Grace Michaelson

Buggy, No Bug Backs!


Do your kids play the Buggy Game?  This is where they see a Volkswagen Bug they slug you in the arm and say “Buggy!”?  Yes, well, I thought I would be smart and start slugging them back when they did this.  Well, guess what?  Now there’s “No Bug Backs”, apparently.  What really gets me is that I never see the Bug they slug me for until well after the slug.  Sometimes I never see the Bug.  Yet, my kids alway notice these damn Bugs all over town!  How do they do this?  I don’t know.

The point  is that I am obviously not mindful enough to notice the Bugs that tootle around town.  I’m so busy rushing to this appointment, or that dinner, or off to go visit that friend.  My mind is rushing through my day, or busy reflecting on that conversation.  I may be ruminating over the finger I got from the freak in the car I passed four cars back who was going so slow there was no way he had anywhere important he had to go.  Right?  Then bam! “Buggy, No Bug Backs!”

My friend and I were visiting this afternoon and I got two calls in like twenty minute from a gal from a doctor’s office because my son and I were having back-to-back eye doctor appointments at the same office.  She hadn’t noticed that we were in the same family and it was the same phone number she was dialing and the same name she was going to talk to.  Again, that mindfulness thing.  My friend and I had a good laugh over the matter, but I began to think about how much our culture doesn’t practice mindfulness.

We are a listen-to-respond, rush-to-get-there, work-a-holic, technology-hungry, socially-crippled society.  I honestly don’t think any of us could handle more than 24 hours without our phones or iThingy.  We cling to them more than we cling to human touch.  Mindfulness is a forgotten art.  To sit and actually listen to someone without already formulating your response while someone is still talking is a forgotten art.  Sitting and inspecting a raison – just because you want to – an art for the grandparent who has Alzheimer’s.  Maybe it’s time to learn from those who have Alzheimer’s.  There was an article on CNN that just sunk into my brain because it showed people posed with their phones around tables or in their beds, but the photographer had taken away their phones.  It shows how disconnected and unmindful we as a society have become.  You can find CNN’s article here.

I’m not an anti-technology person.  I personally own a iPhone, iPad, and an iMac. Each of my kids have their own iPhones because I want to be able to track them with “Find my iPhone” if they break curfew. lol.  Technology has it’s place and is a wonderful asset.  What I am saying, though, is that mindfulness is also a great and wonderful long-lost asset and should be taken seriously.  People who can see the Bug tootling down the street instead of fuming because the stupid kid gave them the finger for getting around them have it made.  People who can notice the family groups and save themselves an extra phone call are ahead of the game.  People who are polite enough to listen all the way through your thought before starting to formulate their response are awesome.

One way to start becoming more mindful is to become a little more old fashioned.  Instead of using your visa/debit card for everything, start using cash.  You’ll notice you’ll have a better handle of your budget.  There is just something about the touch and feel of cash leaving your wallet that makes you spend less.  My friend just told me another way I can be mindful.  I’m always forgetting appointments or being late because I forgot I was supposed to be someplace because I didn’t put it into my iThingy’s.  So he suggested that I go old fashioned.  He told me to buy myself a Day-Timer.  He said there is something about carrying a calendar around and writing it down by hand that helps you to keep your appointments.  I think I’ll try it.  Something about feeling and touching that helps take ownership.  Mindfulness.  Bringing things into the plain of the senses.