The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” –Albert Einstein

 

 

I normally don’t write about topics beyond fashion and style on this blog but felt somewhat compelled this time around. Over the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about regrets – my own, others’, how they can positively or negatively affect you, and even whether you should carry them in the first place.

 

Let me put this in context: I was having lunch with a friend/colleague the other day, someone I’ve known for a few years now and had hired for various jobs in the past. She’s smart, stylish, talented and an all-round lovely person so I was rather looking forward to sitting down together, especially after we had said we would so many times before and just never found the time to make it happen.

 

And so it was that I went to meet said friend who unfortunately, managed to show up almost 15 minutes late (something this perennially-late person would never begrudge). But as we were catching up I could see how distracted she seemed. There was a lot of checking her phone for messages, rushing through the meal, requesting the bill before dishes were cleared, asking questions whose responses were heard but not listened.

 

I guess that was the part that bothered me the most. You can tell when someone’s not really listening or attentive to what you have to say, and not seeing the person you are. It’s subtle and somewhat indescribable, but you know it’s there. And it’s awful.

 

Listen, I completely appreciate how frantic, rushed, and overscheduled people. These days everything seems to happen at once and everything is urgent All. The. Time. That said, there’s a fine line between being ‘crazy busy’ and embracing it as your identity. The oft-uttered phrase, “I’m so busy,” is delivered as a simultaneous lament and brag—one to be interpreted as both “I wish I could cut back” and “I’m in such high demand.”

 

Perhaps due to Instagram’s FOMO-inducing feed, smart phones making us available to everyone around the clock, and the Internet’s ever-looming #ICYMI culture, the feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it is epidemic. But with it an unspoken competition has arisen: Whoever does the most stuff wins. It’s obnoxious and nauseating and it’s why I made the decision last year not to utter it anymore.

 

I’m trying to get in the habit of being mindful of moments. I’m learning to slow down, to put 100% focus on whatever it is that I’m doing, to not multitask as much and, when I’m with someone, to truly be engaged with them.

 

If I’m being honest with myself, I’m less annoyed by the fact that this friend acted in this manner as much as I could see and recall how often I did it to others. It’s a regret I have (one of many I would add to the list) and I wish I could get her to see and understand it in her own right. Not to get too Oprah on you but all people really want is to be seen. It’s not a lot to ask. And regardless of whether you’re friends, acquaintances or colleagues, as a person – as a human being that is wired for connection – it seems to me is the very least you can give.