And love of the BINGS
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A recent conversation at my kitchen table:
“So, today”—BING … “Maybe we should”—BING … “Ok, So today”—BING … “I was just thinking”—BING … “So, I was going to say”—BING … “Today would be a good day for”—BING … “Ok, I forgot”—BING.
And before you ask why I don’t turn my notifications off, I don’t turn them off because every time I do, I miss something! Twice, I’ve missed false fire alarms, and the fire truck with firemen in full protective gear showed up to silence the alarm while I was munching on popcorn at the movies.
Even more distressing, I miss calls from my kids. I hate that! When I see their names on the missed calls, my stomach sinks. Why is it always my first thought that something terrible has happened?
So now I have FOMO!
Even though the reality of this situation—what actually happens when I turn off my notifications—is a big fat nothing! The firemen came and went. I think I even sensed a bit of glee that they had a chance to practice, and I called my kids back. And added to that, I saw two movies and had an uninterrupted conversation!
That’s good, right?
Then, why can’t I shake this fear of missing out? The meta-answer is that my feelings of loneliness and isolation since the kids moved away have led to feelings of social anxiety. I crave relationships with other people. This leads me to wonder: Are true, reciprocal, meaningful relationships a thing of the past? Nostalgic memories come to mind whenever I ask myself about things like that.
Back in the dark ages, before cell phones were our fifth appendage and you looked people in the eye when having a conversation, spending time together was in person and uninterrupted. That rarely happens anymore since families and friends are spread across the globe.
We used to make road trips to Grandma’s house every holiday. Now, we all log in to a scheduled family Zoom call. On one hand, it’s pretty amazing that we can do it, with Mom in Mexico, brothers in Utah, a niece in Germany, and children in Nevada and Pennsylvania. Technically, we “see” each other. But it sure is different from piling into the spare rooms and sleeping on the sofa bed at Grandma’s house. I used to love waking up to have breakfast together in her kitchen and spending the day doing nothing. It didn’t feel like we were doing nothing when we did it together.
Spending time with friends has seemed almost nonexistent over the last few years. We used to see each other at the kids’ sports games and school days, and my husband’s work functions. Now that everyone works remotely and there are no more school days, we have to PLAN … get togethers just don’t happen. Which leads full circle to the BINGS, where my tirade began.
In lieu of face-to-face conversations, we’ve been reduced to sharing our lives via text—which for me means more anxiety. Rarely do I have the time and wherewithal to add something meaningful to the conversation. I’ve tried emojis, and you know that I loathe them. I’ve also told you about my love of motivational sayings. One saying that I truly hate, but I’ll use it anyway, is: You do you.
I hate it because it seems flippant and self-indulgent. Nonetheless, I’ve set goals for myself this year to:
1. Have more fun, and
2. Stop waiting.
These goals may seem a little esoteric, especially for a self-proclaimed list maker and box checker. I’m still figuring out the implementation process, but I vow to spend more time away from my cell phone.
Have you set your goals yet? What are you vowing to do?
Oh, and please forgive me if I don’t respond to your group text.