Then I noticed.
The older woman was talking on her cell phone. She talked through the drink order, the meal ordering, the salad and soup courses, the meal itself. Mostly, the younger woman sat staring at the table. Once, her phone rang and she had a brief conversation and then dove into her salad. The older woman was still on the phone, eating her meal, when I left. And I wondered why she even bothered to go out to lunch with someone else when this prolonged phone conversation took precedence? What was keeping her from being present in the moment?
It's easy to blame technology. But we're the ones who choose to allow technology to intrude. So we ignore someone we're with in favor of talking on the cell or texting instead of talking with our companion, savoring a meal out or just enjoying the presence of another.
And it isn't always our addiction to technology that's the problem.
Sometimes it's a habit -- like being:
Too busy looking ahead to the next goal, the next adventure, the next trip to enjoy what's happening today.
Too busy finding fault to enjoy the unique strengths of another.
Too busy worrying about making a good impression to be truly present -- and at our best -- with another.
Too busy to see another person's need or subtle reaching out to us.
Too busy to savor solitude and all its possibilities.
Too busy to look into another person's eyes, to listen, to connect warmly.
Too busy to savor a sight, a sound, a smell, a moment.
How much we miss.