Before Everything Became Automatic

Before Everything Became Automatic
Before Everything Became Automatic

Do you live your life on autopilot or by your own hand? The world’s communication has boiled down to a device someone can easily fit in their pocket and can’t live without.

We just enjoyed the Easter holiday and I couldn’t help but notice my teenage niece and nephews buried in their iPhones and absent from our conversation. ‘Mobile mayhem’ as I refer to it has created a life where we don’t fully enjoy the moment and instead are always anticipating the next or reviewing the most recent.

But, I’ll admit, smartphones do come in handy.

Payton's allergy testing. Ouch, Mama!
Payton’s allergy testing. Ouch, Mama!

This WOTH mommy used hers two weeks ago to keep an eye on her daughter’s allergy testing while busy entertaining clients. That’s what sparked this post. What was life like before everything became automatic? Before we could just point, shoot, send and share images and conversation?

It’s no longer enough to take that absolutely adorable photo of our children and wait to share it with family and friends. Instead, we instantly text, post or tweet it and share it with ‘our world’. Nothing is reserved for that special reveal. I remember driving to the drugstore, paying for my photos and opening that packet of 4x6s (with the negatives) and oohing and aahing while still standing at the counter. Then, I’d sit in my car for another 10 minutes just flipping through the images one by one – deciding which I would keep, which would get tossed, and which would be placed in that new album. I couldn’t wait to get home to share them…

I don't always use personalized stationary, but why not?!
I don’t always use personalized stationary, but why not?!

Along the same lines, I used to write letters, put a stamp on them and actually mail them to friends and family who lived miles away. And over the years, I’ve collected boxes of letters. Admittedly, some in a heart-shaped container from my first love in fifth grade. But, most from friends who spent summers away or from family who lived out of state. Those days may be gone, but I do still manage to send handwritten thank-you notes. And just last December, I began an annual tradition of writing our Christmas letter that sums up our year as the Baumline-Robinson family. Albeit the same letter to everyone and it arrives typed in a nice holiday envelope, at least it isn’t another family photo with a one-liner wishing you a happy holiday. Nothing against those, though, as I do love receiving them!

A reminder to Aunt B that we need to have another wine night on the porch!
A reminder to Aunt B that we need to have another wine night on the porch!

Occasionally, I’m even thoughtful enough to pick up a gift for someone special (just because) and leave a note letting them know I was thinking of them. It’s rare, but it happens!

So, moving forward, I vow to no longer be a mobile-addicted mess. I will live in the moment and savor every slice of my life.

Maybe we should all take some stock in what Miranda Lambert is belting out these days – “back before everything became automatic”.

How about you? Maybe pick up the phone and dial your best friend so you can find out what the kids are really up to instead of just reading her next text – ‘u wont b lieve what she said 2 me 2 day!’




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