On Not Being Present

Be Aware, Listening and Engaged words on papers pinned to a bullBeing present means having your focus, your attention, and your thoughts and feelings all fixed on the task at hand or the person/people you’re with. Being present requires you to pay attention, to be actively listening to those with whom you are having a dialogue, and to be fully engaged with whatever you’re doing.

Yeah, so what, you ask? Well, I’ve noticed lately that I often am not present. Yes, I’m physically present, but I’m not always aware, listening, or engaged in what I am supposed to be doing.

Like right now while my wife is preparing tonight’s dinner and asked me to keep her company. But I’m not really present, not really paying attention to what she’s saying. What am I doing? I’m writing this post and periodically nodding my head and throwing in an occasional “uh huh” for good measure.

Fortunately, my wife is as bad as I am. She’s always on Twitter in order to get the most up-to-date tweets from others who are also constantly on Twitter. I typically have to say something to her two or three times before she’ll actually look up from her smartphone.

When watching TV, be it a drama, a comedy, or the news, I find myself focusing more on what’s on my iPhone’s screen — my news feed, text messages, the WordPress Reader, and even composing new posts — than on what is playing on the TV.

When my family and I are out to dinner, all four of us are looking at our smartphones more than we are interacting with one another. I do turn off my phone when I go to a movie, but it’s the last thing I look at before the movie starts and I turn it on as soon as the movie’s over to see if I missed anything.

I even look at my iPhone while walking the dog! And yes, while sitting on the toilet doing my bizness.

So I really need to start being more present than I’ve been recently. I need to fight this addiction before it takes over completely.

Just as soon as I check the latest baseball scores on my sports app.

12 thoughts on “On Not Being Present

  1. Deb Whittam June 23, 2018 / 2:56 pm

    It’s a pretty sorry state we have gotten into – we don’t live life we watch it on an app

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bobcb1896 June 23, 2018 / 3:05 pm

    I share a house with my sister (because we’re a couple of old maids) and that’s pretty much it, right down to the baseball scores.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn Armstrong June 23, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    Garry & I have been having this conversation a LOT recently, probably because his cochlear implant is now less than a month away and life is going to change. But i’ve also noticed that when a couple of retired, we are together pretty much all the time. We all need to do our own things as well as share, so no matter how much we communicate, we seem to do it in bursts. I’m pretty sure that’s normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 23, 2018 / 3:53 pm

      Good to know I’m not abnormal! 🤪


  4. Sight11 June 23, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    For this purpose only I have an old smartphone, which is basically like a feature phone. I carry my old one whenever I’m out so that I could focus more on the outside world. But Yeah when I’m at home the smart phone is what keeps me occupied.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. leigha66 June 24, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    A lot of days I am glued to my laptop at home. Even when I watch a movie I have it open “multi-tasking” as best as I can. We are in an instant society with too many distractions to pull us towards the next great thing. Great post Fandango!

    Liked by 1 person

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