Oh the guilt of not sending out Christmas cards this year! Just couldn't make it happen, too much on my plate. As I was perusing through the many cards I received, I started pulling a few aside and thinking, "Wow I haven't heard from this friend in 5 years." Or my uncle in New York who I aways send a card to, I thought, "I haven't talked to him in two years." Shame on me. What's happened to the telephone call. I mean... I always have a phone on me. But I'm starting to notice I don't really use it to talk on anymore. Pretty pathetic but true. I am afraid that texting has replaced the phone call for my choice of conversation. Is that proper etiquette? You know there are new rules on when to email, text, or call.
TIME Magazine did a poll a few years back on advancing phone technology and what it means to our generation. What they found was frightening. Most people can't live without their phones for a day—in most cases not even for an hour. In the poll when people were asked how mobile technology had changed their lives? Many people said it brought them in closer contact with family and friends. Hmmmm REALLY? As you get older sometimes it's hard to stay in regular contact with all your aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents. (If you are lucky enough to still have them around.) Even old friends... as I received Christmas cards this year, I wondered how they were and what was going on in their lives. Some of you may think you keep up with all your peeps on social media. But I believe social media is a facade as I have said before... smoke and mirrors to what is really going on in the lives of those we love.
This holiday season I picked two nights and called friends and family members I had not had live conversations with in quite some time. My plan was to give a quick call and say I love you. Turns out; with almost all of the calls, we shared what was truly going on in our everyday lives. None of them were quick and all of them were enjoyable and so sweet. The joy I heard on the other end of the line was surprising and up lifting. My uncle said I had made his year surprising him with a call. We talked for 45 minutes. One high school friend Jenny and I talked for over an hour. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face as we talked about our dysfunctional families that we love. I apologized to all of them for no Christmas card. They all had the same response, "This is so much better than a Christmas card." No text, email, or card can replace the stories we shared by phone. Nor can it replace the memories that came rushing back by hearing their voices. My uncle reminded me of my grandmother who used to sing to me every Christmas before she died. Some calls never got an answer, so I just left messages. They called me back and left one in return. Even those messages I heard were such a treat. Some were long and hysterical. Others were short but still brought a smile to my face. I even replayed a few several times. You see I forgot.... I forgot how good it is to hear someones voice that you love and care for. I'm so busy texting and emailing I truly forgot. A news columnist in Tulsa World recently wrote a great article: A Phone Call May Be The Best Gift To Give.
As we come to the end of another year and get ready to begin a new one. Maybe a phone call is all it takes to start someone's New Year off on the right foot. I mean why not, it's unlimited calling. I remember wanting to talk to my grandmother and having a three minute limit. I had to pass the phone to my brother because she still lived in Panama and it was too expensive. Now I can talk to so many people with minimal cost and instead I'm blowing up my data texting. What is wrong with me? Funny thing is... I think all those calls I made was the greatest gift I could have given myself. It filled me up with something I can't even put into words. Guess you will have to pick up the phone and make a call to understand!
In 2015... Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!
Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...