Saturday, April 27, 2013

A to Z Challenge: If X Marks The Spot, You Are Here

 You Are Here
One of many benefits of being retired is the ability to live in the here and now.  For years when I was working and raising a family, I always had too many things to do.  Even when I was attending an event or sitting in a meeting, my mind had moved on to all the other things that I had to do.  The X on a map may have showed that I was there, but mentally I had moved on.
As a young mother I attended my son's little league games, but many times I brought along work related reading material.  I was there, but not fully engaged. I know that now, but at the time I thought I was doing the best that I could to balance the demands of my work with family life.  The reality is that I short-changed the people that I love the most, my family.
The technology has improved greatly over the years and now parents can carry their work with them everywhere they go.  At any event that I attend, I see people with their fingers working the keys of their cell phones.  Instead of enjoying a performance live, audience members are busy recording it on their cell phones to post to Facebook. 
The ability to multi-task is a valuable skill, but there is also worth in offering your undivided attention.  The way to show staff, family or friends that they are important to you is to pay attention.  Show those you care about that they are important by focusing on them and what they have to say.  I think this is especially true for the children in your life.
My grandchildren are still small, but they are growing up quickly.  I know how fortunate I am to be able to spend time with them.  I am building relationships with them now, while they still like hanging out with me.  I hope that will carry us through the teenage years when I expect they won't be quite so eager to spend time with Nana.  When I'm with the girls I still carry a cell phone, but they are my priority...really, what is more important than grandchildren?



  1. I feel so fortunate that I didn't work when my kids were young. I devoted myself entirely to them and while I don't regret it, I think I was too involved. They always say I was an overprotective, helicopter mom. That's their opinion, not mine. They grow up so fast and I didn't want to miss a minute of it.

    Gorgeous granddaughters!

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  3. I see people all the time these days with their noses in their smartphones, no matter where they are: having coffee, on the bus, walking on the street, talking with friends. I am not a very good multitasker so I don't do it often myself. My coffeeshop companion complains if I don't give him my full attention. But the world has changed dramatically in the past decade, and not for the better. Only two more days of A-Z!

  4. Sometimes I wonder if I retired too soon. Sure, we would have a little more money now, but time is so precious, something money can't buy.
    I feel the same way about my grandkids. Mine are still at an age where having a sleepover at Grandma's is magical and the best.
    I know that probably won't always be the case. But I think our relationship will always be special.
    And you are so right about cell phones, and i-thises and i-thats. Interactions with really interacting.

  5. Lovely post on what is truly important in life.

  6. I have trouble living in the here and now even though I'm retired. Something I'm willing to have happen, though.

  7. Real life people are always more important that fingers tapping on keys. I think people concentrate on people even less now than we used to do.

  8. Very good advice. As Friko says, there's an irony in the fact that the more ways we have to communicate, the less we actually focus on real people. And I hate seeing mums and dads with their kids on the bus, not pointing out what's outside the windows, or just enjoying the ride together, but ignoring the kids while they're on the phone to someone else. Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon, but I really think they should just TALK sometimes.

  9. Don't bet on them not wanting to spend time with you as teenagers, I spent as much time as I could with all my grandparents as a tween, teen & adult. Its a special relationship and you're setting that foundation of importance to each other. So wonderful!

  10. Nothing is more important than your grandchildren. Good advice.


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