I Cannot be Available to Everyone, Every Minute of Every Day, and it’s OK 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Kalen Emsley
People expect our constant availability – phone, text, social media and email. Technology has birthed a culture grounded in a constant stream of endless obligatory chatter.

What happens when you seek quiet instead of IG, FB and Twitter feeds? Or if you decide you’re not interested in following the “behind- the-scenes look” at someone else’s life on Snapchat. You simply want to stand in your present moment, phone on the charger, or off all together for a while. Can we just be, y’all? Geez!

Apparently, this whole revolutionary non-available concept is irritating to some people. Last week I found myself in a back-and-forth exchange via Facebook which started because a new friend called me, and I didn’t answer the phone.

My momentary inaccessibility became interrupted as rude and callous, instead of an opportunity for them to pause and see it from another angle – maybe, just maybe, I was unavailable for numerous reasons. Nai and I were actually playing together in the backyard, bathing our cocoa brown skin in the emerging summer sunlight, lying in newly planted grass, our laughter overflowing, making a mundane weekday joyful.

I’m not a fan of distracted-parenting so I rarely engage in long convos with friends when homeschooling, reading or just hanging with our little Nai. Our moments together are precious.

The whole incident is causing me to reflect quite a bit on this rapid  “communication” evolution, and the impact it’s having on our personalities and ways of being with one another. Impatience is the new normal. And for far too many of us, instant gratification also means instant access to people. If we cannot have it,  we pout like toddlers insisting on their favorite snacks instead of dinner.

The concept of boundaries is somehow foreign to us, especially younger generations who have never known a world where you do not have multiple ways of reaching someone, any time of the day or night.

I am dating myself here, y’all, but I actually remember, as a kid, when very few people carried cell phones. If you weren’t home, you weren’t available. Folks connected with each other when it worked for both of them. You didn’t feel pressure to talk, and reply to incessant text messages and social media updates.

The act of cultivating genuine friendships is quickly being replaced with a vapid practice of familiarizing ourselves with people’s lives (an edited version of course) via social media, calling them friends, and then basing their value upon how often they comment, like or share our own thoughts. This isn’t friendship, it’s forced interaction and brazen selfishness.

I don’t know about you, but I am done with feeling bound by other people’s expectations of me, their pseudo ideas of friendship. If I don’t have another IG heart, or like on a post, I will survive. My soul is yearning for so much more these days, you know authentic and lasting connections based on understanding and love, not the thorny entanglement of ego. Our time is far too fleeting and miraculous to be squandered.

Talk to Me: 

Do you feel guilty if you’re not able to connect with someone right away? Why do you think so? How can you move beyond those feelings? 

Let Go of What You Do, and Discover Who You Are 

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I started yesterday in a panic, y’all. Why? Life-threatening emergency? Did someone close to me die? Nope. My good girlfriend Michelle over at Surviving a Creative Life texted. My blog was down. Did I know? What?!! Down? No! I texted back, barely able to type, my hands overcome by crippling panic.

Crap, I yelled! I forgot to pay my web hosting company. Ugh! All their reminders were buried in mountainous email heaps I could no longer tame. As I anxiously dug through my purse, searching for the credit card, I felt naked, like someone robbed me.  At this point, near tears, I texted a few other close friends, still wounded and praying all my work would remain in tact.

I read the words of that last email – “some data might not be restored.” The phrase, a thinly-veiled threat, sauntered in and out of my mind, until finally, I quieted those thoughts.  All the years of work, I muttered to myself, nursing sudden despondence.

Let Go, Evolve

Interestingly enough, my bestie Shan (The Free Gurl Club), and I were just talking about the lesson of non-attachment (she tragically lost a favorite pair of sunglasses this week), and the capriciousness of relying on the Internet as the sole platform for your work. We discussed the book ideas sitting in our minds, and how essential it is to go beyond online.

As I waited the few hours for website restoration, I began to consider something revolutionary in Western culture. I am NOT a profession –  writer, blogger and whatever other “career box” is assigned to me based on education and work history. In a society which worships work and productivity, many of us never discover who we are outside the confines of other’s perceptions.

…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.

Pema Chödrön

Self worth is not measured by blog traffic, catchy graphics or social media followers. If the Internet disintegrated tomorrow, I would remain, an evolving and loving human being who wants to inspire others. It is my heart which matters, my soul, my walk with Christ which endures. I hear you, God. I think I have the lesson now.