On Waiting Better

I’ve decided not to check my phone while I’m waiting.

I had this sense that if I saw myself, I’d be saddened by how limp and subservient I looked, how I’d let the bright lights and big bings pull my spine, brain, heart downwards.

Really, I was using my phone as self-defense. Defense against not looking busy - busy which we equate with important, don’t we? Defense against others judging me because I’m alone. Defense against boredom and going into the untamed corners of my mind.

None of those are worth defending against.

Waiting for friends at dinner, I read. Waiting for a car to pick me up, I people watched. Waiting for the dentist, I eavesdropped, ohhh, did I eavesdrop! There’s also the crossword in the free local paper or just plain noticing - my thoughts, how much ketchup is left in the bottle, where the sunlight lands on the carpeting or sidewalk.

If there’s an emergency, someone will call and I will answer. But nothing I do on my phone while I’m waiting is an emergency or urgent, I just treat it like it is.

There is an incomprehensible beauty to a person sitting, standing, idling without a phone; it’s humans doing what we may forget we’re designed for - being. So do I want some of that beauty for me? Oh, absolutely.

The other thing I’m aiming for, maybe what I’m really aiming for, is this phone, this simply stunning piece of intelligence, to be a little less essential in my life.

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