Today was my niece’s first soccer game. It was 1.5 hours away. My sister-in-law and I went with all our kids. The scenery of prairie lands we are surrounded was stunning; a sea of pastel hues.⠀⠀

We got snacks and spread a blanket on the grass to watch the game. When the game started, I received a DM and started chatting with a really interesting lady on Insta.⠀

Then I awoke. ⠀

I found myself on a sideline of a soccer field; surrounded by 4 kids and my sister-in-law; my niece, her team and her opponents playing; supporters all alert and rooting for players. And I. I. ⠀⠀

I was looking at my phone and rapidly tapping keys to form questions and answers with this new person I came across. ⠀⠀

Blocked to opportunities to make our time more fun at the game. Ignorant to the opportunities to explain to my kids what’s happening on the field. Blinded to the opportunities to cheer to goals, to be cheerful, to spread cheer among the kids… to excite.⠀

And I. I… was ashamed. I drove 1.5 hours and will drive a total of 3 hours for THIS? Why did I come? Am I so shallow to think the act of driving here will achieve my end goal: to make my niece happy? ⠀⠀

What is the point of exerting energy in preparation but being unpresent and unaware for the main event? What matters most? At the end. What will be remembered? ⠀⠀

And I responded. No longer to my messages. But instead to my mistake. I didn’t touch my phone again until the game was over. I dropped it.⠀⠀

And to you I say, respond. Get in the habit of monitoring your PRESENCE. Are you where you are? Is your mind at the same place as your body? Put the phone down. You didn’t do all the work just to be blind to the moments that will be remembered. ⠀

Wake up. Be present. To your life. To your family. To Allah.

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