Look Up

cell phoneOne of my family’s favorite things to do on nice evenings is to go to one of our local parks. We’re really fortunate to live where we do, as our community prides itself on using 30% of the land for parks. In fact, a new park with a walking trail was recently added. It’s our current favorite as in addition to the being able to take nice walks, there’s also a great kids playground. Perfection. Pure perfection.

We let the munchkins hang at the playground while we talk a walk. After a few of our recent trips to this park, I’m feeling amazing fortunate to have the life I have. You see, while my husband and I walk, we talk to each other. Sometimes we hold hands. Sometimes one of us will lean over for a kiss. Or we’ll nudge each other in play. And we’ll laugh. It’s a wonderful time for us to catch up with each other. We can talk about the kids—things we love, things we need to work with them on, things we’d like to do with them, etc. We can talk about our schedules, plans we have. The world for that time in that place is ours for the taking.

What I’ve noticed, though, is that we’re not the norm. There’s normally five or six other couples who, like us, have brought their kids to play while they walk. But these couples aren’t talking to each other.  Instead, they’re walking along with their phones in front of them. What could possibly be more important than connecting with your partner? Not a game. Not a text. Not Facebook.

We conscientiously pay attention to when we use our cell phones in each other’s presence. For me, having the chance to spend real time with my husband is worth more to me than most things in life. I’ve chosen him to be my partner. It’s been 26 years. In order to make sure there’s even a possibility of another 26 years, we have to make conscious choses to make sure that we’re growing, and building our relationship.  I hope you’re doing the same.

If I’ve just described you at the park, it’s not too late. Next time, slip your phone into your back pocket. Reach out, grab the hand of the person you’re choosing to live life with, and talk. If it’s been awhile since you’ve done that, then start out by talking about the dogs running around the park. About the other people all looking at their cell phones. It doesn’t matter what you talk about. Just talk.