*Recently I wrote about struggling with having enough time in my life to do all the things I want to do. I was fortunate to have someone ( Lisa Ricard Claro) comment on my blog and say exactly what I needed to hear. I became aware of the fact that I needed to prioritize and spend my time on what’s really important to me. To some degree, I get to choose what to do and how to spend my time.
I have made some changes and I am liking the results. I am basically editing my normal routine to spend more time on what’s important to me and less time on what is not.
My time spent on social media, surfing the net, and emails has diminished greatly. I have found more time, and I am loving it. This new freedom made me think of a piece I wrote about a year and a half ago. I wanted to share it with you.
Last Friday I attended my daughter’s regional track meet. As it often happens, I am there much earlier than when any of her events start. She likes me to bring her a sandwich from Jimmy John’s or Subway; however, she wants time for the food to settle before she has to run. So, I show up early.
I was looking through the stands, seeing if I knew anyone, and where I might find a good seat for myself and my husband, who would be joining me later. My random seat choice ended up being the best choice I could have made.
I sat by a lady who is a teacher and middle school track coach. She was there for three reasons: 1) She had former students/athletes running; 2) Her son who ran in college was now a high school track coach; and 3) She just loves track.
We sat there for hours. Despite the cold, wind, and rain, we had a wonderful time visiting. My impression of her was that she was genuine, funny, smart, capable, and utterly content with her simplistic lifestyle. Being a teacher, she has her summers off. She lives in the country, enjoys gardening, exercising, reading, and seeing family anytime she can. She engages in no social media….none. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus+, Tumbler, etc. She doesn’t own an iPhone. She has a flip phone.
I’ll be the first to admit, I was really taken back by all of this. Actually, I was kind of astonished. I have aunts in their 80s who are on Facebook. Almost everyone I know loves Pinterest. Most people I know use some form of social media. Here was an attractive, sharp middle aged woman with no interest in social media. Not having a smart phone, she doesn’t take any pictures, she doesn’t check her email, she doesn’t participate in any social media, and she has the same ring tone no matter who calls. I know this because her son, daughter in law, and husband all called during the course of our day.
So, I couldn’t help myself, I did question her about her lack of interaction with the world. How could she not be on Facebook? She really only checks her email once a day? And, her phone gets put up when she gets home? She doesn’t keep it by her bedside or by her all the time? She was so sure of herself and felt nothing was lacking in her life.
I guess what really got me was: What does she do with all that extra time? How does she not feel like she is missing out? How can she live that simply and be that content? She honestly seemed like one of the most satisfied, content, and happy individuals I have ever met. I was impressed and mystified all at the same time. At the end of the meet (yes, we stayed until the very last race) we had become fast friends. Obviously, we won’t stay connected through social media, but she said perhaps we would see one another at a future track meet and she would look out for my daughter’s future successes in track. They aren’t in our league, but there is a chance I will see her again. And, I believe her, she will remember my daughter’s name and she will cheer her on. She is that kind of person.
This whole experience made me reevaluate how I use social media and how often I use technology. I do think it’s important to have balance, and that is what I am striving for.
*Photo – flickr, MKHmarketing @ startbloggingonline.com