As the year comes to an end, I cannot help but think, “What happened to 2019?” Not sure how the year has been for you, but it seems like a blur…and several friends that I have spoken to agree that it went by really fast, and it what was just an “odd” year.
For years, I have encouraged people to open their heart and their mouth at the same time. Usually, for me it means all the positive feelings, the appreciation and grateful sentiments and words do not go unspoken. But at this moment in time as I reflect on this last year, I have to admit it feels different. Here’s why.
I turned 55 in 2019 and yes, I am SO grateful to be alive, healthy and happy to have family, friends and a business I absolutely love. I definitely do not feel “old”…but I do feel like I am still adapting to this digital, information, Facebook, Instagram world. It’s quite an adjustment dealing with technology, social media and being connected to everything and everybody all the time! Combined with incessant information being pushed at me every minute, it can feel heavy. It’s just A LOT! One thing I realized is that while I may have the bandwidth to absorb it all, sometimes I just don’t want to be on the receiving end all of it. It feels like I am full from a great meal, and someone is force feeding me more food and I could just burst.
Part of the reason 2019 feels like it raced by faster than a speeding bullet is that seems more challenging to be fully present, a characteristic that is so important and one that I have sought to develop for decades. But to be fully transparent, it is more challenging for me these days. In order to keep messages clear, I have different “bings” and noises for all the different platforms for communication on my mini-computer that most people call a smart phone. (Let’s face it, it’s a mini computer) Email alerts me with a “bing”, text messages alert me with a “chime”, What’s App sounds like a bell, when my husband texts me the alert is specific to him, my daughters texts to me have a unique “choo choo” sound, obviously when the phone actually rings that is a different sound altogether. And somehow, without any programing from me, it makes a different “buzz” sound and shows me news alerts, headlines or updates. In case you have been living under a rock, let me tell you, there has been a lot of breaking news in 2019. At any given moment my “mini-computer” is vibrating, binging, chiming, ringing, choo chooing, buzzing and its actually comical. Then there is the whole visual, non-stop stimulus of scrolling, and finding oneself going down the rabbit whole of videos, or pictures on social media. One night I found myself watching literally a dozen make up tutorials,…. yes, I watched 18-22 year old girls applying make up and contoured their faces into completely transformed humans.. one second it was 11:15pm and the next thing I knew it was 1am…. I mean, who does that ?!?!
Evidently, people do. After I judged myself, and tried to self-evaluate what was wrong with me? I realized I am not alone. Millions of people are doing the deep digital dive and its at our own expense.
That was one of my 2019 revelations. The boundaries we have learned to create with certain people (you know the ones that zap your energy and you learned to not answer or reply every time they reach out of self-preservation), are very similar to the boundaries that we must create with our relationship to technology. Our “mini-computers” now have timers and indicators that let us know how much time we spend on different platforms. Clearly, someone realized we are paying the price for the addictive connection that we have with our technology.
Now that I have shared the glaringly obvious, and vented a bit, I will get to the good part. The good part is that boundaries are good. Self- preservation is good. Realizing that human connection is always better than digital connection is good and most importantly, making a decision to reconnect to myself and disconnect from the “binging machine” is good. Recognizing that not once, ever, have a stayed up late reading a book with my highlighter flying across inspiring messages have I judged myself or wondered “How could you have done that?” Yet, I have definitely asked myself that while scrolling through random twitter posts, Instagram fitness videos and mindless finger swiping through
Facebook for too many minutes at a time. True confessions, part of why 2019 feels “odd” is because I allowed time to be robbed from me. Not all the time of course, but enough for me to not feel completely congruent considering I teach that time is our most precious commodity.
As 2020 approaches, I am so very excited because I am looking forward to the many hours of learning and living, the many books I will read, the lessons I will learn, the expansion that will happen and immersing myself in my passion – people. I cannot wait for the true connections that will occur. As I reflect on 2019 I am so grateful for the many memories, the revelations and clearly see my current path and future, after all hindsight is 2020.
PS (Also, I like to end on a very positive note J and another revelation that I had in 2019 is the age is JUST a number. I ran 5.5 miles on my 55th birthday and it represents the longest distance I have ever run and am more fit now than I was at 45. So, for all my friends over 40, and over 50, we women are rockstars, lady bosses who have come into our own and my belief is that 50 is the new 30.)