Über

IMG_0223A few months ago, I had a very detailed dream.  In the dream, a dapper horse arrived at our doorstep, looking pretty similar to the horse in the movie, Tangled.  He looked ready for anything: an unstoppable force of loyalty and direction. I secured the directions to his  reins then beckoned for one of our daughters.  She jumped on the saddle as I gave her a kiss goodbye and off he rode with our pony-lovin’ daughter… to deliver her to soccer practice.

Yes, I dreamt of a über pony!! I’ll admit, this dream came of no surprise to me really.  It was the height of gymnastics and soccer season, and driving back and forth to both locations was becoming less and less motivating for me.  Dreams are an incredible way of our mind finding solutions for us when we are feeling pinned.  Über pony was an incredible answer.  Picture it, your child gets the joy of fresh air in their face as they head to a friend’s playdate across town, or you get the satisfaction of riding through the sunset, to Von’s (were you thinking of something more exciting for a second?!)  for an evening run for yet another loaf of bread, or you call über pony to deliver a homework folder or lunch box accidentally left at home.  Who wouldn’t want über pony?!

After I awoke, I realized so much of what we live in is set in an “über” way.   We get used to über fast deliveries of food, gifts, clothes, service, anything and everything really.   We are also incredibly used to being über connected.

The news used to inform us of local and worldly happening.  Now we are connected to the world through twitter, Facebook, Insta-gram, email, group texts, private messaging and so much more.  These multi-platform connections have presented our population with all kinds of new possibilities and challenges.

In fact, being über connected, at least for me, has shown me that I have to be really cognizant of not losing the right connections with others in my life.   So, here’s what I love about being über connected via on-line platforms:

  1.  The outreach.  I love that during points of struggle or devastation, even when it is happening right in your own city or amongst your dear friends, on-line platforms can offer structure to support those people who really need support.
  2. Community.  I love that I can share my thoughts and introspections on platforms like Instagram or on this blog, and I never know who might read it and what they may think about it.  It broadens my community and I love this!
  3. Access.  It wasn’t that long ago, that microfiche was the most powerful information database there was!  Now, we can seek out critical information from the power of an Apple wrist watch!  Access to weather patterns, road closures etc, can all be so helpful!
  4. Diversity of perspective.  If I track a particular new station, for example, the way in which an issue is presented has patterns that are perpetuated if I buy into them. However, if I can view multiple perspectives on a current issue, maybe from influencers or from different world media sites, or individual stories shared from people across the globe, I too have the power to gain perspective.

Here’s what presents me with challenges:

  1.  Keeping up.  Text trains, group emails, on-line school checkpoints, all of it can be sincerely overwhelming to keep up with.  “Have I checked our daughters Jr. High progress on NEO? Did I get an email from our Kinder students’ field trip tomorrow? Am I signed up to bring party food for my 3rd grader’s class?  Has the trumpet schedule been changed for my 5th grader?!”  WOW.
  2. Time suck.  I have been less and less impressed with what’s on TV for the past year or so, so instead of watching something on that template, I “watch” what’s happening with friends and family when the house is finally quiet and all I have left in me is enough energy to finger scroll.  The problem is, without serious boundaries, I can go from checking in with a friend on Facebook, to watching a ridiculous cat video that friend “liked” and linked on her page!! And, when I have “liked, loved or hahah’d” someone’s post, does this make them happy?  Do I get happy or feel contented when someone has liked, loved or sad emoji’ed any of my posts?  Only for a minute second really.
  3. Exhaustion.  It is well-studied that the reading of pixellated text both engages and shuts down different parts of the brain.  When I watch our older daughters do school work on their school iPad, I also see them tire out in a different way than when let’s say, they work their math problems on paper.
  4. Comparison trap.  Whether we are group-texting, sharing photos on Instagram, emailing etc, there is a general undertone of “keeping up with the Jones”‘.  This superficial “glance” at what others are sharing can become quite the jaded view of what we should or could be doing too.

Technological advancements flash in front of us daily.   The newest, the brightest, the smallest, savviest ways of connecting with others zoom in front of us even as we pump gas.  For me, and especially as I begin a new year, I want to make sure these über fast ways don’t cost me the connections that matter most; face to face communication, eye contact, sincere embraces, connection to nature and it’s limitless possibilities for exploration, uninterrupted time together, the making of memories without having to record all of them and connected presence.

My über pony idea may not come to fruition in 2018 but it has enlightened me to find my boundaries with the concept of “über” altogether.

Happy New Year to you and yours!  Here’s to peace, joy, love and light and all things that make you über content.

 

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