Busy Hands Generation. Are You One of Them?

My Dad brought up a good point recently. He said, “When you go to a bar, what do you see? A drink and a cellphone in front of every person at the bar.” We’ve sat at various pubs since and noticed that he was right. And if a little LED blinks? Forget it. It’s like a gravitational pull that the phone owner cannot avoid. The world might deconstruct if the blinking light is not appeased.

“Must touch phone. Red light needs my fumbling hands. Please note, I’m no longer listening.  The pull is too strong and I am too weak.”

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Enact the Fifteen Minute Rule

Call your girlfriends. (Photo courtesy of tucsoncitizen.com)

One of my greatest friends made a suggestion not too long ago and unfortunately, it took me a while to let it sink in, and to realize how beneficial it is.  I wanted to share it with you.

Regardless of how busy your week is, take 15 minutes to call the people who are important to you.

Sounds obvious right?  My oldest and still my closest friends are, for the most part, scattered around the country.  With different careers, relationships and social lives, it’s nearly impossible to keep up on the day to day things that matter.  I hate it.  It’s embarrassing to not know a heck of a lot about people you love and care about.

The thing is, I always felt that if I made a call, the inevitable would happen; we’d tell the most recent random story, we’d laugh a ton, ask about each other’s families, jobs, significant others, reminisce about an old story, etc. and before you know it, two hours has passed.  Which, on a slow night is great and I can hang up the phone with a huge smile and say to myself, “After all these years, we still click”.  And we do, too much, over text and emails and not enough real conversation.

If we all said, “Listen, I have 15 minutes to get to point B, I wanted to check in and see how you are”, we’d talk more often and be more in tune.  Since none of us are sitting at home bored, I don’t think it’ll be offensive because we are all just as busy.

Call me old fashioned but the sound of friends’ laughter beats an “LOL” any day.  And imagine this, telling your friends how excited you are about their news instead of “Like”-ing it on Facebook.  Who knew.

10 Simple Goals. Drum Roll Please…

 

One of the many things that deserve more attention.

This is no simple list or is it a list of  New Year’s resolutions.  I could’ve slapped one of those together in no time, without really thinking about the end result.  I didn’t even plan on making goals because resolutions seem so silly.  In reality, I realized that I need to handle my life like I do my daily chores, on sticky notes.  Without making my list and seeing what has to be done laid out in front of me, it’ll never get done.

Well life, here are some things that I think will make me feel happier, healthier and less regret or embarrassment on a regular basis.  It may even do some good in other peoples’ lives too, and really, that’s one of the most important things.

Ten Simple Goals – In no specific order.

1.     Send a handwritten note once a week. To someone who deserves more than a text or a wall post. It can be simple, but will guarantee a smile on the recipient’s face. It’ll keep my Catholic School cursive on the straight and narrow and help the US Post Office stay in business, one little stamp at a time.

2.     Shop locally. A local farm for eggs or a local pharmacy – it’s like putting money back in your neighborhoods pocket and usually comes with more personal service.  Plus, I can meet all kinds of interesting people who are literally invested in their work and won’t treat me like a number on a corporate pie chart.

3.     Share knowledge. Be considerate enough to inform people about news or details that can potentially affect them. I don’t plan to post any billboards on the Interstate anytime soon, but I can be more generous with knowledge that can benefit the people I care about. Speaking of sharing, please note that #1 is about to get more expensive as a stamp increases to 45 cents on January 22, 2012. This list is working already.

4.     Exercise. AHAHA. Yes, this usually makes the top of everyone’s New Year’s goal sheet. It’s so typical, I’m really questioning why I put it on here at all, but it really is important. Maybe by not limiting myself to something I know I’ll never do, it may work? Run an hour a day? No, I’ll never do it, plus it’s bad on the knees. Walk? That sounds better, but maybe I’ll take more of those yoga classes I signed up for or dust off my Wii Fit board. To be perfectly honest, I’m scared of my Mii avatar criticizing me for how long it’s been since I logged on. Last year, when I gained 5 pounds, it mocked me and made my avatar chubby.  Listen Shannon Mii, you’re not encouraging, your mockery has turned me off, but I will give you another shot.

5.     Take better care of my dog. He really is my favorite little guy, but he doesn’t get all the care he deserves. He is incredibly spoiled emotionally, as every pug yearns for, but he deserves more. His breath is awful but he threw my back out the last time I tried to brush his teeth. His nails grow so fast that I can’t keep them short enough regularly. Trifecta…ready? I will walk him more, which helps #5 and #4 AND if we walk to the family owned dog groomer, maybe I can find some fancy option to sparkle up those little chompers, successfully satisfying #2.

6.     Wake up earlier.  Inevitably my morning begins with the following:  “Damn it!”, as my eyes shoot open and I look at the clock and realize I’ll be running for the door again.  Either I get up earlier or I prepare pretty much everything but my face the night before.  I’d say get more sleep, but really, then I’d have time issues getting everything else done.  Don’t be silly.

7.     Save energy? No, I do that.  Recycle?  Kind of OCD about that too.  Hmm.  What if I strive to finish projects?  I snicker as I write this because I need to come up with three more goals to finish this list and now I think I’ll tackle my little side projects too?  Well Blog, if you’re going to hold me to it, I have to.  I have that yarn that I started crocheting.  I keep buying picture frames for my 75% completed photo wall, so that’s a possibility.  The antiques still need some minor repairs and those hollowed out eggs my Grandmom gave me to make ornaments never saw the lights of Christmas.  I hear you inner voice.  What you’re saying is that I can focus on one at a time and get these accomplished? Interesting.

8.     Share more of my time.  You may ask, “Well Shannon, if you have all these time consuming goals, how can you possibly have any time left?”  The answer is easy; I have no idea.  But I will find it.  There is family I always want to spend more time with, friends I promised I’d see, you know, once the holidays are over, and before long, months have passed.  To be honest, I have become accustomed to being by myself so often, that I’m selfish with my space and my alone time.  It is self-centered and I’m lucky to have people who want to spend time with me.

9.     Learn to converse.  I’m so awkward.  My mouth doesn’t move as fast as my mind or vice versa.  Either way, I walk away from random banter and deep conversations feeling like a moron.  “I can’t believe I just said that”.  There is a book I bought about how to hold conversation and I am going to read it.  Maybe that can be a “project” I can work on.  It’s really a skill that doesn’t get very much credit.  I think I’m fairly interesting but my conversations truly lack anything stimulating, causing me to get flustered and tongue-tied.  Whenever I end up referencing the temperature, I think of another good Oscar Wilde quote; “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” Eek.

10.     Define my character.  I will always be myself, but how do I want to be portrayed?  It can consist of many superficial things; how I dress, a signature perfume and include my general demeanor, my handshake and verbage choices.  This is for starters.  I can live up to who I know I am, by keeping promises and not overcommitting myself to things that are unlikely to be possible.  That said, this list of 10 things will take major commitment, but it’s not impossible and worth the time to the people I care about and for the betterment of being a good, honest and healthy individual.