It seems like just yesterday our days were filled with nail appointments, brow waxes, facials, and pedicures. With work, car pick-ups, dance lessons, and baseball practice. With drive-through dinners that every one ate on their own, or with their noses buried in their phones. With a quick work-out, signing off on homework, washing a uniform for tomorrow’s game, loading the dishwasher, and maybe a few words in passing to our spouse and kids. This is how we spent our days.
The final moments of chaos were spent scrolling our phones or catching up on The Crown. We may have had angry words with a stranger on Facebook about a difference in political views. We likely studied all of the beautiful influencers on Instagram, wishing we could look like them. We may have judged Becca for letting her teenage daughter wear that booty skirt or Jenn for moving on so quickly after her divorce.
Before we knew it, it was midnight and we had to be up at 5:30 a.m. to hit the repeat button and do it all over again. We forgot to say our prayers or send our best friend from college a birthday card. We were simply in survival mode to get through the week. Any extra ounce of energy left was to be savored on self-care and zoning out.
Our Saturdays were filled with shopping trips for things we didn’t really need and maybe couldn’t afford. They were spent on self-loathing when trying on bathing suits at Nordstrom’s, followed by drowning our despair in wine and dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. Because we all know that bathing suit shopping can be depressing after having kids.
We were under the impression that we had to take our families on a vacation for every school break, even if that meant 3-4 trips a year, which is about 2-3 more than we could actually afford. Because everyone else is doing it, and our kids would be disappointed if we didn’t. Because we are somehow under the impression that we show our love to our kids by throwing money at them to keep them happy. That we have to entertain them 24/7 with extravagant outings and purchases, when all they truly wanted was our time, attention, and love.
We lived in a world on speed. We were rarely at home. We couldn’t say no. We worried about what the Jones’ were doing now and keeping up the facade. We were drowning in college debt and credit card bills. We worked tirelessly to keep up a lifestyle that was considered the norm for a middle class family; even if it meant we sacrificed our health, sanity, and ability to relax and be okay with it.
We were self-absorbed and vain. More selfies were snapped than those of our kids. We rarely volunteered in clubs and sports our children participated in. We thought we were too busy and that our time was more valuable than others, when everyone was struggling to find time but we chose not to see it.
We were obsessed with youth and appearances. We chose not to embrace another birthday as a gift of life, experiences, and wisdom. Instead, we saw it as frown lines, graying hair, and sagging butts.
We couldn’t enjoy the small things or live in the moment. We popped xanax for anxiety because we were worried about tomorrow, and swallowed Prozac for living with regret from the past. Our lives were filled with numbing any pain and sorrow in a multitude of ways, for we thought we were supposed to “feel okay” everyday. The alternative would be too uncomfortable to process, all those emotions that were better left buried.
We lived in a world of instantaneous gratification at most any given time. Between Amazon, ebooks, streaming services, and Door Dash, our phones served as miniature genie bottles that could fulfill our desires in a few taps of a button. Our children never knew any other way.
We lost the art of conversation, and replaced it with texts, tweets, and emojis. Our phones were no longer used for calls as strange it sounds, for that was its primary purpose. For years, we were too impatient to listen to voicemails; sometimes deleting unheard messages from those we love, not knowing it would be the last call we’d ever receive from some of them.
We have more acquaintances than ever thanks to Facebook and Instagram, yet we often feel alone. Close friendships are too time consuming until we’re drowning and we need a listening ear.
We lived in a world constantly at odds with one another. Arguing about politics, religion, racial tension, immigration, abortion, gun rights, legalizing marijuanna, gay rights, and so much more. EVERYTHING was controversial. EVERYONE had an opinion. MANY felt the need to prove their points while taking low-blows and typing hateful words online that we would never say to anyone’s face.
We had no desire to hear each other’s stories and understand their points of view. We were self-righteous, thinking our way was the only way. Compromise was a sign of weakness, and no one wanted to be seen as a weak link in our cut-throat, modern world.
Although social media was meant to bring us closer, it often pulled us apart. The world and all its inhabitants, good and evil, had a platform to spew its hate and disdain for people who think differently from them, all while dividing us even more.
The sadistic and criminal minds found a sense of belonging, making them feel less averse in a world filled with mostly law-abiding citizens. For some, it gave them courage and a sense of boldness to follow through with their heinous acts. Finding camaraderie with other like minds only fueled their fire for destruction and evil. Their twisted views and addictions were readily available to share with other like minds, exploiting the innocent.
Although we knew the risk was there, we felt obligated to buy our children phones. Phones that allowed the perverse of the world instant access to our most beloved, under the guise of video games and seemingly innocent chats. Our sense of busyness prevented us from keeping tabs on our pre-teens’ phones, oblivious to the types of images they were requesting and sharing with peers. All before we ever took the time to talk to them about sex and self-respect and the aftermath of snapchats gone wrong.
Consumed by our modern world, we had forgotten about the things that really matter in life. Connection. Love. Respect. Attention. Relaxation. Contentment. Gratitude. Conversation. Meaning. Purpose, and so much more.
And God said “enough,” and sent us to our rooms to stop and think about what we have become. During that time, we learned that some things we have no control of. That some things are out of our reach, and no amount of money, influence, or power can change that. Our fate is in His hands. He has the ultimate control of how this thing ends. He wants his children, who’ve been spoiled in so many ways and rarely stopped to thank Him, to now give thanks. To acknowledge him. To help our neighbors. To be present for our families. To get over ourselves and our vanity. To make good use of our time. To learn how to slow down and enjoy the little things. To live in the present. To live in our means. To trust in him and have faith in a time of uncertainty. To build relationships. To pick up the phone. To enjoy nature and his wonderful creations. To survive this season that will test us, in so many ways, but can help us become better versions of ourselves on the other side.
This too shall pass. Keep the faith. Show gratitude for what is good. Take care of one another, and never lose hope. He’s got this.
Sending you love and prayers for health, safety, and renewal. Till next time…xo, Christy