I've been thinking a lot about connection lately. I'm not as connected to people as I would like to be. By people I am including many: my children, my husband, my extended family, friends, acquaintances (in person and online), restaurant servers, cashiers, passersby... you get the idea.
I spend too much time in my own mind, in a book, on my iPhone or iPad, and not enough time connecting to people.
This became particularly clear to me last week as I engaged with my baby boy while feeding him his jar of baby food. He tasted the food, wrinkling his round little face for the first few bites while deciding how he felt about it. Then he pressed his lips together and smiled. He studied my face as I studied his. I tickled his feet dangling from the high chair; he squealed with delight.
But, you ask, isn't that connecting? To which I say, exactly! I don't recall many other meals from last week. Usually I scramble to feed myself at the same time or I pull out something to read between spoon feedings or I collect coins on Tap Zoo.
Tap Zoo... really? Therein lies my problem. I feel like I need to be busy, even if it's busy doing something stupid. I've been programmed to multitask. Most of us have. If I'm not doing two things at once, I must be slacking off, right? Wrong! And I'll be honest, I'm really bad at multitasking. It's definitely not something I'm meant to do.
So for today (as you may have seen earlier this week, I'm focusing on today because thinking longterm can be paralyzing) I'm paying attention. Whomever is in my presence is my focus. The reading can wait. The devices can wait. I want to truly see, listen, be attentive. I want to be connected.
Do you have any tips? How do you stay connected to people? Are there places in your day where you might be able to better connect? Leave a comment or send me a tweet @smhutchins.