Friday, April 03, 2009

Being Present in the Present

Until now, it's something only my Men's Fraternity small group knew. Something that I've been striving for. Something that has been challenging, but in the fleeting moments of success, something that has paid great dividends in my relationship with my family. My goal has been to increasingly "be present in the present."

Say what? Well, it means that when I'm with my family, I try to put what has happened up until that moment out of my mind. And, I try not to let my mind wander into the demands of the future. Finally, and this is the most difficult, I have to set aside the gadgets, quit trying to multi-task (which, by the way, I've come to believe is not possible) and focus on the immediate needs of the relationship.

Wow. That has been challenging for me. But, I think I'm making incremental progress. And now, the biggest test of all is upon me. And I'm going cold turkey.

Spring break is upon us. We have not had a family vacation that did not involve a visit to our extended family in years. So, we have been saving our time and money for this vacation. On Monday, we snagged a last minute deal to stretch our vacation dollars. Tomorrow we will leave for six days of "just the four of us and a couple of thousand other people" fun in the sun, sand, and water.

The test? When we leave home tomorrow, I'll leave without my computer. GASP! And, on Sunday, when we leave the car in the parking lot, my cell phone will be in it. ARRGH! Unplugged. No Twitter. No Facebook. No blog (not that that is a big stretch these days...). No Drudgereport. No e-mail (I'm sure I'll pay for that when I return).

It's my choice. It's an investment in the relationships that are most important to me. I want to be present in the present. No distractions. No intrusions. Just un-interrupted time with my family.

I'll let you know how it goes when I plug in again next week.


D'Anna said...

YEA!!!! I think it is GREAT! Have a wonderful time! I'll bet it will be the vacation of a lifetime, Neal!
God bless you!

ClintPA said...

Following Christ, you lead. I'll follow.

Michelle said...

Good for you! Everyone needs a break. We hope this is the best vacation yet!