I feel like such a jerk.
Like most of us, I enjoy hang’n out in the village, 1Samoana, stroll’n around on my finger tips goin’ from faleo’o to faleo’o and visiting with fellow natives, and participating and reading-in on group discussions–it’s my rest and relaxation (R&R) time. Most days, I go to work, I’m home by evening, check-in with the family, help out with household chores, help ready events for our church, and after family business is done, and if I’m not too exhausted, I make time for friends at 1Samoana.
Recently, I took time out for my usual ‘R&R’ fix at 1Samoana, and on this day I had more chores than usual to do. I figured, “Oh, what the heck, I can do two things at one time,” and in-between my mother reminding me to take out the recycling, my father reminding me to take the trash out for pick-up, taking care of house’s plumbing problems so that we don’t have to call a real plumber (only cause we can’t afford their professional services), and the other extra chores, I was on and off at the group discussion, “I Spy With My Fob Eyes.” This discussion appeals to me because, like most guys, it includes visuals, followed by the clever and hilarious commentary. Aside from all the visceral laughs I get out of this, and I know this makes no sense, but I especially love how stupid I feel. I’ve discovered that the long journey just before the light goes on in the brain (the light that leaves you saying to yourself, “Oh! That’s what’s goin’ on, that’s how it works!”), is the feeling stupid.
The following Sunday, I woke up to see my mother taking out the recycle, my sister picking out my father’s suit for Sunday service, my father taking out the garbage, basically they were picking up the chores I had forgotten about because I was online. No one said anything to me, we all just went about the morning and headed out for service, but I felt like crap; I kept reliving the nite before and how I was saying, “…yeah, okay, I’ll take care of it (while I’m online)…” After morning service, my father said, “Come sit down, I want to talk to you.”
What he said was this (broken English translation): “…I hear you on the intanet when you suppose to take care of the house, I hear you on the phone when you with us (family and church events), I hear you yell to your sister when you fix the car. Something very wrong wif you. I hear the devil is coming into this house…”
Translation of my Father’s wisdom: Be present! Stop dividing your family time. When you are with your family, be there, don’t be on the phone texting or conversating with friends, don’t be online B.S.ing with your friends, and don’t let your mind wander off into some other la-la land. When you are with your family give them your undivided attention. When you are not busy with your family, then that’s the time for friends. When you are with your family, be present! Manage your time wisely, prioritize accordingly.
Translation of a Son’s wisdom: If you feel like a jerk, then it may be because you have been acting like one. The good news is, there’s always a moment for redemption.