Put the Clutter Away

What taking a moment and going to coffee with someone can really do.

Hey everyone! This blog is a little about why I think it’s so important to just sit down and stop for a moment. Everybody’s lives are so busy; we fill our days with as much as we can. We think that it means we are always productive because we are always doing something. We think we are doing great things for other people because we start tasks and sometimes pick up things from the store that they need. We might even make a phone call in the car while driving. But stop for a moment and really consider the things you are doing. How much time are you really giving to the people in your life? The important relationships in your life? Not to your boss, not to your job, but to your friends and family.

Since playing abroad last year and now again this year, I have found that I love, absolutely love coffee shops and its not for the coffee. Well, I suppose a little bit of it is because I do love coffee. However, the real reason is that I have found this amazing thing that occurs at coffee shops when you go with a friend, or you go with a family member. You put your phone down and you actually listen to the person sitting across from you. You actually invest in the conversation and aren’t half distracted by the tv in the background, or the buzzing of your phone on the table when you get a text. You aren’t rummaging through a clothes rack wondering if that sweater is going to look good on you while you attempt to hold a conversation in a busy store. You might think you are great at it, but let me tell you: our brains actually, physically cannot multitask. Doing multiple things at once make our brain signals jump from one circuit to the other and back again, and sometimes those signals never reach their destination. We end up not being able to fully invest in anything when we try to multitask and it takes its toll in the results we get.

So when you think you can hold an important conversation while driving a car on the highway, I’m sorry to tell you, but you won’t be putting your best and full time into that conversation. You’ll be too distracted by the cars around you, those construction cones, the wet pavement when it’s raining, the horns honking and your conversation starts going in one ear and out the other. I’m not telling you not to call people while your driving (it’s a great way to pass the time and just say hey), but I am saying to hold the important things to when you can actually invest the time needed into them.

When we take the time to stop for a moment, to grab coffee, to sit on the couch in the living room without the TV on, to stay a moment later at the dinner table when everyone is done eating, we actually learn so much more about the people around us.

We go, go, go all day long and never take a break. We don’t always take a moment to just sit down with our friends, with our family, with those we love, to just listen, to talk, and to really get to understand them. We think that caring for someone means always doing things for them, always doing fun things with them. Often we feel we have to be doing something exciting to make it worth their while to hang out with us and to care about us back. But honestly, we just have to be with them. Sometimes you’re presence is all that’s needed. But more often, we need to take the time to sit down with people. To put our phones away, to not be looking constantly in store windows searching for the next best thing, to not be distracted by emails, car horns, and other people. We don’t have to go out to some super fancy new restaurant, or the new store that just opened. The only thing we have to do is not be distracted from what is really important in our lives. We all have our responsibilities and things we absolutely have to do; there is no avoiding going to work, to the doctor, to that staff meeting early in the morning. All I’m saying, is don’t let those few hours of free time you do get to spend with you family and friends become so congested with all the other clutter that we tend to fill it up with.

So for those of you reading this, take a moment and call a good friend, or family member you haven’t spoken to for a while. Ask someone to go grab a cup of coffee and put your phone on silent, upside down and out of sight. Sit for a few more minutes at the dinner table and ask the people around you how they are doing, how they are really doing. Just open up to listening and not letting your own stuff overshadow theirs. You’ll be amazed at how these moments create stronger bonds and a deeper trust in those close to you. So right now, count backwards 5…4…3…2…1…and do it.

Much Love.

Middle From the Middle

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