The Gift of… Being Present
Merry Christmas, it’s me! <3
I don’t know about you but I spend so much time on my phone! Thanks to Apple’s screen time feature, I’m able to see just how much time. Granted, my job requires that I be on social media and design graphics and different things that I have to be on the phone or computer for but I really have no excuses on weekend and holiday breaks. Unless an urgent post is needed but that’s the extent of it.
Have you ever gotten false or unrealistic expectations due to what you saw online? I have. For me, it was Instagram. I am in no way against Instagram—merely going to make a point. For me, I realized that I was spending way too much time online. I’d spent hours on end on Instagram alone. Looking for hearts, seeing people’s “perfect lives” with their seemingly amazing marriages and friends and I compared that to where I was in the moment instead of seeing it for what it was.
I began to realize that it’s easy to get caught up in what we see without even realizing it. Well, that was me so I pulled the plug. I deactivated for a little over a month and it was amazing!!! I hadn’t realized how attached I was to Instagram. I was living my life in moments considering what could be used from each day as my next insta post. I’m often times inspired by various things in life where my writing is concerned so it’s no surprise that my moment by moment living could easily become my next post on Instagram.
You may be asking, “What does this have to do with the gift of being present???” Keep reading 😉
I reactivated my account on Thanksgiving. I know, an interesting time. Well, at this point I felt like I’d been off long enough to realize when I’m online for too long and when I’m neglecting one of the most important things in life to me: quality time with my loved ones! We live in a time of constant distractions and I felt like the ringleader of being distracted. (Being dramatic here…) But when I reactivated—some things in me had changed.
I no longer felt the need to sign in. I didn’t feel it necessary to post. I wasn’t looking for moments in each day that inspired a post. When I did post, I wasn’t checking in to see how many likes I’d gotten. In fact, honestly, I can still spend quite a bit of time on there mainly watching an interesting on encouraging IGTV but that’s the gist of it—for the most part. After so long, however, I begin to get bored with it and sign off. My notifications are not on so I log on if a friend and I were DMing but that’s pretty much it.
So now, it’s Christmas time! The opportunities for posts are endless, right? Christmas advents, sales and different opportunities. They’re all great! My one desire this year—and maybe my biggest hope is to BE PRESENT. Sure, I’m in the room with my family and having a great time. But if my phone is out—am I really there? If I’m watching insta stories or checking my feed every few minutes, am I giving the gift of me in the best way?
I believe that the best gift I can give to my family this year is the gift of me being present. Of course I’ll give other things but the material possessions I gift to others can easily fade away. There’s only one me, everything else is replaceable. I’m here today and I believe I’ll live a long time, of course. But, what if I decided to move away someday? I can still come home for the holidays but what if I couldn’t? *I try to stay on the side of not being morbid and I don’t like the thought of death so bare with me here… :p
All that to say, we can catch all the sales and get our loved ones the desires of their hearts! DO IT!! But, I bet they want you to be there too! I think of my grandma who I hope to visit for the holiday, she knows nothing about social media or cell phones and life as we have it today. I’d love to spend time with her—all of me with no phones or technology in sight. Will I spend the whole day away from my phone? Maybe not. But my desire is to discern the moments that matter most and live from there.
Looking for gift ideas? Start with the gift of YOU! Your presence is vital to all who know you! Time is an expensive asset and it’s important how we use it. Let’s count the cost of what it really means to use our time wisely. Instagram will be there tomorrow, and the day after. Time with family is far and few in between—at least it is for me. Most of my family lives plane rides away. This year I’ll give all that money can buy—reasonably of course. But I’ll also give the most expensive gift there is and that there will ever be, I’ll give the gift of me! 🙂