It’s been almost a month since my last post. A lot has happened.
My family and I got Corona, and as such were stuck in our house for… quite a while… with two kids that are getting more used to a lack of ‘normal life’ than the organized daycare and schedule that was over a year ago.
My wife and I also have had trouble keeping to how we envisioned raising our kids, until now have not really given them any ‘screen’ watching time… but as both of us were becoming more and more weak and less and less creative we caved and gave the kids some ‘quality’ time watching videos on our phones and computer.
It is amazing how quickly children under the age of five can adapt to technology.
In a way, I’m a bit sad for them. They are going to grow up in a World where the smartphone is a normal. If I had the choice to undo the modern smartphone I would. I remember before cellphones were really a thing, only when I was in high school did people start carrying around the classic Nokia.
I feel like humanity has shifted, our behavior has changed just enough that it has impacted our interface and understanding of life itself since the iphone came out just about 15 years ago. When I got my first iphone I noticed in myself that I never had anymore awkward social moments because whenever I didn’t know what to do I could always just take out my phone and check my email or play a game, or find some other app to distract myself from the moment. To distract myself from reality. To distract myself from life.
Ever since the modern smartphone has come out, my life has seemed to speed up at an incredible rate.
I’ve been thinking of why, and I have an interesting theory that the relation between free choice and habits, and the interface with time is non linear (that time is relative to our level of consciousness in the moment) but that will probably require a full post in the future.
What I really want to express is the importance having to wait. We live in an instant world, one where we rarely have to deal with waiting for anything. Forgot the lyrics to a song? Look it up! Question you don’t know? Google it! When was the last time we had to wait for anything?
Well, with Corona we all have to deal with waiting again. Each of us has probably had to deal with waiting for something, either a test result, or to hear about a family member or friend, or to leave the house, or in line to get into a store…
I’ve had to deal with waiting again, that’s for sure.
And how we can’t stand to wait! But maybe this time is a gift? Maybe this time is useful to us in our Human experience. Maybe this time is not for waiting at all – maybe it is for anticipating!
When teaching a kid to play ball, you teach him to anticipate where the ball is going to be. Big difference between waiting for the baby to come, and ‘expecting’.
Waiting is passive. Anticipating is active.
I very rarely have random free moments. Either I’m taking care of the kids, or the house, or working on my relationship with my wife, family, or friends, or at work, or on my way to work, or eating, or learning Torah, or working on one of my personal projects (like this blog), or studying to be a marriage counselor, or a million other things.
But every once in a while I get blessed with a few moments of random free time which I didn’t plan for something else to be done. Maybe I’m on the bus to work and I forgot to bring something to study on the way. If I was a kid I would’ve been bored… but now – what a gift! Just enough time to think. To take the moments, and not be doing anything, but to be running through ideas in my head – clearing the RAM (computer reference) if you will.
I used to have these moments all the time! Either going for a nice drive and seeing the beautiful World, or sitting by a campfire and just watching the flames, going hiking… I think these moments are very important. Maybe I should actually start to plan these free times into my schedule…
So sometimes we have times where we are forced to do nothing. We can either be held down by the weight of the ‘wait’. Or we can be in the moment, we can anticipate Life, by living it! By being there.
That’s one thing I hope my children will still be able to have when they grow up. The ability to be in the moment, the ability to live life, and to think – not to be distracted by the various options of instant gratification. To be able to live in the moment. To be able to wait, without lacking.