Embrace Your Hike

In May of 2016, my friend Alicia and I drove to the bay area for an Anne Lamott writing workshop. Listening to Anne Lamott speak is like eating a giant platter of noodles. Some are undercooked, some are mushy, some are all tangled up. But underneath piles of noodles are the most amazing meatballs I've ever tasted. And when I get a bite of perfectly cooked pasta with a savory, mouthwatering meatball...I just close my eyes and fall backwards straight into bliss.

Anne dished up a few meatballs during the workshop. Many of her words were about writing. But some of them were about life. A quote I wrote down in my journal was this:

"If you have a phone in your pocket, it's a whole different kind of hike."

Stop.

It reminded me of this picture. Just take 30 seconds and stare at it. Don't keep scrolling.



My phone keeps me connected with everyone I love and issues I care about. Some of my favorite memories are recorded in my phone. My parents are skilled in the emoji arts. My brother can wield a .gif like a superstar. Every morning I scroll through Facebook headlines to see what people are up to. Instagram inspires me. Pinterest tortures me.

But I must admit, I've been wondering lately about the effects of always having a phone in my pocket. Am I so busy capturing moments electronically that I miss the essence of the moment itself? Is my live tweet somehow diminishing my live experience?

I don't know.

A friend recently posted a selfie from her front porch that said, "Enjoying a quiet evening with my love, watching the sunset and focusing on each other".

Hmm.

Are we all so connected that we somehow become disconnected?

Maybe.

We live in an extraordinary time in history. Technology enables us to do things we could barely dream of when I was growing up. But sometimes I long for lazy conversations without a phone on the table.

I want to become as skilled at saving memories in my heart as I am at saving memories in my cloud.

We overload our senses by multitasking our experiences.

Some moments were meant to only be savored once, to live in the deepest parts of our hearts and minds. Sometimes what is seen with our eyes and heard with our ears is meant just for us. It's okay to lean up against the fence and drink in a moment that will never be seen again. It's really okay. Our human hearts were built to store these little gems.

On my deathbed I probably won't say, "Hurry honey, bring me my phone. I want to remember all the good times." 

I hope the good stuff I have buried in my heart will be enough to carry me through to the other side.

When we take our phones out of our pockets, when we silence them and put them away, we let the moment shape us in a different way. Our senses wake up. Our hearts make room for beauty.

In other words, it's a different kind of hike.








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