This morning I had to drop some of my teens off at the church early. Since I was in the area, I headed over to Victor Ashe Park to get my run/walk in. I love Victor Ashe Park. It has a giant playing field that is used for soccer and ultimate frisbee, it has several miles of walking trails, it has a disc golf course along with a dog park, a playground, restrooms and a big pavilion.
It was eight o’clock in the morning on a Saturday, but there were already a lot of people there. There were women walking in groups, talking just as fast as they were moving. I saw several solo dads out walking little babies in strollers. There were couples holding hands as they dawdled along. People walking their dogs. There was one super-fit couple who were running together, briskly outpacing everyone. There was an elderly gentleman who was out jogging and our paces were just similar enough that we kept overlapping each other. He would jog a while and then walk and while he was walking I would jog a while and then walk. It got a bit awkward. 🙂 I found myself mentally urging him on, Run faster! Run faster! Just cause I didn’t want to pass him again when he was walking.
When I got back to the pavilion at the end, there was a drumming exercise class going on. The instructor was obviously doing her life passion as she taught this class. She was pumped, excited, hooting and hollering as she urged her class on. They had really fun music and I really wished I could join them. I went over to a paved area and sat and stretched and watched the class. There was another couple not far from me who looked like they were at the very beginning of their fitness journey, but they had exercise mats and weights and were working out together. And it felt like the entire attitude of everyone there was, We are here to exercise and enjoy nature! And everyone smiled and nodded at each other. And it was very inspiring to be a part of this energetic group.
Lately I’ve kind of been feeling like I’m living in two duel universes. There is the universe of Social Media. In that universe, people say mean things to each other without a second thought. We talk trash about people in leadership. We share mean jokes. The news is always bad, the world is about to end and it’s all EVERYONE ELSE’S fault. We hear all about the bad things that are happening at home and everywhere else in the world. And people just seem not-so-friendly.
And then, there is the unplugged universe. Daily life walking around my city. Going to the park where regular people are enjoying themselves, nodding and smiling at strangers. The more gregarious ones start up friendly chats. Dogs on leashes wag their tails. The grass is green. The trees are majestic. The exercise class has their fun music blasting. Kids are running, giggling, down the pathway.
Honestly, the daily life of the unplugged universe is a lot more beautiful than the plugged in one. And yes, I know, I’m posting this blog on the internet, sharing it on social media. It’s a bit hypocritical. Except, the plugged in universe is what we make it. I would say, for me, I am trying to learn how to unplug often, and when I am plugged in, try to bring some of the beauty with me.
Which, I guess, is why I tell you all about the everyday stuff. Like walks in the park.
POST SCRIPT: I know that life isn’t just roses and sunshine. There’s tragedy in the unplugged universe. And I appreciate the plugged in universe’s power to connect us together so we can help out in urgent situations. As always, it’s about balance.