting whilst in either the UK or OZ to fawn over what is happening in my other home or to relentlessly be sharing what is happening, but again, never really be present my self.
Time is our most precious resource to steward, this is one of my major realisations as I get older. We only get moments once: relationships can fade, loved ones leave and seasons change – this being one of the reasons we want to try and immortalise as much as we can through our social media feed.
The fact is that a snapshot will only ever be just that, however. We can duck-face, filter-fest or selfie wand a moment in front of the Opera House to oblivion but technology still doesn’t allow me to squeeze my nephew’s hand, kiss my Nanna’s cheek or truly to soak in that sunset first hand. A filter is by its very nature superficial only when you are present can you fully engage in the depth of beauty a moment holds – far more edifying that a scratch-and-sniff moment at the end of a thumb scroll.
A very wise man once said ‘Don’t Worry about Tomorrow when each day has enough worries of its own’. But I’d add to that and say why focus on where you’re going (because you’ll get there anyway) when there is stuff to be enjoyed right here and now.
So to go back to my earlier comment about being duplicitous with my two ‘homes’, on reflection, I think you can have as many homes as you like. If a home, be it bricks and mortar, a post code or a city, has the emotional attachment of a place where ‘one’s domestic affections are centred’ then home can be wherever you heart is, wherever you lay that hat of yours or just wherever you are. Where we shortchange ourselves however is constantly looking to the past, future or elsewhere for our satisfaction. On that note – check out this thought provoking ditty
I’m in no way anti-social media, quite the contrary, as mentioned above. I’m just asking my self what I’m missing out on by not fully being in the moment. I’ve only got two weeks left here Yng Nghymru and I intend to wring every moment dry for what it’s worth, and then, when I go back home, to do the same there. We can never truly know what tomorrow holds so let’s pour ourselves into what we have held in our hands right now.
I’m sure most reading this have this concept more down pat than I do, but if you don’t, ask your self, what might you be missing?