A little moment of inspiration came to me today in the least likely of places.
I had just dropped my youngest sister, Emily, off at her church so she could join my other sister, Katie, who was babysitting at the time. Emily had heard that her friends were there too and wanted to hang out with all of them. Feeling a little tired and a little down since I’ve been neglecting to refill my medication (a story for another day), I decided to get some gummy bears at Publix (the local grocery store in Florida). They are my favorite candy. So much so that I can eat an entire bag by myself in about an hour.
Anyways, I decided to get a refill on my prescription while I was there, which I was told would take about half an hour. So, I decided to wander around the store to waste time. Then I realized something……I forgot my cell phone.
Now those of you who know me and might be reading this know that there are two main things that I have nearly know concept of: time and a sense of direction. So, needless to say, I was a little worried that I would either spend too much time or not enough time around the store as I waiting.
Then I decided to just let go. I decided to not worry about time for once and decided to try feeling a little more present in my life for once. I figured this would be especially good for me since my brain has been a little fuzzy lately.
I ended up not only getting my gummy bears and some of my favorite cereal (I ate the last of the cereal this morning and was missing the Special K Vanilla Almond cereal I love), but I also found the latest issue of two magazines I’ve recently discovered: Mindful and Afar.
After that, feeling like I still had time, I was able to find and chat with my friend from high school, Kristy, who works at Publix. Found out that she’s finishing up her AA and that she’s trying to be a physician’s assistant. I also ran into my family friend David Russell. Then I decided to sit and read a little from my new magazines.
And wouldn’t you know it, my prescription was ready to go when I went to check.
Then, as I was leaving the store and walking through the parking lot, I suddenly heard music. Apparently, a local restaurant I’ve been to several times, The Surf Shack, has live music on Mondays. In that simple moment, getting in my car to head home from the grocery store, I began to feel so present. My brain finally felt clear and I found myself driving home with the windows down.
Driving home, I saw my surroundings with new eyes. I noticed the families going home from the park. I had an urge to yell encouragement at the late day runners. I noticed the people having fun on the local playground and courts, even noticing a guys abs from about three yards away (I was impressed and it stuck in my head). I smiled at the golden pink that was painted across the sky, one of my favorite colors that only appears at sunset. I even smelled Jasmine (my favorite flower) in the air, although I couldn’t see their source.
I was amazed. I didn’t feel so disconnected from the world as I do sometimes, especially off of my meds the last few days. I was there. I was living. And I wasn’t constantly checking my phone.
The mountains in Park City, UT back in January. I was there attending the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
So, this is what I’m going to suggest to myself and others now. Put down the phone. Even if it’s only for a few minutes in the day, put it away. Take a walk, read a book, get a tan, see a movie, anything as long as you’re off your phone.
I’ve experienced this calming sense of presence before: in moments with friends and family when I’m sucked into their stories and antics, in a small new age shop I fell in love with in Park City, UT back in January, and in every movie I see in theaters. However, I guess I never truly realized it’s potential until today.
So, be present of an hour and enjoy the world around you. Who knows what you might discover.