Signing Off and Leaning In

If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, does it still make sound? If I don’t take a photo of my baby asleep on my chest, will it still bring me joy? If I don’t share a picture of my date night cocktail, will I still enjoy my husband’s company?

Yes. So much yes.

I’ve been practicing spending less time with my phone, and more time focusing on what really matters. Time spent with my husband is exponentially more fulfilling if some corner of my mind isn’t wondering how many ‘likes’ a photo of us together is getting. Making a conscious effort to be present and observant when snuggling with my kids preserves memories in a way a picture never could. And duh, trees always make noise when they fall, because science.

Facebook and Twitter are no longer on my phone, though I’ve decided to postpone deleting them entirely since they remain the most convenient way to communicate with some people. I used to treat those platforms as my most reliable news source, allowing 500+ “friends” to choose which information is most relevant to me. Most of that news was accompanied by the person’s justifiable rage, which I would consume and allow to compound my own frustration, anger, and devastation. I was finding it increasingly difficult to find reason to celebrate all the beauty and love in my own life, as though it was somehow disrespectful to victims of natural disasters, homophobia, gun violence, sexual assault, ethnic cleansing, etc.  I was in a constant state of mourning.

Now, I check the CNN app daily, but not before I’ve had coffee, meditated, laughed with my family, and exercised. I’m able to fulfill my family’s needs and those of my own with so much more gratitude and energy if my soul hasn’t first been drained by the knowledge of world events. I recognize that it’s only from a place of extreme privilege that I’m able to spend so much time willfully oblivious to tragedies that affect my fellow humans in tangible and irreparable ways, and I do not take that position lightly. But I believe that raising my kids with my whole heart will enable them to grow into the hopeful, virtuous, and loving citizens our world so desperately needs right now.

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