Monday, October 5, 2015

Facing the Elephant in the Closet

I don't know about you but when Fall arrives I am motivated to review the ever expansive wardrobe in my closet.  Pardon the double entendre.

This doesn't happen every year but as we tend to accumulate excessive amounts of items in our closet we start to feel that we are confused and frustrated when stepping in to find something to wear.

Of course, our aging expanding bodies do not help the situation.  We peer into the abyss only to see what we used to be. Somehow our sense of worth is tied up in that feeling. Unwarranted but true. We see ourselves in our shapes, sizes and appearance instead of the true self of what is inside that package.

Not unlike the shift in what we can fit into, our inner selves shift and expand into a rounder and more generous individual.  We see things differently as we age and we take the time to slow things down and view the more simple aspects of life.

Becoming a Grandparent is the ultimate indication of this slow down.  You want to take the time to capture every single moment of your little one's phases.  The simplicity of walking in the park or playing in the backyard watching them eagerly learn and share such simple things like painting rocks with water or adventure walking a few blocks to some unknown destination of their choosing.

Our lives are so fast and children continue to try to get us to slow down and take in the moment.  Listen to the crickets in the grass.  Enjoy the splendor of the sun.  Feel the rain on your cheeks.  Stop thinking about your outside image and work on your inside image.

If you ask a child they will never remember you as thin or fat they will remember you as your inner self.....full of love and joy and a well rounded person enjoying what this age has to offer.

Our "Brand" New Lives

In the past year and a half we have relocated, added to our family, lived through a prospective change in our aging parent's living situation, and had a son go through possibly the worst year of his life.

Of course, all of this goes on with the same pressures of the every day.  It is hard to quantify or even realize how this affects us as individuals and couples. You can feel it in the moment but you cannot put your finger on what the effects are even as they settle into your subconscious mind.

And as far as the outside World is concerned you are functioning as normal and appear to be the same people you have always been.  Part of this facade is due to our ever changing World and how we communicate with each other.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube create a brand you might say of what we want to portray to the Online World.

We play games with each other, we share photos and post experiences that make up our Brand. Some of those Brands are positive and some, well, not so positive.  We block people's feeds that just seem too perfect or, alternatively, cumbersome for our minds to absorb.  Although we are fascinated to peer into our Online friend's lives we really are not involved in their lives.

Rarely, if ever, do we pick up the phone and actually talk to someone.  This eliminates hearing what is in their voices and actually connecting on a level where you may pick up on nuances or tones that enable us as human beings to empathize and share on a level that may somehow piece together something that helps one or the other.

Even greater than that is the diminishing of the "Face to Face" meetings. Our valuable time is spent searching for connections "online".

This disconnect is not just between friends and family.  It is within the structure of the family circle. We email our children to provide family news, we text our spouses to pick things up at the store and even text our children to come up for dinner. We Skype family from a distance making connections that seem so marvelous in this age but the hidden danger is the loss of the actual benefit of spending time with those we love.  The games that produce giggles and fun, bantering and cajoling are becoming less and less of what we do as entertainment.

It does not mean that the love of family and friends is not is.....and will always be but it has produced a shift in our connections within the family itself.  It is somewhat like the shift from photographs to photos online.  Somewhat intangible in some sense but there on the other hand.  We are losing the touch and feel of life.

I guess what this really means to me is that I, personally, am missing that connection.  We all feel isolated and alone at some point and this technological World we live in that is helping us in so many fabulous ways is also leading us into a dangerous age of loneliness and discontent.

So much for this "Brand" of life!