Matthew Dunaway MAY 2018 · 205-705-3590

May 2018

LET’S TAKE A WALK How to Escape the Virtual Rat Race

We live in a hectic world. If we’re not rushing at work, we’re rushing around at home or to get our kids to school. All around us are distractions that demand our attention, and in our pockets, we carry a supercomputer full of other things to distract ourselves with. When was the last time any of us were able to go outside and just appreciate the sound of the birds singing?

me wrong: I love reading, and I know a lot of my work demands I be on a computer. But it’s not just my teenager who can get sucked into a virtual world.

I read a book not long ago by Christian McEwen called “World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down,” which discussed the importance of slowing down and being in the moment. McEwen talked specifically about why people with creative jobs and hobbies need to embrace the moment, but his ideas extend to all of us who have run ourselves ragged in 2018. It’s important to remember real life is not in a book, computer, or phone screen. Real life is outside, with real people and events happening in the environment around you. I’ll talk more about why “World Enough & Time” is such a great book inside this issue, but right now I want to highlight one strategy from McEwen’s book to help us slow down: Take a walk. Alabama is home to some beautiful scenes, like Oak Mountain State Park. I’ve walked through the park before, and it’s a great place to go to refocus your mind. Of course, you don’t have to drive to the woods to get a good walk; a stroll around the office block during your lunch break can be equally beneficial. You just have to step away from your computer, leave your phone in your pocket, take out your headphones, and appreciate the world around you.

In this age of technological dependence, our minds can be a mile wide and an inch deep because we’re always searching for the next distraction. Sometimes that distraction is in the form of a book or television show, and other times it’s a Facebook post or the next breaking news story. It’s not a bad thing to use technology or to want to stay in the know, but when we make technology too much of a priority, we risk becoming too wrapped up in ourselves. There’s always been a rat race, but we should all be aware that there’s a virtual rat race to get caught up in. Our thoughts get pulled in so many directions — thinking about what happened yesterday, what we have to do tomorrow, and what our cousin is oversharing on social media — that we lose sight of right now. Now that it’s May and things are starting to warm up, I’m challenging myself to leave my desk and books and get outside again. I’ll listen to the birds, watch the world turning around me, and hopefully gain some depth by being more present in the now. I invite you to join me.

You just have to step away from your computer, leave your phone in your pocket, take out your headphones, and appreciate the world around you.

Kids today tend to get a lot of grief for being attached to technology. My daughter is 15, and like most teenagers, she talks to friends on her phone a lot. I try to remind her that her friends are not her friends because of her phone. They are her friends because of the real-world conversations and interactions they have together. That said, I know I spend much of my day at a desk, lost in a computer screen or reading a book. Don’t get

Call today – 205-705-3590 1. –Matt Dunaway

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