A few weeks back, I took a vacation to the Dominican Republic with my husband. I have desperately wanted to write since then, but work has been very very busy this summer. However, I am reminded of one thought almost daily that was very apparent on vacation. Our resort was a definite melting pot of people from all over the world. There were a good number of Americans, but we were hardly the majority. Something that struck me was the amount of people sitting in lounge chairs taking selfies! This was not just an American thing, as I have previously thought, it was everyone! Not only was this taking place around the pool, but on excursions, particularly when we came to a cave with a freshwater pool in it. There was a narrow, single file line to get into the water, down stairs made from jagged rocks, which became very congested due to people needing to take a picture before getting into the water. Time at the location was limited and due to so many people’s need to take a picture, many were not given the opportunity to get in the water at all!
This got me thinking quite a bit, as I was somewhat irritated at this point. I understand the hope of capturing every moment on camera so that one day we might look back and remember our experiences. But at some point, are we actually missing out on experiencing our lives because we are so busy documenting them? We were only away for about 5 days, and I realized on day 3 that I had hardly taken a picture. It wasn’t because it wasn’t beautiful or there weren’t many picture-worthy moments. Rather, I found myself completely enjoying the beauty and feeling relaxed (which is something that I hardly get enough of). I made a point of beginning to take pictures so that I could document it somewhat, but even then found myself forgetting to take pictures.
Now that I’m back home and back in the rat race I suppose maybe I should have taken more pictures from the trip, but I don’t regret not taking them. There are a few so that I will remember it just fine, but I am glad I spent a few days being more mindful than usual, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of a beautiful paradise. I am hoping that I can work on remembering the importance of living my life in the moment, in all its beauty and chaos, rather than needing to post selfies of what a great time I’m having. Even when not in a tropical paradise, but days at the park with my kids or nights out with friends, maybe we strive to take a picture if we must, to remember the moment, but then phones down. I think we could all work to be a bit more in the moment, rather than trying to show the world what our every moment looks like. I might even go as far to say that we might experience more daily joy when we stop trying to capture it. True joy can’t be contained or captured anyways.