Be still, silent

Dear Soulseekers,

Today was the perfect example of my lack of social media presence or interest in it. I placed a mobile order for Starbucks this morning at 8:20 a.m. thinking that would give me plenty of time to finish getting ready, grab a coffee and make it to work by 9 am. I get to Starbucks – and it’s packed. Lots of people standing around inside waiting as well as the drive thru line extending out past the parking lot. I walked in and checked all of the coffees that were ready and waiting and my name was nowhere to be found. The minutes ticked by, the waiting crowd grew larger. I checked the ready coffees again thinking maybe I didn’t read the names right. But no. I was correct the first time. No Lauras in the cue. I waited some more. Spoke to a friend about how this Starbucks used to be “our little secret”. It was the best. You were in and out in a minute. NO wait at all!

Today was not that day.

I continued to wait and struck up a conversation with the girl next to me. She is a Chik-fil-a employee. This is never an experience that you have at Chik-fil-a. How they manage to deal with a huge amount of people with a positive attitude and no long wait is beyond me. But they do it. Every. single. day. Why can’t Starbucks figure this out?

After talking to my new friend, I discovered that today was a free give away day with the launch of the “holiday” flavors. If you purchased a “Christmasy” drink, you got a free reusable red cup. That’s pretty cool, but I had no idea. My new friend had talked about ordering her coffee to a coworker and her phone “was listening”. The next thing she knew, up popped the red cup giveaway on her Facebook feed. That’s how she knew about it.

After almost an hour from my mobile ordering time, I finally got my coffee, as well as the free red cup. I was also late to work. Thanks Starbucks! I wasn’t angry or rude. I was frustrated and a little embarrassed that I was late to work because of coffee. But you can’t just walk away. It’s a $6.50 cup of coffee! Ridiculous….

I will be honest. I experienced a little FOMO today because I didn’t know about the “Special Deal” of the day. I have disabled my Facebook account, and I only check Twitter or Instagram occasionally throughout the week. My morning routine -or daily routine -doesn’t include checking those accounts. In situations such as these I sometimes question – Should I be on Facebook and paying attention to this kind of thing? But in the end, I truly don’t care. It’s not important to me nor is it a priority.

Every day I see people on their phones at work, in their cars, walking down the street, in restaurants- all checking in, posting, or reading about what’s going on. And I always wonder, What are they looking at that is so interesting? I’m usually the only one at the table or my desk or in a group not on my phone, not with it sitting out on the dining table or in my back pocket. It’s in my purse, put away, out of sight. Whoever or whatever is in front of me is what’s important.

We’ve gotten to a point where we aren’t comfortable with quiet or stillness or solitude. We don’t focus on our work. Kids don’t focus on school. Our “busyness” has become our status symbol. But I would argue that quiet, stillness and solitude are what we desperately need. It is quiet, stillness and solitude that will quell our anxiety, our anger, our fatigue, our stress. Our minds and bodies crave these things. I would further argue that the number of cases of diagnosed depression would decrease as well as cases of anxiety if we spent less time on or phones. Overall happiness would improve. I wish we could experiment to see if this would happen.

But with the the introduction of the Metaverse, I believe our society will continue on its downward slide. We, as a people, are going to grow further and further apart. True social interactions will become fewer and more awkward as we lose those interpersonal skills. Our rates of depression, anxiety and suicide will continue to increase, and we will become more alone and isolated than ever in our new “connected” cyberworld. It’s scary to think about.

As the holidays approach, I encourage you to be mindful. Make time for peace, stillness and solitude. I guarantee if you commit to that, you will experience a much less stressful, more enjoyable holiday season. I just renewed my subscription to Calm. On those crazy days, it gives me that 10 minutes to reground myself and remember what’s important.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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I'm honest, sarcastic, funny, loyal, a goal setter, determined, health conscious, a dreamer, a bibliophile, and a creative.

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