It particularly bothers me because I am constantly reminding my kids how damaging screens can be to their brains, and I feel like a such a hypocrite.
Sometimes I remind myself that their growing brains are more at risk than my middle-aged one, but I think that is a bit of a cop out. I find myself down little rabbit holes of curiosity that take me from one link to the next, and before I know it, I have eight tabs open and waiting for my attention.
And I never get to them because my attention is drawn to the scrolling Facebook newsfeed instead.
Last night, I was thinking I should go to bed, as my finger did its habitual scroll motion down my phone screen. I came upon a post by the poet, Mary Oliver:
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
--Mary Oliver, Sometimes
I suddenly felt hungry for what she was describing. I looked down and noticed the cat on the couch next to me. She was fully stretched out and fast asleep. Her front paws were twitching, and I could not help but wonder, Does she dream of only indoor things or do her dreams take her out into the wilds that she spies from the kitchen window?
I hope it is the latter.
I am the lucky one, who can walk outside any time I choose.
I put down my phone and lifted my stiff limbs off of the couch. I walked to the front door and stepped out onto the porch. It was quiet and still. The humid air felt like a blanket on my skin. A soft rain was falling noiselessly. It held the promise of a future soaking for the parched ground. Even this small, wet moment was enough.
I hadn’t realized just how thirsty I was.
My own anti-poem:
Instructions for squandering a life:
--Yours Truly, Too Often