Column: Living in the moment

When was the last time you just sat in a chair and just thought? No distractions, no television, no devices. Just you and your mind.

“Live in the moment!”

That’s what a family member told me recently. At the time I was watching the World Series, game 7. However, I was watching a recorded version because I wasn’t able to watch it live. I was several innings behind the live broadcast but that didn’t bother me. I had avoided social media and other forms of communication so as to avoid learning the score. This greatly bothered my family member because she was watching live and wanted someone to share the experience with. I eventually saw the Chicago Cubs win their first world series in 108 years, about two hours after everyone else.

The comment “live in the moment” got me thinking. What would I have done twenty years ago, when PVR technology didn’t exist? I suppose I would have missed a good portion of the game. The part I did see would have been live, so I would have been living in the moment and sharing that with the rest of the viewing audience. Would that have been better than being a few hours behind? I guess we’ll never know for sure.

The other day, I was grabbing a coffee. As I waited in line, I noticed that no-one on the queue was looking up or forward. They were all looking down at their phones. Lines for coffee used to be perfect opportunities to strike up a conversation. Now we were all consumed with our devices. I wonder what the future holds for the next couple of generations. Will they even know how to have a conversation that doesn’t involve a text message?

When was the last time you just sat in a chair and just thought?

No distractions, no television, no devices. Just you and your mind.

I can’t remember the last time I did that.

I think it would be a bit scary at first but I am sure it would be ultimately relaxing. Our minds are such powerful organs capable of so much. I know for sure that I use my phone to tune out my mind. I use it to unwind. Somewhere along the line, it replaced just sitting and looking out a window at the beautiful sunset.

The price we pay for being more connected to the outside world is we lose touch with our part of the world. We miss noticing those right in front of us.

So I am going to make more of an effort to live in the moment.

I will keep my phone in my pocket as I wait for my coffee. I will try and watch a few sunsets and do some thinking in a chair.

I encourage you to do the same. If you see me in line at the coffee shop, feel free to strike up a conversation. Just don’t ask me about urban growth. Don’t get me started!

Rob Murphy is the sales manager at the Summerland Review.