“Please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible”

Remember calling someone and getting that message. What did you do when you heard it? Probably left a message and waited at least a few hours before calling back. What did you think when you got that message? Probably not much of anything other than you hoped they’d call you back soon.
Can you IMAGINE getting that message now? Now in the age of cell phones everyone expects their calls to be answered IMMEDIATELY and if not they want to know where you were that you couldn’t answer. They feel short changed and angry that you might be unavailable to them. I get it…I have fallen into that trap before too. Quite often if I’m honest. Lately though as I’ve been trying to be more present in my life I”m realizing that being available 100% to anyone that wants me is exhausting! Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone – its not that I don’t want to talk to YOU, its just that I want to enjoy my children’s stories about school without the interruption. I want to be able to focus and appreciate and enjoy what I am doing each and every moment without feeling OBLIGATED to answer every call and every text and every email for risk of someone being angry or irritated.
I’ve thought about this a lot lately. The more I try to live consciously the more things like this irritate me. I mean what’s wrong with being out of touch for a few hours? For people to simply wait for a returned phone call (without being angry they couldn’t reach you in the first place!) Or have dinner together and actually talk with each other without checking their phone for texts and emails? I’m still guilty of it myself sometime although less than before…I mean it is hard to resist the ding notifying you of a new email or the buzz of a new text message when you’re phone is an extension of your person. Who is it? What do they want? The message is clear…I am important and must take care of it all now. Pfft! What has happened to our sense of manners? Would you walk away in the middle of a conversation with someone to go talk to someone in the other room? Would you just stand up in the middle of a restaurant and go make a phone call? How do you think the person you’re talking to or having dinner with feels when you pull out your phone? Are our lives that busy that we can’t afford to “unplug” and enjoy individual moments anymore? Maybe for some but that is not the way I want to live or raise my children.

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