Everyday at work when the lunch hour comes around, I go through the same routine. First, I grab my phone and dirty dishes from the day before, then I grab my lunch and make my way down the hall to the conference room with the sink and microwave. I wash my dishes, then put my lunch in the microwave and wait. While I wait, I take out my phone and look at my email, or cruise through the Facebook, or maybe play a game until the microwave beeps, my lunch is done, and it’s time to go eat. Just the other day I decided to change one thing. I left my phone in my office. I washed my dishes, and when I put my lunch in the microwave and set it to three minutes my first thought was, ‘what can I do to make the most of this time?’
That’s when I realized I didn’t bring my phone, and I had three minutes to do nothing. Three minutes have never felt so long. I paced. I walked around the table and looked at the cracks in the wall. I looked out the window by the heater and watched the snow fall. Why do we feel uncomfortable just being present with ourselves? Why is it so weird or different to do nothing while our lunches cook in a microwave? As I stared out at the snow falling, and watched people all bundled up scuffle between buildings, their shoulders hunched I realized that I have been missing out on something small and sweet. It may not be the best view outside this conference room window, but I can see the birds swoop in the dozens from tree to tree, and watch people interact with each other, and watch the snow pile up softly on the windowsill. Life is still happening when we are plugged into our phones.
Now I go through the same routine everyday when the lunch hour comes around. I grab my dirty dishes from the day before, bring my lunch, and I go to the conference room with the sink and microwave. I wash my dishes, then put my lunch in the microwave and go to the window.
I watch, and I feel, and I listen. I think. It feels so nice to be comfortable with myself, my head, and I think. Sometimes I think about what happened today in the news. Sometimes I think about what I’m reading. Sometimes I think about what I want to write. But I will not think about what waits for me in my email, I will not think about who posted what on the Facebook, and I will just be present in the now. Because sometimes, we need time with no technological interference.
Sometimes, we just need to be here.