If you’re anything like me, then you like having access to your mobile phone. Mine has become a constant companion, keeping me informed of the time and temperature at a glance, providing entertainment when I get bored, serving as a quick reference guide when I want to look something up, and tracking my steps — even though I have a Fitbit now. (It’s like I need a second opinion.)
Unfortunately, that phone can become an obstacle to real-life conversations. So I’ve had to learn to set it aside at times to avoid missing out on personal encounters. I had one such encounter not that long ago. A woman and I sat with our toes under a UV lamp at a nail salon, waiting for our nail polish to dry. Unlike me, she didn’t have a phone in her hand and started making small talk.
I could have given her short answers and continued looking at my phone, but this particular time, I chose to forego those comforts and step into the unknown. I put my phone down and engaged in the conversation.
Instead of advancing to another level in Candy Crush or catching up with my friends on Facebook, I learned this lady and her husband had been married 50 years and were preparing for a cruise to Italy to celebrate their accomplishment. I got to congratulate her and share about the Hawaiian cruise my husband and I took for our 25th anniversary. The woman and I swapped stories and talked about something we both had in common: travel.
I left the nail salon smiling, thankful I had taken the time to listen to a friendly woman and to reciprocate. I may never meet that woman again. But she encouraged me, and I hope I did the same for her. And you know what else? Facebook and Candy Crush were still waiting for me later.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"