To bookmark:

Login or Sign Up

The Human Break: An Experiment In Enjoying Life Again

By Rachael J. Avery

Hey. You. Yes, you. Put down your iPad, iPhone, GPS, MP3, Blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, and any other device that ironically extracts the “I” from you. Huh? Snack on that for a few moments. Don’t worry. You won’t. It’s outside of your routine to do so.

Did you know if you spent as much time talking with and gazing into the eyes of and caressing your partner as you do looking at your cell phone, your relationship would be euphoric?

How about this one? Take a few moments to answer this un-Google-able question: “What’s my favorite color today?” If it’s so simple, then why are you taking so long to answer? If it’s simple, then why are you lying about it? And if you did answer correctly, go ahead and ponder this stumper: Why is it your favorite color? Don’t glance over at your iPhone. Siri ain’t telling the truth about your soul. Hate to break it to you.

I’ll tell you exactly why the color question stumps even the brilliant. Because robots don’t have a favorite color. Yes. That would be you. You’ve been waking up at the same time, drinking coffee the same way, eating the same thing, doing your job the exact same way you’ve always been doing it, and you wonder why life doesn’t have spark.

Rest assured, with the technology we have today, a robot could be easily programmed to replace you…for everything you’ve been doing. A robot could easily walk through the door after work and interact with your family and they wouldn’t know the difference. The only difference is the robot would be five times more efficient. Yes a robot can easily order a grande soy 120-degree extra-foam latte. Your robot training, which started early, most likely around 3 to 4 years old, has officially sucked almost all pleasure from your life.

So the next question always is, “How am I to be human when I don’t have time to be? I have bills and live in the real world.”

When you experience moments of being human, it means you are being instead of do-do-ing. When this happens you feel more yourself than you’ve ever known. You feel inspired. You feel like getting up out of bed before the alarm even has a chance. You lose track of weekdays and weekends. You have energy to be present at the dinner table and hug someone if they’ve had a bad day. You have the ability to give. You have peace in your mind.

It’s the convertible red ‘ghini ride with grace blowing through your hair that you never knew you wanted because you didn’t think it was attainable. Your life doesn’t have to be turned upside-down and sent out to the backyard to hug a tree to get this, although it wouldn’t hurt.

Instead, these 10 simple, small, teeny-tiny behaviors will restore human-being blood to your veins and have you scratching your head as to why—even though you have the same job, the same kids, the same spouse—they are all of a sudden so flipping tolerable, perhaps even pleasurable. Try doing these to take a human break.

  • Wake with “Beautiful Day” by U2, or a similar song, in your head. Learn the lyrics.

  • Eat oatmeal for breakfast with strawberries on top, or the equivalent.

  • Tell a family member out of the blue, “I appreciate you,” smile, then leave the room.

  • Pick up one piece of trash today.

  • Pack your lunch.

  • Say “hi” to one tree while in the car. (Relax. No hugging yet.)

  • Use Starbucks language at a non-Starbucks establishment.

  • Secretly skip. Twice.

  • Find something you already have in the kitchen to make dinner with.

  • Ask, “So what color was your day today?” at the dinner table.

Good luck on being human today! It’s not easy with do-do on your head.