I’m ashamed to admit that at times I’d be sitting there playing with my family, and I’d jump up and say “just a sec,” only to run upstairs to grab my phone or computer in order to quickly check in on social media. I wouldn’t comment — just a brief scroll, one that ate up at least 20 minutes, only to come back and realize the play had moved on without me.
I’d get tired and lay on the couch and tune out. I’d mindlessly scroll, not noticing that this furthered my withdrawal. After all, I was “socializing,” right?
It had become a mindless habit that snuck up on me and took me away from the person I strive to be. I hated how I felt and despised myself for what I was doing. I knew better. I wanted better. But I couldn’t get out of the cycle.
Then three questions jumped off the page: What for? Why now? What else?
I immediately highlighted them, wrote them on a post-it, and stuck the post-it on my computer screen, front and center.
This one line changed oh so much.
Every time I went to sit at my computer, my big orange post-it stared at me. I’d go to log-into Facebook or check my email for the 10th time that day and stop and think: ‘What for? Why now? WHAT ELSE?’ Am I logging in to share, to peruse, to kill time? Why am I doing it right now? What else could I be doing instead?
It’s the what else that gets me every time. There is so much else, and I don’t want to miss another second of it.
It’s playing a board game with the kids and embracing their giggles.
It’s sitting down with my husband after a long day and sharing our stories or just sitting side by side.
It’s catching up on the phone with a friend and hearing their real life, not just seeing the highlight reel.
It’s completing that 90% finished project that has been sitting for years.
It’s writing a letter to an older relative letting them know they’re loved and thought of.
It’s volunteering in a nursing home, food pantry, youth program, hospital, shelter, etc.
It’s reaching out a hand, a heart, a smile.
It’s getting work done more efficiently without procrastinating.
It’s baking cookies, swinging on swings, snuggling up with stories before the littles become bigs.
It’s playing with Legos, Barbies, tea parties, puzzles, dinosaurs and meeting them where they are.
It’s witnessing that spark as the children learn or accomplish something new.
It’s diving into a good book, learning a new skill, or embracing a few minutes of quiet.
It’s exploring outside, appreciating the natural beauty, nourishing your body with fresh air.
It’s using those quiet pockets to be still and restore the body, mind, and soul.
It’s building a strong foundation garnered on acceptance, trust, and being heard and seen.
It’s being in the moment- not scrolling through other people’s lives.
It’s making real connections, having authentic conversations, and doing life together.
It’s about time well spent. It’s about making time for what’s important. Realizing how much time is truly wasted.
It’s about family. True friends. Faith. Love. Hope.
What is it that’s distracting you from your what else? Is it social media, binge watching tv, food or exercise obsession, gossip, drama, drugs or alcohol? Whatever habits are taking you away from doing what truly matters to you, please stop and ask yourself, What for? Why now? What else?