Lately, I’ve been thinking about my grandma. My grandma was a rancher. She owned about 400 acres in a valley north of Cortez. By the time that I knew her, she was in her 80s. She got up early everyday to milk the cow and work on the never-ending list of chores that comes with a farm. Her skin was leathery from being in the sun, and she had the pragmatic, somewhat prickly disposition that come with hard work in the dirt.
My work is different. While my grandma worked with her hands and her back, I work with my mind and my heart. I focus on what others feel, and care about their pain, which is something that my grandma wouldn’t have valued much.
What I find myself thinking about today is how connected she was to her life. She didn’t have a cell phone, social media accounts, or a computer. She watched TV at night when she couldn’t sleep, but I found that a lot of her daily life was led in solitude. She certainly had a connection to her life that I sometimes envy. In this age of my life, I am constantly surrounded by information. The internet, Instagram, Facebook, and the business of owning a business in the digital age means opportunities for learning and connection beyond anything our grandparents had.
In the midst of all of this, I find myself still looking for connection. Though email and Facebook allow me to connect to friends and loved ones that are far away, I value the face-to-face interaction of coffee or lunch. I have discovered the value of a dog walk as it is an opportunity to catch up (and it makes the dog happy too). It becomes a genuine time of connection with those I care about.
This week, I want to think about connection and connect more with the people in my life. There’s a simple way to do this. Pick one person that you want to connect with, a friend you haven’t talked to, or a family member whose time you may take for granted. Take the opportunity to ask them for some technology/distraction free time. Get coffee and set the rule that you will leave your phone in the car. For half an hour, the world won’t end. If you want, feel free to comment with how it went.
I’d love to hear from you.