Last night as I was pulling into the driveway after work, I noticed that Kristina was walking in the front door. As Kristina entered the house, Shannon said, "wow, we're almost all here. All we need is Ruth and everyone who lives in this house will be home!" I walked in the door immediately after her comment. It is a pretty rare event for all of us to be in the house. (By the way, "all of us" does not include the owner of the house, Peter. He has owned it now for a month and a half and he still hasn't moved anything in besides several of his vehicles.)
Markia and I sat on the loveseat, Kristina took the blue chair, Geoff sat in the other chair, and Shanon ate her dinner in the recliner. We all sat around the living room in a semi-circle and talked until the sun went down and we had to turn on the lamp. No one turned on the t.v. We all just enjoyed one another's company, shared stories, and laughed together. It was great. Had we turned on the television, we would have focused our attention there, perhaps making comments to each other about what was on, but we would have been tuned in to the screen. Instead, we paid attention to one another and actually interacted.
I really enjoyed our conversation and it made me wonder how often I use the t.v. as a distraction because I don't have enough energy to talk with the people around me. How often do I use the t.v. to distract me from myself and my own thoughts? Do I turn the t.v. on as a way to escape from the tasks I need to do? Do I flip through channels instead of spending time with God? Does my cynicism grow while I watch t.v. because it's so easy to make fun of the shows / commercials / actors rather than finding things to be positive about in real life?
It seems easier for everyone to focus on something else, rather than the people who are right around them. Last night we spent the evening in each others' presence and it was much better than tuning each other out by watching mindless t.v. I'll have to remember that next time I reach for the remote.