On a day when I’m looking at a load of “stuff” I need to get done.

There is always “stuff”.

It is a symptom of 21st Century life.

I used to read 36 books a year – then along came the internet and now I read 12 if I’m lucky.

I used to dictate into a tape or digital recorder – then along came the internet and now I type.

I used to finish work on weekday evenings and at weekend – and do other things, like raise a family, play sport, watch TV, read books – then along came the internet and I’m “connected” 7 days a week.

A few years ago we took our first sailing holiday in the British Virgin Islands and spent 10 days on a catamaran, away from the “stuff”.

Now the charter crews dock in a paradise bay at 16:00 each day, the crews pile into the dinghies and head for a beach bar run by a Rastafarian, because he has wifi and they can check “stuff” on their iPads.

We used to leave our “stuff” at work – on the desk, in a drawer, in the office.

Now we carry our “stuff” everywhere we go – we check “stuff”

  • before the movie starts
  • before the game
  • whilst we are queueing
  • on trains, boats and planes
  • between patients
  • between children
  • at either end of the sofa

In the last three months:

  • how many times did you check your “stuff”
  • how many times did you take a long walk with a close friend and just talk?
  • how many times did you make love?
  • how many times did you just stop?

The “stuff” will never end – but we will.

When we do face our end – will we look back at all the “stuff” we got done?

All the check ins we made, posts we read, follows?

Or will we reflect on the moments of pause – when we connected with each other and not with the “stuff”?


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.