I made it through day four, and then I was saved from this test. It’s a challenge, for sure. I imagined that giving this up would be impossible, but I found that, while there are hurdles, this is not the worst thing in the world.
I have read a few articles on this matter; research that finds people are extremely anxious just considering this challenge. In fact, most people will not voluntarily do without as the mere thought sends them into a panic. Especially teenagers. Mine was forced on me. Forced on me by my own doing. It was early one Tuesday when I was emptying the washing machine when I realized my test had already begun.
There, amongst the dish towels, was my cell phone cover. It actually took me two minutes to connect the dots… I considered for a moment that maybe the cell phone cover ended up in the washing machine without the cell phone. But, no, my brand new iPhone 6 was at the bottom of the drum. Staring at me with a blank black face. Yes, I did actually try to turn it on. Not just once. I tried all the buttons immediately to see if maybe God had intervened, all to no avail.
And then came the internal questions; what did you do? how did that happen? Also the internal accusations; what is wrong with you? do you have Alzheimer’s? I have absolutely no recollection of events preceding the event. How did my phone somehow manage to get into the laundry basket? How did it manage to commingle with dish towels? And how did it get thrown into the front loading washing machine without my hearing a “thud”? Then my mind goes on overdrive wondering why I am having such a complete memory lapse; was I hung over? Do I have a disease? Do I have a brain tumor? Brain Tumor is obviously the correct diagnosis. After all, the other day I opened the refrigerator and found one of my “to do” lists. And then I found a sock tangled in the drawer with the dog leashes, (not a pair of socks, one sock).
And this event comes after another major brain freeze from a few weeks ago. It was a brilliant day and we had nothing on our schedule, so we packed up the dogs and a picnic into the suburban and went to visit our lot (we are in the process of trying to get a permit to build on our lot). I drove. Once we got there, the dogs and I went down to the beach to explore. I have to keep a close eye on them since Indie tends to eat dead crab and Bailey likes to roll on dead anything. So it is safe to say that my attention was 100% on the dogs. After a light snack, Wayne and I were ready to go home. So we packed up the dogs and got into the car and I said, “what did you do with the keys?” And Wayne responded, “you drove”. Ah, yes, I had. But the keys were not in the ignition, and they were not misplaced amongst the dog stuff. They had not fallen between or under the seats, they were not in the visor, and not in my pocket. My pocket. I vaguely remember putting them in my pocket and if I didn’t zip my jacket pocket the keys were probably…. ANYWHERE in our overgrown lot or, most likely, on the beach with an incoming tide. We search. Again and again. Finally, because it is my fault, I have to suck it up and (grimace) go ask the neighbor for a ride to our house so I can get the spare set of keys.
Have I mentioned how great our neighbors are? I love our neighbors. Poor Mike was in the middle of trimming his hedges, but he didn’t even flinch in putting down his hedger and taking off his gloves. He drove me 5 miles to our house so I could grab my spare set of keys and drove me back to our lot to retrieve Wayne and the dogs. I swear I will never regret moving to this small community.
As I transgress, I do want to update you all on my cell phone separation: I did not realize how much I actually use my phone, especially when I had to borrow my husband’s phone. I sold my old iPhone, so now I see the value in having multiple phones. Maybe. Reading email on my laptop feels old fashioned. And, lastly, I can no longer entertain myself with facebook/games/internet in inappropriate places. Rather, I actually have to talk to someone. Unfortunately I have to wait for those moments when the person I am with is not on their cell phone. You realize quickly, when you are without, how much time other people spend on their phones.
In retrospect, maybe this is a really good experience. Maybe we should all do without our cell phones for a day. I don’t abdicate any longer period than a week. You will shortly know if you depend on that little device too much. You will realize you have adjusted your lifestyle. I don’t have a (hard) phone line at home, nor a calendar with my appointments. I have only memorized three phone numbers – Mine, my husbands and 911. We don’t keep a phone book, as all my friends numbers are saved in my cell phone. We don’t own a set of encyclopedias, we don’t keep the yellow pages around to look up restaurant locations, or any other local business. And we don’t have a local map handy.
After day four on the challenge, the insurance company came through with a new phone delivered to my door. I only purchased the insurance because I run outside with my phone strapped to my arm and I moved to the very rainy PNW. I was sure my phone would drown at some point, I just didn’t realize it would be in the washing machine. I’m keeping that insurance for now. In fact, I’m not making any changes as a result of my forced challenge, except for one. I am a LOT more careful with my phone!