Whether it is the simplicity of checking your emails on your phone, taking photo’s or reading posts on Facebook, it seems as though we have our faces glued to a small device that takes up far too much too in our lives.
As I sit in my office, I look out the window at the man immersed in his phone almost get hit by a car. I see a woman holding the hand of her child while flipping through who knows what, her child tugging at her for attention. Then there is the daughter or perhaps caregiver pushing an older person in a wheelchair glued to her phone hitting a big crack in the sidewalk jolting the person in the chair. Fortunately not so hard as they fall out. But…..
It made me think of myself. You know what they say about judging others when you might want to look at yourself. I, am, guilty. Guilty of the phone ‘face-plant’. As much as I protest when I see others doing it I do it too at times. I think back to a beautiful day at the coast this past weekend with my face stuck to the phone taking photos. Granted, I’ve got some nice pictures, but I don’t remember how the day ‘felt.'
As family caregivers there can be days that hit you like a brick wall. It seems like you can’t move, can’t breathe and everything just seems hopeless. Overwhelm sets in that paralyzes you and you wonder how you can ever go on. Will things ever get better? You too may find yourself gazing off into your device as a way of escape.
Your days are not always easy; I remember the ups and downs that occur. I remember hearing from friends how I needed to get out and do more for myself. Or even the occasional ‘suggestions’ on how I should be doing things differently. People with the best of intentions but had no real clue what I was going through.
You feel that you should be acting and reacting in certain ways but wasn’t it just yesterday that you were a daughter? How did this happen? How could life have gone by so quickly that you look at your Mom and she’s just not the same, and you are caring for her?
Then you find your way back to the phone, the ‘magic’ that will take you away. Whew!
I encourage you to find another way. Those little devices can be lifesavers don’t take me wrong. But they cannot be a substitute for life. They cannot be, never will be the same as looking a person right in the eye and paying attention regardless of how difficult things may be. They will never be the same as an ocean breeze in your face or the smell of salt air.
Take time to create your memories. Revive your soul. Look into your loved one’s eyes and acknowledge their presence, perhaps their pain. This is all we have folks. No rehearsal and you can’t get time back.
Put your phone down. Take time out, and breathe.