The other day I was travelling to work on the train, as I do every morning. It was a grey, gloomy day, and I wasn’t feeling my most chipper, thanks to the combination of the busy 7.22 London Midland train and the winter weather. Although I will say, listening to ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack on repeat certainly does help. ‘Come alive, come alive, go and ride your light, let it burn so bright…’ anyone?
Anyway, I was about ten minutes into my journey when I took a break from people watching (AKA looking around and then feeling awkward as hell when someone catches my eye, and then trying to appear nonchalant about the situation), and looked out of the window. I was amazed to see a streak of bright orange and pink cutting through the murky grey clouds. It was so beautiful, and it lifted my mood right up.
Dreary weather ain’t no match for my mood, now, Tuesday! Mother nature can be so beautiful, and for a moment I just sat there watching it as the train hurtled past.
I looked around at my fellow commuters, and on a packed peak-time time into the city of Birmingham, I could only see one other person whose eyes weren’t fixed to a phone screen. ONE PERSON. Guys, when did we become creatures who can’t go a few minutes without checking phones?
We don’t look up any more.
We complain that life goes too quickly, but that’s because we spend so much of our time rushing from one thing to the next, and living through our phones in between.
I get that time spent on a train or a bus is a good time to catch up on things. I sometimes spend my commute replying to people who I haven’t had chance to reply to before, or typing out a to-do list so that my mind feels more calm and organised. But I’d bet my bottom dollar a lot of people are mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.
It’s not just on the train, either. On Friday I was in a lovely vegan cafe in Birmingham waiting for my food (a tex mex meatball sub, if you’re wondering), and as I looked around, I saw person after person looking at their phones. Not at the pretty succulents lining the walls, or the selection of scrumptious-looking vegan desserts. Their phones. I was itching to look at Instagram and get some home interiors inspo for my future home that WILL have a kitchen island, but I made myself look up because I wanted to be present in the moment.
I looked to a nearby table and saw a young loved-up couple holding hands across the table and giggling at each other. It was like they were the only people in the room. It was so heart-warming I NEARLY SHED A TEAR, GUYS. Maybe I was a bit over-emotional on Friday, but I don’t care, it was a beautiful moment to witness.
If I was busy looking at pineapple-themed candle holders, or the fact that Gary had just checked in at the dentist, I’d have missed the orange and pink sky, and the sweet moment in the cafe.
So, this week I encourage you to look up. Who knows, you might see something special.