Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Revelations at Jiffy Lube

Yesterday, we had to stop off at a local grocery store, and my car was in DIRE need of an oil change, so I decided to take advantage of the location and hop into my local Jiffy Lube while I left My Sailor to shop for produce (something I'm usually anal about).

While he was shopping, I sat there waiting. It took them almost 30 minutes to check me in. As I was waiting I thought "Oh, I should let My Sailor know that it's taking a while." (My initial plan was to meet him inside the store since it's only a few shops away.) Turns out I didn't have my cell phone on me.

That's right, I waited in Jiffy Lube's lobby w/ no cell phone to keep me entertained. I didn't reach for a magazine either.

In fact, I enjoyed NOT being entertained for a while and just sitting quietly with my thoughts.

It dawned on me how rare it is that I do this anymore. Usually I have some sort of screen blinking at me, filling almost every moment I'm not with someone with work or entertainment.

But sitting alone with my thoughts felt great.

Oddly enough, in those quiet moments, I found a sweet form of balance. I felt engaged in the world around me, even though there was nothing there for me to do. There was no plan to formulate, no work to be done, and nothing to call my attention away from the fact that I was just waiting.

It reminded me strongly of my youth in the 1980's - long before anyone even dreamed of the words "smart phone". There was no way to instantly connect with thousands of people via social media.

Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy my digital friends immensely, and I know I haven't even met most of my readers (ye brave, ye few). In fact, my life would be VERY different if the internet hadn't sunk its claws into me. So I don't decry technology all the time.

But I was reminded of how important it is to unplug frequently.

I find that it's catching on too. When I have free time at home, I've been opting to read a book. Not on a Kindle or Nook, but an actual book with actual pages that doesn't need to be charged ever. I do see where these gadgets have their place. (It's great that My Sailor can take months worth of reading material on his submarine!) But I believe that simplicity has it's place too.

I'm reminded of that again as I read my friend's blogs about their marathons and running achievements. Running is a simple thing. It's one of the first things any toddler learns how to do (just ask any parents!). Running with my dog or to play a sport reminds me of the sheer joy in movement. It's a simple thing. Strap on shoes, head outside, and move.

So while the guys were working hard to get my car up to snuff, I got a "tune up" too. We don't have to constantly be "mult-tasking" to be productive. Sometimes the product is just being alive.

It make me miss meditation workshops w/ my awesome California Therapist.


  1. What a great way to unwind. I like a real book too- but trying to read with a baby demanding all the attention and flailing tiny limbs about is a no-go for real books.

    I find the more I read, the more I think and feel and get in touch with myself. I really need to carve out more reading time.

  2. It is very nice to be able to take a breather from the technology once in a while. It's one of the reasons I don't run with music - I can get a lot of thinking done on a long run :)!