I’m not here right now. Well, technically, I suppose I am here — here being a busy Panera Bread in a town about forty miles or so from my house. I’m waiting for my kids to finish up some lessons, something my wife and I both seem to do a lot. But I just checked my email to find a note from someone I freelance for, and that got me thinking about what I’ll need to do when I get home to get that project done, so really I’m there. Not here.
My phone is sitting on the table next to me because I expect my kids to be calling soon to tell me they are done. Once that happens I’ll be, well, there — that is in the car on the way to pick them up and get them home and get busy on that looming project. On the way home, I’ll probably remember something that I need to take care of in the office tomorrow and I’ll call and leave myself a message which will automatically go to my email which I’ll check first thing and then … it just goes on and on and on.
I find that increasingly my life is like this. I’m always elsewhere. Commitments, deadlines and responsibilities — both personal and professional — are always pulling me forward, out of the here and now and into the there and then. Most folks I know are like this, too. I think the logic is that if we stay connected to everything and everybody, we’ll be better able to manage our time and our lives. This is the same logic that convinces us that multitasking is smart and efficient. Frankly, while I can see that we have little choice but to adopt this thinking, I’m not sure it actually works in the way we’d like.
Still, I’m seriously considering an upgrade to a smart phone and a data plan, so I can have web, email, and phone all bundled into a device that I never leave home without. And then, of course, I’ll add Facebook and Twitter apps, and I’ll be set. I’ll have it all mastered. I’ll be cool, calm, and connected. And finally … FINALLY… I’ll be —
Uh-oh, phone’s ringing. Gotta go.